It’s April 1st, known to many as April Fools’ Day, day marked for many by pranks and mischief (or one that goes on as normal with little notice, ha ha!). Since I recently did a post on pranks for my third Sinclair Sisters book, I won’t do a repeat of that. Instead, let’s talk about characters who make fools of themselves for love!
Embarrassing moments aren’t much fun to experience firsthand, but boy are they a delight to read in a rom-com. Whether it’s a meet cute gone wrong or a grand gesture that requires a bit of humble pie, there’s no denying the glee (and vicarious cringes) we readers find in a moment we’d prefer not to endure ourselves but LOVE when our characters do. Ah, catharsis, am I right? And what is more satisfying in a romance than the delicious moment the hero or heroine (especially one who has behaved badly due to pride or misunderstanding) is FINALLY willing to do whatever it takes to win the heart of the one they love?
Now, I’m using the term “fool” in a more modern sense for this post than the kind described in the Old Testament. For example, Proverbs 14:3a, “A fool’s mouth lashes out with pride,” or the warning in Ecclesiastes 7:5, “Better to be criticized by a wise person than to be praised by a fool.” Or even Proverbs 19:1, “A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted.” Dozens of Proverbs describe fools as unwise, pleasure-seeking, someone who speaks without thinking, ineloquent, worthless, unfaithful, untrustworthy, lazy, among other undesirable traits. None of which are qualities we enjoy reading in a hero or heroine, am I right? Though, really, when a character has behaved like a biblical fool and on realizing their folly humbles themselves, that’s essentially what I’m trying to convey here—becoming a fool as a means to humble oneself for the sake of love.
That’s the kind of fool Paul calls himself in the New Testament. In 1 Corinthians 3:18-19, Paul says, “Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” He reminds us we belong to God, and not to follow human ways but God’s. In 2 Corinthians 11, in comparison to false teachers who boast about their successes but reveal themselves to be true fools, Paul makes himself a “fool” by boasting of his weakness. Paul wasn’t afraid or intimidated by others or by his past, he was so sold out to Christ that he did whatever it took to spread the gospel and minister to people.
And I don’t think it’s really much of a leap to extend this kind of dedication or foolishness to a relationship intended for marriage (IRL or fictional). After all, Paul commanded husbands to love their wives as Christ loved the church, giving himself up for her, and Jesus Himself said there’s no greater love than laying down one’s life (self) for a friend. Love goes the distance, does whatever it takes, even if it costs us everything.
Sometimes I think it’s harder for us to lay down our PRIDE than our lives. It’s certainly more likely to come up in an everyday situation. The Bible is filled with examples of people refusing to humble themselves and paying the price, as well as those who did and were rewarded. It’s a character trait God places a high priority on, which (in my opinion) accounts for why humility and a willingness to sacrifice (aka dying to oneself) might be among the most alluring heroic traits in real life as well as fiction.
So I’d love to ask what Christian romances you’ve read in which the hero or heroine made a fool of themselves for love? Remember, I’m defining foolishness as humbling oneself, acknowledging their own pride or a mistake and laying themselves down in the name of love. And of course, since I’m a sucker for a good rom-com and it’s April Fools’ Day, I’d love your recommendations for titles where maybe that happened a bit embarrassingly or publicly in a humorous way! (And you’re always invited to leave other comments below with your thoughts on the topic. I always enjoy our conversations!)
Until next time,