Ever heard of a little show called The Bachelor? Annually, 25 individuals beg to give their hearts away to one idolized bachelor or bachelorette and do seemingly anything just to get their attention. Grown men and women wear their hearts on their sleeves as they “fall in love” with someone they have only known for several weeks exclusively in front of TV cameras.
Using this show as an example may seem a bit extreme, but is it? Take a minute and look at your own heart. Over the past year, how have you worn your heart on your sleeve? Know what I’m talking about? Giving pieces of your heart to that guy you barely knew–thinking, hoping that he could just maybe be the one. Accepting the first eligible bachelor who turned your way simply because no one ever noticed before. Saying “yes” to that questionable prom date just so you wouldn’t be by yourself at the dance, only to be left totally alone with a positive pregnancy test months later.
I used to get caught up in shows like The Bachelor. Watching all of the romantic one-on-one dates in Rome and private concerts with Martina McBride, thinking, “Man, I can’t wait to find that guy who reserves an entire restaurant for us and takes me on romantic sailboat rides at night!” But then, the end of the episode would always come and there was always a girl who didn’t get a rose. As they packed their bags and road home in the limo, you could just see the pain in their faces. Total defeat. Rejection. Failure. For many of these individuals, they had tried this thing called love before and thought if they just tried one more time—put themselves out there one more time—maybe then they would be notices for who they really are. Reality begins to sink in at this point. All of those once-in-a-lifetime dates are only possible because of the show itself….not because the guy was actually smart enough to concoct those ideas up on his own! This bachelor is on his best behavior because millions of viewers are watching him and why wouldn’t he be happy?—the man has 25 women drooling over him! All of the candidates act calm, cool, collected, and confident—all in an attempt to attract an individual who’s faking it too. Yet, when the cameras and lights fade away, they are left feeling alone, rejected, and unloved. And, let me ask you something, how many of these relationships have even lasted? Is the passion and romance used to attract still there? I don’t think I even want to see the statistics for that one….
It was hot—the middle of the day in fact. A lone woman started walking towards the town well. Alone. Hmmm….abnormal for her time (Well, and really abnormal today too. Women still flock in numbers). As she walks towards the well she sees a man. He proceeds to ask her for a drink. She looks at him with a confused and probably frustrated expression. He was a Jew—she was a Samaritan….their people did not get along. She had already had her share of harassment from men in her life. She had been through relationship after relationship only to end up more broken and hurt than before. The pieces of her heart were ripped from her very being, scattered on the floor, and stomped on—catch my emphasis here?! The woman is broken! She is yearning for something—anything—real, lasting, genuine. As her tired and confused eyes look at this stranger, she senses something different—something begins to fill her with hope. This man was Jesus Christ. He picked up the pieces of her heart, brushed them off, and put them back together again. He offered her eternal life—life where she would never be thirsty again. He knew her past, but loved her just the same. Astonished, this woman at the well that day allowed the Son of God to restore her broken heart and embraced the true love He wanted so badly to give her. When she walked away from the well, she walked away transformed—radiant—filled with hope….a hope that can only come from a love you don’t have to do anything for….except say “yes.” (For the full story, check out John 4)
Anything for love? According to the world, yeah. According to God, nope. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God loves you infinitely and completely—more than we can ever even begin to understand. But the best part is you don’t have to do anything….you just have to choose to receive it. Love that you don’t have to wear your heart on your sleeve for? I don’t know about you, but that sounds like the kind of love that I want to grab onto and never let go.