We don’t watch a whole lot of tv in our household, but I must confess that Doug and I do enjoy relaxing to some visual entertainment in the evenings when we have the chance. It might be a tv series that we’re watching on Netflix. Or it could be a favorite movie we’re watching for the umpteenth time. Our preferences vary widely, but we frequently come back to the same couple of genres – action (but not just explosions – we like plot and a little humor) or romantic comedy. And yes, I truly enjoy the action and Doug doesn’t only watch romantic comedy just to please me.
When it comes to the romantic comedies, though, I’m a little picky. I want there to be some depth to the romance. The perfect romantic comedy shows the guy truly desiring the girl. Not physically, but completely. He just can’t get enough of her presence, and it shows in his every expression and action. One of my favorites is Bill Pullman in While You Were Sleeping. His character is torn to pieces because he just can’t stay away from Lucy, the woman he believes to be engaged to his brother. But, he knows that the only honorable thing for him to do is to be a brother to her, even though he knows his brother doesn’t deserve her. That desire for her – and for her happiness and pleasure and best – trumps the desire for his own happiness.
There’s a reason so many of us are drawn to stories like that. We were created for that kind of desire. I can honestly say that no movie could every portray the beauty of my husband’s desire for me. Throughout our thirteen plus years of marriage, I have never doubted his desire for me. Even before we were a couple, he desired my friendship and I his. In one way or another, he has always had a desire for me. And he has always shown it so beautifully. I only hope that he knows my desire half as much as I know his.
But the deeper truth is that we weren’t created for that desire just so we could have happy marriages. No, we were created for that desire so that we would know how God desires us. Every time we see true desire between people, whether in friendship or in romantic relationship, it is a picture of God’s desire for us. But, oh how incomplete that picture is!
You see, most desire we see between people begins because we see something desirable in someone else. Even those relationships that seem to begin with loathing result in desire because something desirable draws people together. But, God’s desire for us is so very different.
For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11
It is one thing for Doug to desire me. I was his friend. Our desire for one another was completely respectable for friends, and I was thankful for his friendship. Then I became his fiance (we kind of skipped the girlfriend part!). Now I am his wife. Through it all, I have never felt that he did not desire my company. There were times as friends when we could go for long stretches without being in each other’s company, and we thought nothing of it. But, when our paths overlapped, I never felt that he didn’t want my presence.
But there was a time when I was an enemy to God. There was no reason for Him to desire my company. In fact, it was not acceptable for me to be in His presence. Yet that was the time when Jesus went out of His way to show me He desired undesirable me! He did not just say, “Hey, Ann, I’d love to spend some time with you, and eventually – when you become desirable enough – I want to introduce you to my Father.” He surrendered Himself to an unimaginably painful death to show me just how much He wanted to accomplish the impossible and usher me into the presence of His Father, Almighty God.
There was nothing desirable in me, but He desired me!
Yes, there is a reason we are drawn to desire. There is a reason we hunger to be desired. But, all of our precious earthly images of desire are nothing compare to the fact that we are desired by our Creator. No selfless act performed by any desiring friend or suitor on earth could begin to measure up to the sacrifice of Christ.
You, my friend, are desired! Will you accept His desire for you?