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Archive for the ‘romanticism’ Category

There is a popular marriage book called Love and Respect.  All my dear married friends talk about the subject.  Women need love.  Men need respect.  Respect is more than words.  A wife wants to hear her husband say “I love you,” (and men don’t mind hearing their wives say it, I suspect).  She also needs his love to be demonstrated.  Likewise respect must be lived out. 

Respect is an attitude.  It’s how a woman talks about a man, or her attitude when he’s talking to her.  Things she refrains from saying or doing can be as important to demonstrating respect as what she says.  Even when he isn’t there, a wife can respect her husband by the things she tells about him and the way she tells them to her girlfriends or children.  Respect is important to a man, just like being cherished is important to a woman. 

For example, a counselor (author of the book?) once heard a wife tell him that she loved her husband, but couldn’t respect him.  He reversed the question and asked how she would feel if her husband confessed that he respects her, but just doesn’t love her.  Obviously she would be devastated.  The implication is that a man is equally devastated to hear that his wife doesn’t respect him. 

Yet our society considers love a prerequisite for marriage, and so judges a man who doesn’t love his wife.  Respect is often something a wife never considered.  She didn’t know she was failing.  She thought she was respectful, taking literally the phrase, “all due respect.”  If her husband was communicative, he may have mentioned his desire for respect, at which point she got defensive, and considered him most unfair.  If he wanted respect, maybe he married the wrong woman.  After all, he is the same man who (insert ridiculous quirk or character flaw here). 

What does a wife do if she cannot respect the man because he is not respectable?  There are many testimonies to the change wrought in a man, even after years of marriage, when a woman chooses to respect him.  Picking the things that are admirable in his character, she praised that to him and to others.  She prioritized her life around the things that were important to him.  In Wives and Daughters, the soon to be Mrs. Gibson asks Molly to tell her all her father’s little likes and dislikes, so that she can be a pleasing wife.  The first thing Molly tells her, however, is something that Mrs. Gibson sets out to “cure.”  Her behavior did not show respect.  The villain in Wives and Daughters, a very human and almost pitiable Mr. Preston, is by no means a respectable man, but Molly appeals to him as though he were, and goads him on to more honorable behavior. 

I think this dilemma of being married to a man you don’t respect is a symptom of our dating culture.  Our paths to marriage have been all about falling in love.  How many girls fall in love with someone and feel like the dad on Stepmom, that marriage is the next step?  The hurting son in the movie asks his dad if, since a husband and wife can ‘fall out of love,’ can a parent can fall out of love with his kids?  Love is a choice.  I believe that, and think the dad was wrong to divorce his wife. 

What if he had “fallen” in respect with his wife?  Think of a man sitting in a field plucking petals: she respects me, she respects me not…  However, respect is more obviously a choice. 

Our modernized fairy tales are full of falling in love.  I’m a romantic, and I appreciate Disney’s animated fairy tales.  But don’t they have more resemblance to Sir Walter Scott than to Grimm’s?  Think about the original versions of fairy tales you know. 

Take Sleeping Beauty.  A man risks everything for her, and she without even really knowing him delights to be his bride.  Why? 

Cinderella knows the prince’s character, and they share a romantic enchantment for a few hours one night before he scours the kingdom to claim her.  Aside from the obvious appeal of a maid marrying a prince, why would she do that?  If she were a romantic, would an evening’s dance be sufficient? 

Beauty – is she won over by the love of the Beast in the original tale?  What about Snow White – seemingly romantic, singing someday my prince will come – ultimately married to a man whose fascination with her beauty jolts her into life again – literally. 

Snow White and Rose Red is perhaps the most romantic fairy tale, its hero repeating the plea, “Snow White, Rose Red! Will you beat your lover dead?”  Even in that story the chosen bride is not apparent, and the second sister is married to the hero’s previously unmentioned brother. 

Yet the hype of every movie and story popular today is falling in love or the misery in marriage if you don’t. 

In fact respect before marriage is a concept often trampled by the rush to feed and give in to love.  Instead, respect marriage and respect the other person.  Value them more than the relationship, more than the attraction.  Purity, modesty, submission, counsel, and a long-term focus are ways to express respect for each other before marriage.  They are also characteristic of the courtship movement.  (Allow me to interject that as I thought about this topic, I followed it to this place; this is not designed as a defense of courtship.) 

