I have no doubt that some of you have heard me say this before, but I will never tire of the way Will Turner looks at Elizabeth Swan in Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s as if no other woman on the planet exists, and the love he has for her is faithful, honorable and true from day one.
And you pessimists out there might be saying, “Yes, Jen, but it’s also fiction.”
My answer? First I must sigh, but believe it or not, I will admit that I have come to terms with the fact that Will Turner is not real. (Shocking!)
But really, when I see the way Orlando Bloom looks into Keira Knightley’s eyes throughout the first three Pirates movies, I am reminded of Christ and his bride. That might sound a little weird at first, but when I think of a man who is faithful and true, I can’t help but think of my rider on the white horse! (Revelation 19.)
This is because God has awakened my heart to see who he is and what he has done for me through Christ (more than ever before). He has also shown me who he is to me in a very personal way. He has been my rescuer and my intimate savior! And he has also shown me that true love should be a reflection of Christ and the church–a selfless and faithful love. After all, Christ WILL return for his bride. (Side note: Do you recall that even though Elizabeth is madly in love with William, she is unfaithful to him in two circumstances? Yet he forgives her fully and even marries her! To me, this is an additional reminder of how even though we fail, Christ offers us forgiveness through repentance!)
But this isn’t some strange correlation between earthly marriage and Christ’s bride that I came up with myself; I have to give credit John Piper for introducing me to this perspective. He wrote a book called This Momentary Marriage, and in it he describes marriage as “a vision of Jesus’s unswerving allegiance to and affection for his bride.” I haven’t read the book (yet), but I learned of it from this video about Ian and Larissa, and it was such an eye opener for me!
You see, true love is not selfish, it does not boast and it is not conceited…but it is selfless, and it should glorify God. But we are so often tempted to make love an idol by thinking we need someone to be happy – I know because I’ve been there. But guess what? The only “someone” you or I need in order to find true joy is Christ, who died on the cross to save us from our sins. And if we are blessed with a spouse during our journey as pilgrims passing through, then I think it’s only right that our ultimate purpose in that relationship is to honor and glorify God, who created us and ordained every day of our lives (Psalm 139)!
And I have one last thought for any singles reading this: My dad has always said that when you’re considering marriage, you should ask yourself, “Will marrying this person help me serve God better?”
Hmm. Something to keep in mind.