There are several standard plots in Hallmark movies. They are far from realistic in some ways, though I can’t help watching them often, especially this holiday season. These movies represent typically a woman longing for unconditional love. She finds different kinds of love through the course of the film. We all cheer in the end at what the man and woman both find, and truly it’s an “Awwwh, I want that moment” for most women watching, but let’s a take a look at the Hallmark kind of love.
The Hallmark Kind of Love
- It is friendship love that falls short of the deepest desire for enduring true love.
In practically every plot we see the longing of the woman to be married to a perfect prince, to sweep her off of her feet. In the beginning of the movie we see that she’s so in love with the idea of marriage, that she stays in a relationship with the perfect guy. He doesn’t “ruffle her feathers” about anything. He doesn’t challenge her. He is so much like her in his personality, goals, and interests, that there’s really no adventure or tension in the relationship. She’s been with this guy for a long time, not seeing that he is really not what she needs to be with the rest of her life. She doesn’t realize that loving someone and being in love with someone are not the same. She only really has “friendship love” with her boyfriend. The boyfriend has to be the one to break up with her, often right at the moment that she thinks he is going to propose to her!! She is mortified. After the relationship ends, the Hallmark girl is hoping to find true love, but is often a bit jaded, and not sure it will ever happen for her.
2. It is romantic love that is based on feelings.
When the girl meets a new guy who is nothing like her last boyfriend, she often clashes with him. He might get under her skin in some ways because he does not totally agree with her on some things. However, the more she’s around him she becomes more and more attracted to him. They start to develop some friendship intimacy and she is actually kind of taken off guard by how much she starts to like him. He falls in love with her, and she falls in love with him through some really beautiful life experiences. They find that though they are different, they really enjoy being with each other. Then, there’s some kind of complication that causes her to either run from him or him to run from her. A friend or family member talks them into running back to each other because they know that they have found true love. They talk through their differences, he explains his heart for her, and it all works out beautifully because they both “feel” ooey-gooey after only knowing each other often for only a few weeks!
Who doesn’t want to feel ooey-gooey and in the euphoric state of being in love?! We all do! We all want that, but that kind of love is nothing like the love of God, which never, never, never, fails.
Why do we need the unconditional love of God?
- His love is committed to us for eternity.
Since I’ve watched so many of these movies I have begun to realize how many analogies there are to our relationship with Jesus as the lover of our souls. We have often been mesmerized and “in love” with the world or a person, only to find the world or the person dumping us or letting us down and leaving us. We feel as if we will never find anyone who will truly love us. However, the love of God is committed to for eternity. He will NEVER leave us or forsake us. We are yoked to Him in covenant when we have made Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord of our lives. Covenant is not broken even with death. He doesn’t break His covenant of love even if we run away from him for weeks, months, or years. He is always waiting with open arms. That’s a powerful love.
2. His love transforms us into better people.
The love of Jesus will come running after us, even if we are running from it. He is not like any other lover. He is gentle, kind, and has many qualities that we don’t have. He challenges us with new ideas and new ways of looking at ourselves, our lives, and other people. He even “ruffles our feathers” a bit because we don’t always think that what He thinks is right, but we can’t help but be intrigued by His suggestions, ideas, and sense of adventure! When we begin to give our heart to Him and open up to Him, and start trust Him, then His love transforms us.
3. His love is always present, every minute of the day and night.
In every human relationship we can not always be with that person. They are not present every second of the day. Well, His love is always near. After Jesus died, God sent the Holy Spirit as our counselor to live on the inside of us. He is present at all times to teach us all things we need to know. To comfort us, support us, calm us, give us joy, every minute of the day – and EVERY TIME we call out to Him. What kind of person can be there for you like that?! No human being on the face of the earth can or ever will be able to do that.
There’s been some seasons in my life when I think I got so focused on the cares of this world that I stopped connecting with the love of God. And sometimes when things weren’t going right, just like the Hallmark girl, I ran from being in the presence of my Lover and no longer was listening to what He had to say to me every day. I’m not currently in a relationship with a man on this planet, so as a single I have to stay connected to His love, or I become lonely, hopeless, depressed, fearful, and even angry. Oh, but when I do stay connected with that love, I look at my singleness in such a different way, and I am fully alive, fully aware that I already belong to One who gave up His life for me.
He’s waiting for you!
Maybe you’re the Hallmark character who has run from The One who loves you. Maybe you are in a season where you are upset with your first love, Jesus. He is waiting for you with open arms. He wants your heart again. His love for you is everlasting and unconditional. You may need to start wherever you are, even if your life is a mess because you have left Him out of the picture. This time really give Him your whole heart and soul. He will never leave you or forsake you. I promise, you will not be disappointed.
In the movie I watched last night the couple at the end had to re-introduce themselves to each other. Maybe you need to say, “Hi, Jesus, it’s me _________________. I need you in my life.”
He’s waiting for you. Your First Love is waiting. And this man is full of unconditional, agape love. He never ever gives up on you. He keeps no records of your wrongs. This man has written your name on the palm of His hand and knows how many hairs are on your head. This man gave up His life for yours. This is way better than the “Hallmark” kind of love. No comparison, period.
Jeremiah 29: 11‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 12‘Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13‘You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.
Song of Solomon 2: 4 He has brought me to his banquet hall, and his banner over me is love.
Song of Solomon 7: 10 I am my beloved’s, And his desire is for me.