Whereas the dating culture is all about flowers, butterflies, and the kiss that tells you he’s the one; courtship has a focus on boundaries, on matching emotion and expression to the level of commitment.  And I suppose that’s all I really want out of calling a relationship a courtship: not a strict set of rules and prohibitive encounters, but intentionality in building respect even as you grow in love.  The idea is not only to more accurately find a spouse with less regrets (at giving away your heart or more), but to prepare for married life. 

“Intentional” could speak to the willful direction of a relationship.  Historically, a suitor came to the father (and thereby to the lady) to make his intentions known.  That factor alone could make a world of difference in dating relationships.  If each would regularly express their intentions for the relationship, or at least begin by honestly telling each other what the goal is, dating would be less complicated and harmful. 

Being intentional in either aspect, and preparing for marriage, could explain the tendencies to short courtships.  Practicing love, respect, submission, confidence, and preference is hard to do without wanting to move right into the real deal.  Or courtships could be short because they’re begun only after at least one party is willing to consider marriage.  Part of the important observation and decision-making is done before the first date. 

Coincidentally, I think that “respect” is the less hated buzz-word translating the Greek hupotasso, usually translated in the Bible as “submit” or “be obedient.”  In Ephesians 5, women were not told to make sure they didn’t usurp their husbands any more than the men were forbidden from hating their wives.  Love is a positive thing.  Women should embrace submission.  All along the Bible has had the instructions for successful marriages. 

Colossians 3:18, “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.”

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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I asked a while back what was the truest expression of love.  Fiction and stories have always served to teach me.  They make me think, and ponder scenarios beyond my experience.  When I don’t have a book that perfectly suits a question I’m considering, I (sometimes consciously) devise a story of my own.  That is the setting for the question I asked. 

My initial scenario was a man and woman in love under oppressive circumstances who had several options: 1.  Part and give each other up.  2.  Part promising to be faithfully and exclusively devoted to one another despite separation.  3.  Marry and face permanent endangerment or death as a result.  So the questions are: 1.  Is it better to sacrifice and let each other possibly find love elsewhere?  2.  Is it more faithful to the feelings and nature of love to continue feeling for each other when all chance of enactment is past?  3.  Is consummation so important to love that you would risk each other? 

Suppose you’re in A Walk to Remember.  Do you marry when your marriage is guaranteed to be short-lived?  What if you’re in Pirates of the Caribbean?  Do you marry if you know (which was, I allow, not the case in the movie) that the relationship will consist of one day in 3652?  You’re a mother in Nazi Germany who has a chance of sending her children away to safety, but she’ll never see them again.  (supplied by my mom): Or should missionary parents endanger their kids by discipling them at home or protect them by sending them to boarding school?  Then again, is life and safety more important than a relationship with your parents? 

Michael Card wrote “God’s only way is to give and to die.”  I wasn’t only asking about romantic love.  But I confess I’ve always got that under consideration, being interested in the subject.  Seriously, I can see the usefulness of reading all the relationship books.  Aside from personal application, I believe such subjects are fundamental points in the development of one’s relationship with God and others.  Plus it’s Valentine’s Day, so I have an excuse – for today. 

Gratification is doing whatever the feelings of love motivate you to do in a moment.  This promises the most instant satisfaction, but it might be deceptive.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve felt like hugging someone and decided I couldn’t, or shouldn’t, or more deeply would rather not. 

Consumation would be a more long-term, planned and waited for climax of a relationship.  It doesn’t necessarily indicate commitment, but it is a fulfillment of something hoped and worked for.  What is the consummate activity of friendship, or of parenting?  For some friends it might be meeting, or reading journals or going on a trip together.  In Butterfly Kisses, Bob Carlisle indicates that the peak of parenting is when his daughter is given away in marriage.  Consumation might be understood as the “truest expression of love” by definition.  It might be too specific, though.  Let’s keep exploring. 

Commitment is, in this case, synonymous with faithfulness and loyalty.  True love inspires commitment.  There’s no greater gift to offer a person than your eternal devotion.  Then again, what if the love is unrequited?  What if there is eternal separation to match the eternal commitment?  Then the commitment doesn’t mean anything. 

Sacrifice.  Obviously there are different levels of sacrifice.  A guy who sees a romantic comedy instead of the latest Will Smith alien movie is being sacrificial (generally speaking), but that is not the truest expression of love.  Maybe a bunch of little things all added together are the kind of sacrifice I mean.  There isn’t opportunity for each of us to die for another to demonstrate our love.  Romans 12:1 talks about being a living sacrifice, which is totally giving one’s heart, soul, mind, and strength to the purposes and good of another.  Or maybe sacrifice is the answer in some instances and not others. 

