I feel important; I actually went to a movie premier.
Last week I went to the premier of Coyote County Loser, an independent film by Roebuck Media.
This was a very funny romantic comedy with an excellent message about marriage.
The movie centers around two characters: Jack, a love-em-and-leave-em heart throb from LA, and Lauren, a down-to-earth country girl who demands high standards from men.
Lauren is a love advice-giving radio show host in (very, very) small town New Mexico. The thing is that she gives horrible advice, coaching women to have a “non-negotiable checklist,” or NNCL, in the hunt for a mate. What’s hilarious is what she coaches the women to put on the list. Jesus wouldn’t even meet their standards!
Men are not grocery lists, and the search for a marriage partner is not like the search for buying a car (another analogy she uses frequently). If I dated a woman with that attitude, I’d feel quite degraded.
Jack comes along. He gets stuck in the one-horse town on his way to LA. After listening to the show, he recognizes the silliness, and decides to challenge her on the air. His advice is just as askew; he takes a “follow your heart” attitude, calling out the romantic in all of us.
Sounds good, until you realize that Lauren’s mother left her father when she took just such an attitude. Dad, evidently, no longer made mom happy. He no longer lit the romantic spark in her, so she was outta there. This wreaked incredible brokenness in Lauren, so much so that she went to a far extreme in an effort to protect herself.
A “legacy marriage” couple provides the balance, though. They have been married for 48 happy years. The wife had no list; the husband, at first, was quite awkward at romance. What did they have that Jack and Lauren overlooked? Commitment. They know that love means sacrificing for the other, and that has made their 48 years together more romantic than Jack could ever imagine, and stronger than any ingredient Lauren’s “list” mentality could ever provide.
Though we might mock Jack and Lauren in our minds, they reflect common attitudes about love, don’t they? How many women have I run into with a NNCL? Even if they don’t call it that, the things they require to even consider *one* date with a man are ridiculous.
Sure, having a few requirements is necessary: follower disciple of Christ, wants to embrace responsibility, wants to be a dad, etc. But, geez, cut out the laundry list! No wonder they are still single!
I admit: I used to have a NNCL myself. I didn’t realize how degrading and stupid that was.
We also go the other extreme, throwing caution to the wind, dating and loving whomever we fancy. If he is hot and you like him, go for it! Who cares if he’s not a solid Christian; he makes you happy, and that’s all that matters. He’s soooo dreamy, and there’s soooo much chemistry between us (translate: he’s great in bed).
Pardon me while I go wretch.
Strangely, many of us manage to have both attitudes at the same time. I don’t know how we do it.
Yes, it is downright silly to compare a man to any list one may have. Having an element of spontaneous romance is fun.
Yes, if all you think about is what will make you happy, you will end up trampling on others’ hearts and becoming quite a pit-i-ful creature yourself. Relationships are serious business; there is no time for this “whatever makes you happy” claptrap.
Jack and Lauren must meet in the middle to find the truth; however, without the commitment to sacrifice for the other, any relationship is only doomed to end in smoke and rubble.
Go see the movie.
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