I woke up this morning to an email from a friend with this link, and the words, “have you watched this yet? my husband just walked in to find me sobbing.” I don’t consider myself much of a crier (though… perhaps I should, because I do cry, and often. just not at the “typical girl things,” like puppies and sunsets and romantic movies and sappy country love songs), so even though I respect this friend, and know that everything she forwards to me is well worth the time to read or watch, I mentally dismissed the impact of the story within that link.
Still, I clicked it, I read the intro, and I began the video. Less than five minutes later I was curled up on the floor in my office sobbing my heart out.
. . .
Our culture talks about romance and “true love” as the ultimate achievement. It says— in every romantic comedy, in every advertisement, in every attraction-centered clothing design, in every book and comic and magazine article— that finding love and fulfillment and companionship should be sought above all else, and those left “without” are to be pitied above all, because they are missing out on a very key part of being human. My own industry exalts love and happiness above all— it prizes “finding the one,” focuses on weddings as “dreams come true,” and implies that singleness is the ultimate punishment that no one deserves.
Ian & Larissa‘s story tells something different. It’s a beautiful story of Christlike love, the kind that considers the betterment of the other ahead of self, that gives and gives and gives more, because that’s what love is, to give and not to get. Yes, this story is emotional, it is impactful, it is full of hard decisions mingled with breathless beauty. It forces the viewer to stop and gasp and take in something so above most of our comprehension that we are forced to ponder for a long, long while.
. . .
But that is not why I cried.
Not because “I’m emotional,” not because “oh, it’s so sweet!!” and not even because of the sweetness of God’s grace in their lives. I cried because Ian & Larissa’s evident love for Christ, for the Gospel, and for each other exposed the ugly selfishness in my own heart. I want to love like they love. And right now? At this moment? I don’t have that kind of selfless love in me. Their story forced me to my knees, left me sobbing uncontrollably, absolutely broken of my own selfish ideals, for the ways that I’ve believed lies— from Satan, from our culture, from my job field, from my peers, and from my own sinful desires— lies about love, about what it is, and about what “I deserve.”
My heart is so rebellious, so set on having my own way, and so determined to believe that God is isn’t as trustworthy, or praiseworthy, as I am. I’m praying desperately for a heart change. Join me in that, friends? That I would have this kind of love, that humbly chooses to serve, and to trust God, and to desire marriage because of the way that it pictures the Gospel, not because of how much joy and fulfillment I think I’ll get from it.
Watch Ian & Larissa’s story. Let it change us.
A Citygate Films Production
Copyright 2011 Desiring God