Love Defined: Seeing Through the Fairy-tale Facade

Jacob and Kaitlyn were both well-liked, a bit like local celebrities amongst their high school peers.

She was gorgeous. He was handsome. She was thin. He was strong. She was toned. He was athletic.

It only made sense that these two Hollywood look-alikes would end up in a romantic relationship. After many years of dating each other off and on, they finally decided to get serious about their future together.

When I heard that Jacob and Kaitlyn were finally going to tie the knot, I was excited. They made a drop-dead gorgeous pair! What could go possibly wrong?

Even though their dating history had been somewhat rocky, it felt like their intense love for one another would ultimately carry them through. I assumed that their stunning looks, passionate love, and mutual popularity would keep them together and “in love” forever.

That’s how fairy-tale endings go, right?

Fast forward a few years, and imagine my shock when Kaitlyn sadly announced that Jacob had filed for divorce and left her for another woman. His heart was “calling,” he had explained to her. His feelings were moving on. He needed to follow after them.

Kaitlyn was left alone to pick up the pieces of her broken heart.

Observing this sad ending to Jacob and Kaitlyn’s relationship gave me a major wake-up call. For the first time, I realized just how shortsighted my perspective on love and marriage had been.

I had believed the lie that we can define relationships according to our own terms and still get lasting, satisfying results. I convinced myself that we can ignore God’s design for love and romance and still have Christ-centered happily-ever-afters.

Boy, was I wrong.

Love Defined

In my new book, Love Defined: Embracing God’s Vision for Lasting Love and Satisfying Relationship, I introduce this false perspective of love as “The Fairy Tale Facade.”

The Fairy Tale Facade is like a beautiful false front. From the outside, it looks really good. Imagine a temporary front covering on the outside of an old, ugly building. The exterior looks great, but behind the false front is nothing more than a wreck.

The Fairy Tale Facade promotes the idea that we can completely ignore God’s design for love, sex, and romance, and still have lasting, satisfying results. It’s the idea that Hollywood can define love according to its own terms and still create happily ever afters. It’s the false belief that we can ignore the Creator’s perfect plan for our lives and still achieve complete satisfaction apart from His design. Despite all the lofty promises the Fairy Tale Facade offers, it’s nothing more than a false front.

That is exactly what I believed about Jacob and Kaitlyn’s relationship, and it’s honestly what I believed about my first serious relationship as well.

My view of relationships didn’t begin to truly change until I stopped and asked some pointed questions. Questions that began to expose this false view of love.

I want you to think through these questions, too:

  • If Hollywood’s version of true love works so well in the movies, then why doesn’t it work in real life?
  • If adultery is portrayed as free of consequences in TV shows, then why is it incredibly painful in real life?
  • If sex outside of marriage seems to bring such great satisfaction in chick-flicks, then why does it leave us empty and needing more in real life?
  • If one-night stands are so fun and thrilling, then why do they leave us so miserable?
  • If lasting love is defined by two beautiful people falling in love, then why is divorce so rampant?

It’s time for us to get real about the messages portrayed by Hollywood and the messages we’ve allowed our sinful hearts to believe. We need to acknowledge that modern relationships are not doing very well.

We need a better plan.
We need a better foundation to build our love lives upon.
The wisdom from fairy tales and chick-flicks isn’t going to cut it in the long run.

We need Christ’s help to redefine our definition of love.

Love Unpacked

Over the next week, my sister Kristen and I are going to dig into the best-of-the-best from our new book, Love Defined. We’ll unpack God’s vision for love and romance, show you how to thrive as a single girl, talk about boundaries in a romantic relationship, and share wisdom from several Titus 2 women whom we interviewed for the book.

To make things even more exciting, we’ll give away a copy of Love Defined with each post this week. Simply log in to the giveaway widget below, and leave us a comment for a daily chance to win.

Let’s get started! Think through these two questions and share your thoughts in the comments section below:

  1. Why do you think good looks and romantic passion aren’t enough to sustain a relationship long-term?
  2. If Hollywood’s version of true love works so well in the movies, then why doesn’t it work in real life?

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About Author

Bethany Beal

After a brief experience in the modeling industry, Bethany’s eyes were opened to how self-absorbed and lost her generation of young women really are. She and her older sister were inspired to start a blog (www.GirlDefined.com) and wrote a book Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. Their passion is to help young women find God’s truth about beauty and womanhood and the freedom that comes from living a radically different life for Christ.

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