With Valentine’s Day just recently past, this seems like a good time to interrupt our not-so-regularly-scheduled “Approach the Throne” series and do a little post about love.
Pride and Prejudice is one of the most iconic romance stories in our culture. Most people know Lizzy and Mr. Darcy and have enjoyed reading and watching as they fall in love – in spite of their numerous obstacles and misunderstandings.
One of my favorite parts in Pride and Prejudice is Mr. Darcy’s first proposal to Lizzy. It ends up being a train wreck, and he inserts a lot of prideful insults regarding her family situation and so on, but he starts off with that iconic statement, “‘In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you'” (Austen, Chapter 34).
Honestly, who could resist that? (Good thing Lizzy did, though, or neither of them would have learned to be humble). Still, kudos to Mr. Darcy for a good beginning.
One of the things I like to do when I’m having trouble remembering how God loves me is to take my favorite lines or situations from stories and compare them to what God says about His feelings for me. Perhaps it’s dorky, but it is effective.
Let’s try taking this iconic statement of Mr. Darcy’s and comparing it to what God says to us. The first thing that stands out to me is the phrase, “You must allow me to tell you.” Our God is a gentleman; He won’t shout at you while you have your hands over your ears. You’ve got to allow Him to tell you how much He loves you – and I say this as someone who is really bad at listening.
The next thing that stands out is the intensity of Mr. Darcy’s statement. You can hear how desperate he is for Lizzy to know he loves her, how much he wants her to accept his proposal. God speaks to us with the same intensity, holding out His hands and longing for us to turn and see the truth of His love (see Romans 10:21).
Can you hear it? “You must allow me to tell you…”
“…how ardently I admire and love you…”
The “love” part of this statement is easy to translate to our relationship with God, but what about the “admire” part? While I don’t think it applies to our relationship with God in the same way Mr. Darcy used it, I do know that when we join God’s family and accept Christ as our Savior, we are covered with Christ. God sees us as we are, yet He treats us the way He treats His Begotten Son, saying “I am well pleased” when He looks at us even as He did when He looked at Jesus (Matthew 3:16-17, ESV).
Mr. Darcy’s statement also reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Isaiah 54:10: “‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but My steadfast love shall not depart from you, and My covenant of peace shall not be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you” (ESV).
Have you ever tried inserting your name into a Bible verse? I know it sounds a tad corny, but just give it a shot…”For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized [your name here], that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son” (John 3:16, AMP). You know how that verse ends: He gave His Son so that you could be with Him forever. Mr. Darcy proposed because he couldn’t bear to be without Lizzy; in a much, much greater way, God doesn’t want to be without you, either.
I’ll close with a lovely section from the Song of Solomon: “Love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the Lord. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7, ESV).
I hope this post has been meaningful to you and reminded you how much God loves you. If you find music to be helpful to you, I highly recommend the songs “This Love Doesn’t Run” by Kerrie Roberts and “Remind Me Who I Am” by Jason Gray. Happy Valentine’s Day, my friends.
Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice. Kindle ed, Amazon Digital Services LLC, 2012.