The Hallmark logo has been around for a long time – at least as long as I can remember. It signifies caring enough to send the very best. I’m not sure who came up with that sentiment, but it stands to reason, because Hallmark cards have a tradition of being one step above the rest. Back in the 1950’s branding was becoming that nature of the advertising beast and Hallmark got it right the first time. Over the years, Hallmark and Valentine’s Day have almost become synonymous. With the popularity of that branding, came the Hallmark movies about love and romance, which continued to feed the appetite of those longing for the perfect relationship.
I think because of the nature of women, we need to dream of happy endings, partly because God created women to be nurturers, caretakers, tender and loving. He knew women would have the strength to carry children. He knew men could gain good counsel and encouragement from women. We are not the weaker sex. In my opinion, we’re an extension of man – created from him – part of him – a helper for him and someone to share our love with.
The Hallmark movies always have a similar theme. A woman is engaged in a successful career – she needs more to fulfill her existence – she meets a guy – there is an attraction, but there’s always something standing in their way. In the end, she gets her man and they live happily after. Sounds like another “Cinderella” story to me. But what happens when Prince Charming discovers that she has housemaid’s knees and callouses on her hands from physical work? What if she finds that he has a wandering eye and because of his royalty, he feels entitled to live like a prince and put her on the back burner? In other words, when reality sets in, the happy endings only occur if there is a lot of give and take.
The Proverbs 31 woman isn’t one who is perfectly manicured, bathed in oil, beautifully coiffed. She’s a hard worker. She gets up before the rest of the family to make plans for the day, which always include them. She isn’t self serving. She’s virtuous and God fearing. Not an easy task, is it? All of the elements of the perfect role model are pretty hefty and often unattainable, but when love is behind her actions and God is leading them, they are not insurmountable. Just like the Hallmark movies are an example of what true love could be, the Proverbs 31 wife is one we should strive to be, but be willing to accept it if we fall short.
The reality of life will get in the way of perfection. We need to remember that when we enter any kind of partnership. Be willing to accept flaws and work through them. Be willing to forgive, forget and move forward. Jesus was the perfect example of what love is. He left His heavenly throne to live among us. He suffered pain, humiliation, brute force, torture and death because of His great love for us. He died. He came back to life and returned to heaven to prepare a place for those who believe in Him. That’s love.