As I think about this, I remember love languages.  I don’t even know what they all are.  There is giving and touch, probably words, and maybe service.  I’m still missing one.  Anyway, this side of the argument points out that the motive is important, not the expression. 

My mom kept saying “it depends” when I asked her this question.  I wasn’t asking what was right or wrong, or the choice that should be made in a given circumstance.  Perhaps my point is to show how those things can conflict with expressing love.  Am I wrong?  After all, God is love. Ought love to be the ultimate consideration?  When faced with a choice between improving a relationship and improving the other person (making them good-er) in your relationship, which claim is superior? 

I could invite a friend to ice cream because I want to build our relationship, and spending time is a good way to brick our relationship.  Or it could be because I know they like ice cream and I want to brick them.  Or I could be bricking myself because I like ice cream.  So which is more important?  Which is love? 

There I go again.  I can’t blog without asking questions.  But to answer my original survey, if I were taking a test, I’d pick sacrifice.  I can refute the others (to my own satisfaction, but I can’t necessarily prove my case). 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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One can read over the brim of one’s cup, just as Treebeard the Ent studied Merry and Pippin in his mountain home over his entdraught in Middle Earth long ago.  Such was I doing when I stopped thinking about the words and became more attentive to the taste in my cup.  I was drinking a vanilla chai tea latte, hot, and slightly watered down due to my lack of tablespoon at work.  The flavor is one of the new things introduced to my life in a year that is rapidly flowing to its end.  I like it. 

 

But I miss hot chocolate.  Not that I never drink chocolate anymore.  That I drink chai tea when I would have been sipping cocoa is undeniable.  Life has changed.  My tastes have dutifully broadened as an expected part of growing up.  If they are broadened, they are also dispersed.  Now the intensity of my appreciation for chocolate is tempered by my acceptance of vanilla chai tea. 

 

Would my life be better if I had refused to taste chai tea?  If through loyalty I remained zealous for chocolate alone, could I still be a grown up and still be happy?  Would I be happier? 

 

Life is a choice whether to try new things.  Once surrendered to a new pet topic, to the diminution of my former sole passion, my experience says there is no possibility of returning to a single-passion life.  A new opportunity arises, and if I am consistent, is tried.  Causes ebb and flow, wax and wane now, each replacing the last for its moment in the spotlight. 

 

I haven’t really written anything in a while.  Inspiration departed.  Whenever that happens I get borderline depressed, because life seems to have lost its flavor, and my passion for each moment has waned.  I don’t like drifting, shallow waves of life lapping around an unresponsive me.  Leaving the metaphor, though, I keep on doing things: going to work, talking to people, checking email.  Even genuine smiles come to my face. 

 

Now, slowly, I think I’m coming out of my doldrums.  A week ago Saturday night, I completely spontaneously saw a movie, August Rush.  There were so few people in the theater, and I was so tired.  Reclined in my seat, I tilted my head against the back of the cushion, and absorbed a beautiful movie.  The soundtrack was uniquely expressive, imposing its presence and importance.  Music spoke in the movie.  It communicated identity, feelings, direction, summons, friendship, longings, and fulfillment. 

 

Afterward I escaped the scent of popcorn into a fresh midnight wind.  The air was too cold to linger, but I breathed it deeply, and memorized its touch on my face.  I felt the cold and the current.  My brother and I talked of how we love things and moments with feeling, and flavor.  They say something, and mean something. 

 

In contrast, the chocolate cake I had just before the movie was bland.  The color boasted bursting flavor, when in actuality the taste was dull and muted.  Not like fudge, or cinnamon, or grape juice.  Those things are so bursting with flavor that they assert their identities. 

 

Then a few days later was a day full of feeling, and a sense of doing things important, though everyday.  I cried near the end, for a few friends came home.  Tears break the walls of the world without passion.  That’s the metaphor of George MacDonald’s Princess Lightness. 

 

Yet when the walls are down, and I care about what happens around me, when I’m advancing my might on causes and people, there’s the probability that I’ll see the world in reality, and see myself as I am.  Couple this to just turning 23, to holidays and old friends, and I am sad now – not depressed, but sad in a sentimental way, in a fightable way. 

