Readers often criticize romance stories and romance books for the concept of “love at first sight.” The consensus most often expressed is that “love at first sight” isn’t “love”, as in the true love of your soul, but rather just a physical phenomenon, a pheromone reaction to certain identifiers that your psyche recognizes on a level you don’t cognitively realize. Basically, the attraction is supposedly sexual instead of emotional.
I personally believe that God has destined certain people to be together. I remember hearing an interview with a well-known American missionary in Asia when asked about why she never married. She replied, “I believe God intended for me to marry and actually told my husband to meet me in Asia. However, I think he did not listen to the call and never came.” She believed that God had designed someone for her, who would be the perfect “one” for her.
As I write this, I think of so many classic fairy tales that have entertained people for centuries. Sleeping Beauty specifically comes to mind. The prince falls in love with Sleeping Beauty while she sleeps a poisoned sleep. Their eyes hadn’t even met yet; however, he succeeded in waking her with “true love’s kiss”. In Cinderella, the prince meets her at the ball and dances just one dance with her. He knew he loved her, yet he didn’t know where she lived, anything about her family, or even so much as her name. In Little Mermaid, Ariel falls in love with the prince after saving his life and dragging his body to the shore. She gives up her entire world to make her way to his side but had never even so much as spoken to him.
Beyond fiction, we can look to God’s word to see the times he intentionally brought a man and a woman together. When God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him,” (Genesis 2:18 NKJV) there are two Hebrew words that could have been used for “not good.” One is ‘ên tôb, which means something is lacking. As in, this coffee lacks cream, or these mashed potatoes lack salt. The other word is the one that is used: lõ’tôb, which means absolutely bad. As in, it is absolutely bad that man is alone, so I will make for him a helper.
If it is absolutely bad for man to be alone, then it therefore must be positively good for man to be in love with a woman and be one with that woman in marriage. We are designed to want to be in a relationship with someone. We are commanded by God to make that relationship monogamous, permanent, and, above all, a reflection of Christ’s relationship with us, of Christ’s agape love for us. That commandment holds true whether our eyes met across a crowded room and we knew divine providence brought us together, or whether we’ve spent years getting to know one another before finally realizing a relationship had started to form, or some story that falls in between those two extremes.
After God created “the woman” and Adam saw her for the first time, he offered the first example of prophecy we find in scripture, “Surely, this is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh… Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Even though the first two people on earth had no earthly father or mother, Adam could envision and prophetically proclaim the condition of the entire human race that would follow after he and the woman became one flesh.
When Jacob first saw Rachel, he immediately assisted her with a strength of several men that allowed him to roll a huge stone out of the way so that she could gain access to the well, and then kissed her. Not long after, he asked her father’s permission to take her as his wife.
I have a personal “Love at First Sight” story that I have shared on my blog before. You can read the whole thing at this link. Here is a quote from it:
I was married, recently separated, and absolutely exhausted. But talking with this beautiful, brilliant man about marriage was the most natural thing in the world. Until that moment in time, I would have said that “love at first sight” was something romance writers like me just used as a plot launch. I would never, ever have believed it to be a real “thing”. But I can tell you in all honesty right now, I fell in love with Gregg the moment we met, and that love has done nothing but multiply over the years.
When a husband loves his wife with the perfect, agape love of Christ, and when his wife gives him unconditional respect and a tender affectionate love in return, then you have a perfect model of a marriage as given to us by God. You have the two becoming “one” – a powerful force with which to be reckoned.
Even in a “love at first sight” relationship, whether that “love” is truly considered emotional or sexual, it can still become something wonderful and God-centered. In God’s perfect design for marriage, when you have a husband and wife loving and respecting each other, and keeping their eyes and hearts on God and His perfect agape love, then you have the two of them coming closer together while they grow closer to God.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
In Luke 10:27, Christ expanded on that command and included, “with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind.”
We have husbands commanded to love their wives as Christ loved the church, and we’re commanded to love the Lord God with everything inside of us. I think that means that when we love God with everything inside of us, with all of our being, then that love spills out into our relationships – spouse, children, friends, neighbors, needy — I believe that when we learn to love God as we’re supposed to, then the other love we have is perfected.
God is love. Christ showed us perfect love. And, the closer we grow to God, the closer we grow to the one we love.
I’ve written a couple of “love at first sight” stories. One specifically was A Melody for James. Melody and James met in an airport while a storm delayed their flight. The shared a meal and talked, talked some more, shared a cab from the airport, ended up sharing another meal, and parted ways each feeling strong feelings that didn’t make sense for such a short relationship. Three years would pass before they met again. Their meeting and unexpected separation seriously affected each of them. When they met again, it was as if the universe got put back to right again. You can read an excerpt from A Melody for James at this link.
What about you? What do you think about “love at first sight” stories?