Shout out to all you long-time Harvest Mooners, reaping your pixelated produce, foraging in the mountains, and selecting a spouse from your choice of personalities and pretty faces – LONG before those copycat farm games started cropping up. (See what I did there?)
Choice is a glorious aspect of video games, isn’t it? (Unless you’re playing Dragon Quest, in which case “But thou must”!) With Valentine’s Day behind us, some who wait for love may be wishing for available choices themselves. In the meantime, it sure is nice to pick up those games where you can woo that character you adore – the one who’s so gorgeous, who warms to you tsundere-like or gushes straightaway. The one who says all the right things – well…with some arrogant exceptions.
Once married, you just have to go through two dialogue boxes with your loved one each morning, and your partnership is gold. Now you can get on with havin’ a couple babies and buying some cows. No more choices needed, right?
Ah, but in reality, there are choices every day – many times a day, even – to work for or against your relationship. To consider what you’ll surrender, and where you’ll stand your ground. To learn, to understand, to work.
Last year around this time I wrote an article on contentment in all relationship statuses, because in the end we are God’s beloved and bride, pledged to Him in His limitless love no human relationship could match. Well…just about half a year later, I officially entered a romantic relationship of my own. You can’t tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.
(In case you were wondering, my beau often appears down in the comments – my devoted and outspoken fan. ;-P )
And while our Savior’s love can’t be matched by even the most ardent human effort, our earthly relationships are still a mirror of His ultimate plan. Now, what I say next comes with this caveat: I’m new to the romantic scene and know I have much to learn. But choices are ingrained in all relationships – whether with Christ or with those he places in our lives. We think of “choosiness” in terms of setting good standards, perusing our available “market”, deciding what we want in a partner and what are our “dealbreakers”. (You might want to consider arrogance in that category.)
Once you’ve gone through every point on your checklist and manage to snag someone who makes your heart flutter – guess what? They’re still imperfect. You’re still imperfect. You’ll disagree. You’ll hurt each other. You’ll see more differences than you thought were there before. What do you choose in your lowest moments? In theirs?
Our culture is rife with the idea that eros solves everything. To choose to stay in a relationship even when events turn slightly disagreeable is taboo. Have you noticed there are also those who flit from faith to faith, looking for the one that makes them feel “best”? We’re conditioned to want only the “feels” without the growth.
Now, I don’t think any rational, God-fearing single person looks to relationships to feel complete. But…I still had my preconceptions. That it would always be seamless. That every step in the process would come naturally. In truth, it still takes decision – and it takes a faith in Christ at the core.
Choosing a romance with perfect dialogue trees is a gamer’s fantasy. It’s far lovelier and God-honoring when two imperfect people come together with the intent to grow, pursue faith, and learn from each other. Once you’ve chosen your significant other, keep choosing – you may still have years of harvest to reap.