 

Sunday I went to Red Robin alone.  They offered me a free burger for my birthday in exchange for receiving their emails, so I went to redeem my coupon.  The staff was nice.  I brought a book about grace.  And in between sips of a chocolate shake and bites of luscious burger, I observed.  The walls caught my attention, bearing an eclectic collection of posters, prints, and photographs.  One fantastic picture showed downtown Chicago along the Chicago River in 1929.  Already the concentration of sky-piercing towers was a marvel.  Chicago is my favorite city.  I can’t lay my finger on the reason, only that when I am there I feel alive.  Every place is a story; every sound has a flavor; and every person has a style. 

 

I love Christmas for the same reason.  Each song is a tale, each note a rush of emotion.  Every light twinkles mystery into my soul.  Altered from its original intent or not, in December the whole country is united in focus.  No one asks why the stores all play music about snow, bells, peace, and Jesus.  It is understood when you wear red that you’re being festive.  Even those who have dropped out of church make it back for the memories of candlelight at Christmas Eve services. 

 

So today, especially at Christmas, I want to challenge you to seize the day.  Breathe the moment.  Live to the hilt.  Pursue life.  Feed on truth.  Praise beauty.  Remember.  Cry.  Hope.  Laugh.  Sing.  Love. 

 

To God be all glory,

Lisa of Longbourn

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Knight
Knight

Has it ever occurred to you that the poetic age of chivalry, so often counted as a part of the romantic past, is at odds with the philosophy of romanticism, with “happily ever after”? Let me quote,

“This woman is almost always unattainable by virtue of her social status or physical distance, and by her fear of social censure; it was, paradoxically, her vary distance that lent value to the lover’s patient suffering. The lady’s worth could be increased by dispensing merce (some token of her affection) to a worthy and deserving suitor, yet the Lady who submitted too soon would be condemned.”
from Order of the Grail

and from Everyday Mommy:
“When a knight found a maiden who caught his eye it was customary for him to ask if he might be her champion. Today, a champion is someone who bats over .400 or wins a wrestling match. But, in that time to champion was to fight for or defend a person or cause. If the lady accepted him as her champion she would present him with a token, such as a handkerchief. She may have chosen to drop the handkerchief, hoping the knight would retrieve it. If he did, he became her champion and he kept the token inside his armor.

“In that age of villains and ruffians, a maiden would derive protection from having a champion. The mere mention of his name, such as Sir William of Pembroke, would afford her a measure of safety. Anyone with any sense knew better than to harm a knight’s lady, because he would pursue them to defend her honor.”

The old code of chivalry used to baffle me. I appreciated the gentlemanly way knights behaved to ladies, that the champions fought battles and rescued princesses. But I was born romantic, I think, and have never liked a story without a happy ending. The tale of knights told by the history of chivalry said that often a man would choose a lady to whom to dedicate his victories, faithful to her, defending her purity. And when he had won many battles, he had very little hope of receiving the lady as his wife in return. She may even marry another, one of her class if she were a noblewoman. A princess delivered from harm would grace her hero with cheers and her favor, but not with her love. Something honorable was seen in this sacrificial chastity. I could not see it.

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End came out this summer. Spoiler warning if you care: In the first Pirates of the Caribbean, we found that Will loved Elizabeth so much that he would die for her. The second movie opened with a wedding that never took place, both parties being arrested. Throughout this movie, the young couple had their issues, particularly involving communication and honesty, two things for which they had a bad reputation. In the last movie, At World’s End, Elizabeth proves she can fight and take charge like a boy, and Will realizes a conflict between his loyalty to his father and his lust for Elizabeth. For now we see that he’s not particularly interested in being there for Elizabeth, at her side, so much as he would like to kiss her and not watch her kissing anyone else. Yes, Elizabeth is a horrible example of a lady. When the movie finished, I was caught breathless by the poignant cost of their love. Will gave up his heart, sailing ten years without touching land, for the privilege of spending one day each decade with his wife. It makes a touching tale.

But it makes a pathetic marriage. “For better or for worse” carries more than a few days’ commitment. Marriage is about becoming one, joining lives. However, based on Elizabeth and Will’s relationship to the point of their wedding, they weren’t cut out for a marriage. Letting Will rescue her, and then moving on with life, maturing into a woman interested in a life built around another person, might have been better than the one day per decade marriage.

