Why We need to reclaim Heroic Love
This post was inspired by the book Wild at Heart by John Eldredge
As women we desire to be captivated by beauty, and part of an adventure that is greater than ourselves. We want to be pursued and fought for. We ask these questions: “Am I lovely? Am I chosen? Will you pursue me? Do you delight in me?” But so easily we “get lost somewhere between once upon a time and happily ever after” (John Eldredge).
We want a hero but so easily we just settle for charming. He doesn’t fight for our hearts - we just give our hearts without any cost. We let the prince into the castle without him having to fight the dragon. I know as a teen so many of my girl friends believed it was better to be used than to be ignored. We are struck by a wound that lies to us: “you’re not beautiful and no one will fight for you” (Eldredge). This is so far from the truth! We deserve to be honoured and for someone to study us, love us, and cherish us.
We live in a culture of self preservation. We are told that to be liberated we must depend on ourselves alone, we must be efficient and tough. Our femininity becomes something we deem as a weakness when it is such a great gift. We don’t want anyone to fight for our hearts for fear of someone seeing through us. We hide our desires, our dreams, and our hearts because we think our desires are too great or too idealistic. We doubt that we have any beauty to unveil at all. These lies add bricks around our hearts and we create a tower around us to protect ourselves from being hurt - “we offer our bodies but never ever our souls” (Eldredge).
We want to be the heroines but we don't want to risk vulnerability. Men want to be heroic knights but they don't want to bleed like one (Eldredge). The way we treat the heart is so crucial - we accept the love we think we deserve. If we never believe we are worth fighting for, anything will do.
As women, we need to captivate, and inspire men to be strong, dignified and courageous. Our zest for life, our intelligence, our wisdom are all gifts that God has bestowed on us. Uplift the men in your lives and don’t nag or emasculate them by putting them down. Strive to encourage by your example of virtue. Be valiant, and be vulnerable. Protect your heart but at the same time reveal your heart to those who have earned your trust. Don’t stay hidden in the tower of fear and bitterness but allow yourself to be captivating. Challenge men to be real men through your femininity. Consider Mary’s femininity - her virtue and strength inspired Joseph to be courageous and a warrior. He delighted in Mary through his love and sacrifice - he offers Mary his strength. “There under the shadow of a man’s strength, a woman finds rest” (Eldredge).
Men, we need you to reclaim our hearts and restore our hope in true masculinity. Fight for what is true, good and beautiful. We know you are fighting a great battle - don’t give up, stay strong, keep on the course, don’t hesitate to protect. It is going to cost you - this won’t be easy but anything heroic is worth the pain. The willingness to die to set others free is what makes a hero. Continue to sacrifice as a warrior and die to self for love. I know that is a tall order - it’s not a small, trivial to-do list but a sobering, difficult challenge. I know giving your life and love can be extremely scary. So many men don’t offer what they have to women because deep down they know it isn’t enough. No matter how virtuous, athletic, successful, hardworking or talented you are you will never be enough for your bride because you were never meant to fulfill each other. Continue to give of yourself. Allow your strength to swell through solid friendships, experiences and your faith.
Our desires are infinite - how can we hope to fill our hearts with the finite? Only God can fill that gap in your heart. Let Him in. He is what you crave when you are drawn to beauty and love. “The confusion begins when [men] turn to the woman not to offer our strength, but rather looking to her for our validation” (Eldredge). Look to God for validation - only He can fulfill and answer the desires of your heart. “Learning to fight for the Beauty is not only one of man’s core passions, it is one of life’s greatest joys” (Eldredge). When we meet someone, it can be easy to make them the center of our universe but remember to always privilege the Giver over the gift. Make this your daily prayer: “You do not turn the earth. nor determine my worth. I pray I never crown you as a god” (Alanna Boudreau). Let us make selflessness and courage our goal this year. We need each other. You are worthy of epic love. You are worth fighting for and protecting.
Let us pray: Jesus please come and rescue me - deliver me from the lies that plague me. Help me to believe in my true identity as a chosen, beloved, beautiful daughter of God. Speak this truth to my heart and pursue me always Lord so that I may never settle for less than I deserve.