Prince Charming Syndrome

A woman becomes beautiful when she knows she's loved...Cut off from love, rejected, no one pursuing her, something in a woman wilts like a flower no one waters anymore. As women we long to be loved in a certain way, a way unique to our femininity. We long for romance. We are wired for it; it's what makes our hearts come alive. You know that. Somewhere, down deep inside you know this. But what you might never have known is this...This doesn't need to wait for a man.

~John and Stasi Eldredge in Captivating

I've been married now a little over four years. It doesn't sound like alot of time, but anyone who's been married any amount of time knows that it's long enough to have found and grieved over your husbands faults. It wasn't long, maybe a month into our marriage, that I found myself in a tizzy about something that my husband had done.

The truth is, even though I was a Christian, I had what I now loving call "Prince charming syndrome." I think most Christian women, married or not, have it. We want to marry...well...Jesus. We want a man like Michael Hosea in Redeeming Love, someone kindhearted, tender, wise, and will always lead our homes spiritually. We want that person who rescues and romances us and when our husbands (or potential husbands) fail to do this, our hearts feel heavy, empty, grieved.

I'd like to give us all a reality check. Men fail. Yes, even the most spiritual ones will at some point fail us. No man can be kind hearted, tender, loving, spiritually relevant, and wise all of the time. I see single woman idolize marriage all the time, and I see married women idolize what they think their husbands "should be like."

And it all comes down to that God sized hole we all have in our hearts. We're created for romance and passionate love, but that love comes from God, if we'll accept it. I rolled my eyes when I heard this the first time. "God can't romance me. He's up there in the sky, and I'm down here. I need real romance."

One of my pastors says that we're all in bondage to bad definitions. When we hear romance we think candles, roses, chocolates, walks on the beach, and long drawn out kisses. Actually the word 'romance' comes from the root 'roman' used to describe first the languages that came out of roman or 'latin', and then the literature (mostly written in french) to describe tales of knightly adventure and chivalry.

The literature movement as Fairchild describes it was "A desire to find the infinite within the finite." And isn't that what you want when you think of romance? A change from the ordinary, an extraordinary experience, something to make you believe there's more to life than just the mundane?

This is why John Eldredge in his book Captivating calls romance the 'root of all holiness.' God longs for your to experience extraordinary things with Him, to know that there is more to life than what you see. But only God can make that happen, not man.

See, the trouble with 'Prince Charming syndrome' is that we become so focused on what's wrong with our husband, that we fail to enjoy and accept them as they are. 'Romans 15:7Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.' Once we are free and filled with the love of God, we can stop forcing others to fill our needs and start accepting and even enjoying them.

That's the key to a great marriage, those couples who have been together 50 years. It's that they've come to accept each other, just they way they are, just who God created them to be. They aren't constantly pressing their partner to fill their needs, so they can enjoy them more. And the secret about getting our needs from God is that once we're all filled up, we can give it out, and if both partners are doing this ladies and gents, it's a beautiful beautiful recipe for love.


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