This conclusion from a negative example (what could happen if my romantic ideals had been gratified in the days of chivalry) helped me to finally embrace that non-romantic code. My friends agree: to be surrounded by good, courteous, self-sacrificing young men is pleasant and edifying. Obviously we are not going to marry every man who holds the door open, or who defends our lives in international wars. Such services are honorable, and we all benefit from and respect the men willing to do them.

Aragorn was such a knight. He had pledged his love long ago to a woman basically unconcerned in the military campaigns he led. Eowyn noticed his nobility when he arrived at Meduseld, spoke to her kindly and intelligently, and was respectful to her beloved uncle. Perhaps she was a romantic like me, assuming that happily ever after meant the knight who rides in on his white horse to rescue her automatically would fall in love with and marry her, or at least, in dark times, let her die with him. The kingly, weathered Aragorn had more wisdom and patient faithfulness than to surrender to romantic ideology. He refused Eowyn’s shadow-love in one of the tenderest scenes in the trilogy. In the end, each player in this saga found their place, and met it with fire-tested maturity. Aragorn became the people-serving king with his long-beloved Arwen at his side. Eowyn discovered love, hope, gentleness, healing and humility in her friendship with Faramir. Faramir himself took up his role as steward, a prince tending a garden-land and inspiring a weary people by his example. He was the husband who could be at Eowyn’s side for life.

In him Eowyn was choosing the ideal of her maturity. I love Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen for presenting everyone as human, and especially for vividly portraying this contrast in heroes alongside the transition in her heroine, Marianne. In the end Colonel Brandon was her choice, having belayed her attraction to every other childish crush, however honorable he was, like the prince described in the Three Weavers. Neither gratitude nor pity nor obligation are good reasons for marriage anymore than infatuation. Yet each of these has its good place in the world. So also chivalry has its place, and however the romantics may rail, the sensible woman will cherish the old code.

To God be all glory.

Disclaimer: I’m still a romantic. In no way am I saying that marriage should be shunned for the chivalric order. The point here is that marriage is so sacred that it should be entered only if the knight and lady are that and more.

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Mead

That’s right. I’m going to write about intoxicating drink. But only a specific kind, and with no particular endorsement to drink it. I never have. See, I’m writing about the word.

“Mead” is a very old word, having its roots in the Indo-European and being specifically attested before 900 A.D. Saying “mead” is also very pleasant, for it is simple and vivid and sounds nice. The habitation of Bambi, a meadow, also contains that word, and I am sure they are connected. Another word, very closely related to mead, is “meadery.” There is a meadery in my state, and when we were searching for activities to entertain our high school Awana group during our “trip” to Denver, I came across it. Alas, I didn’t think parents would appreciate their children receiving such a tour.

My large forty-year-old dictionary (Webster’s New Twentieth Century Dictionary Second Edition, 1966) defines mead, “an alcoholic liquor made of fermented honey, malt, spices, and water to which yeast has been added.”

Dictionary.com has the following definitions:
1. an alcoholic liquor made by fermenting honey and water.
2. any of various nonalcoholic beverages.
(Random House)

The etymology of this ancient word, as described by the Online Etymology Dictionary, is:
mead (1)
“fermented honey drink,”
Old English medu, from Proto-Germanic. *meduz
(cf. Old Norse mjöðr, Danish mjød, Old Frisian, Middle Dutch mede, German Met “mead”),
from Proto-Indo-European base *medhu– “honey, sweet drink
(cf. Sanskrit madhusweet, sweet drink, wine, honey,”
Greek methy “wine,”
Old Church Slavonic medu, Lithuanian medus “honey,”
Old Irish mid, Welsh medd, Breton mez “mead”).
Synonymous but unrelated early Middle English meþeglin yielded Chaucer’s meeth.
mead (2)
“meadow,” Old English mæd “meadow,”
from Proto-Germanic *mædwon
(cf. Dutch made, German Matte “meadow,”
Old English mæþharvest, crop“),
from Proto-Indo-European *metwa-, from base *me– “mow” (see mow).

And of course the etymology of “meadow” is:
Old English mædwe, originally “land covered in grass which is mown for hay,” oblique case of mæd (see mead (2)).

So the word has to do with honey, with land covered in grass (which is mown). The image presented to me is that of a spring-green field of grass bordered by honeysuckle and other small, fragrant flowers visited by bees. On such a field would JRR Tolkien’s wood-elves have feasted, raising goblets to toast with the sweet wine made from honey and fresh spring-water. Since Tolkien was a philologist and etymologist, he was likely trying to make such a point by introducing mead in a meadow.

