When I say God loves us like a friend, again, the nods and “Oh, yes.” But when I say God loves us like a lover chasing after His beloved, eyes grow wide and people back away.
For some reason, Christians often shake their heads in disgust when I compare God’s love to that of a lover. Some get angry, and say words like, “sacrilege.” Many have no idea that I didn’t make that up. God says it Himself.
I’m a novelist. I write allegorical romance mainly for two reasons:
1. I am a hopeless romantic. I really do believe in love that is meant to be. I believe in love that lasts forever and happily ever after. Not all of that is fully attainable with human love. But I plan to show you the similarities of these aspects of romantic love to God’s great love for us.
2. I see the world in allegory. I read much of the Old Testament as an allegory for Christ. I see the relationships God has given us with other people, as allegorical for His love. I see marriage and the physical relationship that accompanies it as allegorical to the love and relationship God desires to have with us.
I didn’t pick these ideas out of nowhere and make them my own. They are God’s ideas and I can back what I’m saying with His Word—His love letter to you and me.
God, the Suitor
How does a suitor pursue his beloved? If you think of adolescence, when you first thought of dating, often you heard of a possible love connections from people not involved in the potential relationship at all. A friend or classmate walked up to you and said, “John likes you.”
You stopped and considered. “John likes me?”
Maybe you’d never thought of John like that before. Perhaps you said, “John who?” because you didn’t know who he was. Or maybe you knew John and your first words were, “Well, I don’t like him. He’s kind of weird.”
Or maybe you enjoyed the thought of John liking you, and sought out John’s company to get to know him better.
Is this really any different from how you first learned that Jesus loved you? A person told you, “Jesus loves you.” The person telling you had no control over how you would take the news. Maybe you didn’t really know who Jesus was at the time. Maybe your first response was, “No, don’t want to be associated with Jesus. Too weird.” Or maybe you were open to it and sought to spend time getting to know Jesus.
But it all started with an outsider telling you about Jesus, just like a friend playing matchmaker.
Melissa T. Lee is the author of The Earth Painter and The Difference Between Night and Day. She writes Paranormal Romance and keeps busy as the mother of three crazy boys. Presently, she is working toward reediting and republishing The Earth Painter, and its sequel, The Man Painter. This is the first in her devotional series about our romantic God.