I am so stinking excited about Christmas, and it is only a few more months till I can watch Lifetime and Hallmark movies ALL DAY LONG!!!!! I have to admit the super sappy ones that are completely predictable, and have anyone from the cast of Full House in them, are my favorites. But I realized something last year, as I was bingeing out on Hallmark movies, and its been something i have been thinking a lot about lately. Last Christmas I was on the tail end of finalizing a painful divorce. I had moved an hour away from my hometown and taken a 24/7 365 days a year shift work job in public safety. I was not too thrilled about the holidays because of being away from home. But the holidays had always been such a big part of my life and something I had looked forward to every year. I found myself slipping into depression and holiday movies became my escape.
I noticed that though, in all reality, these movies were not very good for my heart in that particular time in my life. They distorted my view of reality and actually pulled me into a fantasy world where everything was always happy and beautifully decorated, families were always together, and the girl always got the most amazing guy under the mistletoe at just the perfect time. The characters in these movies were never alone on Christmas, they were always being swept off their feet and everything always worked out the way it “should”
When I saw commercials start to play for Christmas movies a few weeks ago I began to think about how much these movies had impacted my heart and how even though i was so excited about them I began to think about how I could protect my heart from the disappointment when my world does not line up with the fairy tale view of especially relationships, that I was escaping to in these movies. I remember a conversation I had with a staff member of the campus ministry I was involved with in college, that at the moment I thought was absolutely crazy, but when i really thought about it I realized there was a lot of truth to what this Godly woman had said to us, and that she had been right in a lot of ways.
We were at a girls retreat one weekend and we were talking about protecting your heart and setting realistic expectations for relationships and then she said something that i thought at the time was redecioulus. She told us that romantic comedies and typical chick flicks can be just as bad for some girl as porn is for guys. I was like WOAH WOAH WOAH Chick slow your role!!!! I remember thinking so this lady is telling me that The Proposal, Hope Floats, or Two Weeks Notice ( are you noticing a trend? I love Sandra Bullock)…is hurtful to me like porn is to a man, and she said let me explain. She began to explain that Porn distorts God’s view of sexuality as well as the expectation to many men of what women should look like. Pornography is directed and glorified and, lets be real, a real relationship rarely if ever looks that way.
A man’s (or woman’s) reality of sex usually becomes warped by watching pornography, in more ways than one, but I’ll just sum it up to say that God’s view of sex can come across boring to some people in relation to a clip of pornography, and women in a man’s life may have imperfections that the woman in pornography may not have. When men watch porn, many times this becomes reality to them. They think their sex lives should measure up to what they see and that the woman in their life should also measure up to the women’s bodies they are viewing. It is not difficult for people to see how this can put a huge strain or even ruin a relationship.
She went on to talk about how “Chick Flicks” can do the same thing, if we allow it, to the heart of a woman. Romantic Movies can wreck the reality of what a relationship should look like and cause us to put unrealistic expectations on the man in our life. Lets be honest for one second. Most men are not by nature romantic. The movies we watch are scripted and these stories are written. I am not saying that chivalry should be dead. I am just simply saying many men are not romantic by nature, and to take a character, that was probably even created by a woman, and press him down on the man in your life as your expectations of him, can make your husband or boyfriend feel trapped and like he is always failing, and it will leave you feeling constantly disappointed in what he is not doing for you.
You should love your husband or boyfriend for who he is and see the blessings that he brings to your life, as well as his strengths for what they are. Of course there are some non negotiable attributes, and every woman has the things she needs in a relationship. Personally as a Christian woman I will not give my heart to a man that does not love the Lord and see the importance of church.and I have to have someone who makes me laugh.
But asking our men to step up to the example of these fictional characters who live in a “perfect world” and create the perfect dates and proposals is setting your relationship up for failure, as well as setting you up for disappointment. Our disappointment will turn to frustration and our frustration will turn to anger, and anger will turn to avoidance.
Do we really want to base our relationships on whether we receive good morning texts, or flowers, or if he plans a romantic horse drawn carriage ride under the stars or not. Instead shouldn’t we be more realistic and love someone for who they are and take the pressure off, and quit holding them to expectations that they don’t even know exist in our minds. If you want flowers, buy them for yourself, instead of being upset that he hasn’t brought you any. If you want a nice dinner, then plan it yourself and take him out. Notice the little things, be grateful for who he is and the qualities that matter. Don’t punish him because he doesn’t take your hand and stroll through a Christmas tree lot and sweep you off in a sleigh pulled by white horses through the snow, Most men really don’t even begin to think this way.
Love him for who he is and the qualities that he possesses that are so much more important than fictionalized romance. Does your man have these qualities?
- Does he love the Lord?
- Is he a provider?
- Is he a protector?
- Is he a planner?
- Is he gentle?
- Is he paitent?
- Is he Kind?
- Is he loving?
- Is he respectful?
- Is he affectionate?
- Is he or will he be a good father?
- Is he good to his family?
- Is he trustworthy?
- Does he work hard?
- Is he generous?