Oh no. There’s another thing. Wine is romantic. Or at least mead is. In such opinion I am joined by the Redstone Meadery:

It is so ancient a beverage that the linguistic root for mead, medhu, is the same in all Indo-European languages where it encompasses an entire range of meanings, which include honey, sweet, intoxicating, drunk and drunkenness. For this reason it has been suggested that fermented honey may be the oldest form of alcohol known to man.-Mikal Aasved, 1988

May Maelgwn of Mona be affected with mead, and affect us, From the foaming mead-horns, with the choicest pure liquor, Which the bees collect, and do not enjoy. Mead distilled sparkling, its praise is everywhere.-XCIII Song to Mead, Book of Taeliessin XIX

Mead. Mention of it evokes images of heroes and romantic tales, of castle feasts and chivalry. Legends surround it, that of golden nectar, swirling in a goblet chased with silver, with the heady, erotic aroma of honey caressing the senses. We see Vikings, downing great tankards of frothy mead after a successful raid. One can imagine a beautiful maiden, holding the stirrup cup in her lithe hand, offering it along with a shy smile to the handsome and chivalrous knight preparing to go off to battle.

The -ery part of meadery can even be fascinating (if you’re like me).
-er is a suffix in colloquial usage, added to nouns meaning a thing or action connected with (as in diner)
-y (2)
adj. suffix, “full of or characterized by,” from Old English –ig, from Proto Germanic *-iga (cf. German –ig), cognate with Greek –ikos, Latin –icus.

This means a “meadery” is a thing connected with, full of, and characterized by honey wine.

As a final disclaimer, I must mention the following verses: Proverbs 20:1, Proverbs 23:29-35, Isaiah 5:11, 22; Ephesians 5:18

(all bold emphases mine)

To God be all glory.

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A while ago I defined romance: “According to Wikipedia, romanticism is ‘an artistic and intellectual movement that originated in late 18th century Western Europe… a reaction against the rationalization of nature, in art and literature it stressed strong emotion as a source of aesthetic experience… ‘ Thus, to say something is romantic in this sense is to say it is emotional, slightly irrational, and adventurous.”

I’ve recently discovered a few more examples of things that are romantic (like pirates):

  • umbrellas
  • horse-drawn carriages
  • quilts
  • (from zjramsli) the Marine Corps Hymn
  • roll top desks
  • (from believer) inkwell pens
  • (from believer) calligraphy
  • (from believer) classical music
  • (from believer) screened in porches
  • (from zjramsli) GA Henty books
  • (from zjramsli) superheroes
  • doors held open for ladies
  • old books with underlined passages and notes in the margins
  • hats (but not baseball caps)
  • candles
  • willow trees
  • bridges

Use comment section for further submissions.

To God be all glory.

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While I’m posting about movies, particularly Wives and Daughters, which I had to put in to transcribe the quote in the prior post, I thought I’d throw out this comment about heroines in movies.

My favorite (romantic) movies are ones in which the heroines prove that love is worth the wait. Even if the movie is not one of my favorites for other reasons, if that is part of the plot, I’m encouraged. In Wives and Daughters Molly loves Roger very selflessly, for a long time, without ever pursuing him. She waits for him to come after her, and in the end, as you can imagine, their love is very sweet.

Win a Date with Tad Hamilton is another movie in which the theme of waiting, while blurred, stands out to me. In the end there is no need to rush to expressions of romance. A love worth waiting for is content to express itself every day, to rest in the security of knowing the other’s love.

As a little girl I loved Brigadoon, and one of the main songs: Waitin’ for Me Dearie. “Waitin’ for m’ dearie, and happy am I to hold my heart ’til he comes strollin’ by.” There is no need to trifle with the hearts of others along the way. “For you see, I believe that there’s a laddy weary and wanderin’ free, who’s waitin’ for his dearie, me.”

Pride and Prejudice nearly opens with Elizabeth’s confession: “nothing but the very deepest love will induce me to matrimony… so I will end an old maid.” She is willing to hold out for real love even if it never comes. Compare her opinion with her sister’s and her best friend’s. Lydia sacrifices real love for rushed lust. Charlotte despairs of love and settles for comfort.

A new movie with this theme is The Lake House, in which the characters wait for years without meeting in person. And there is nothing like Jane Austen’s Persuasion (best in book form so far; look forward to the BBC production) for encouraging one to hang on.

To God be all glory.

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