Sitting at the dentist’s office, I hear another advertisement for a reality show that toys with the idea of love before sight. Love at first sight is difficult enough to embrace, but love before sight? That seems a genuine stretch. Living in a world that, for the most part, rejects prearranged marriages, I wonder what the fascination is with watching how and if relationships will develop under odd circumstances. In a simple Google search, I found fifteen reality shows boasting similar themes. What draws a viewer to this genre of entertainment?
According to one source, we are drawn to the shows because we are fascinated with love. Humans are created with the need to give and receive love. When we experience love and affection, our brains release hormones that make us feel good (dopamine and oxytocin). Watching portrayals of love and affection causes our brains to release these hormones. So while we know the relationship is not real or won’t last, it makes us feel good in the moment.
That makes sense to me. But what if I looked to the One who created that need in me? What if I filled my mind with the truth of His love for me?
If I pause for a few minutes and recall to mind my first encounters with Dave, my joy increases. I remember how I felt when I knew that he chose ME! I remember how I felt when I chose HIM. It didn’t take long after we met for interest to spark and grow into something lasting and substantial. But it required that we meet.
God’s love for me is not like that. You see, before he created anything, before he met me, he already loved me. He didn’t even have a habitat for me yet but I was chosen.
4Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes.Ephesians 1:4
What if I sat with that for awhile today? Which part of my brain would be ignited? Which hormones would be released?
If this seems unreasonable to you, I might ask what you meditate on throughout the day? Do you read books, watch TV or movies that portray romantic love? Do these portrayals stir within the desire to be loved unconditionally? To be chosen?
The Truth is you already are. There is a Creator who loves you and goes to the craziest lengths to show you. When I consider these words from Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus, I see God planning Creation. His first thoughts were for me and you — humans. And then he designed an environment where we could prosper and live — earth. But first, he loved us and chose us to be his.
And that’s the best kind of love story there could ever be!