After all: "diamonds are forever" - "diamonds are a girl's best friend"
A couple of observations to introduce the topic. Recently there's been a run of the latest in the reality-TV series, the "Bachelor". I've not watched the series this time, but in the promos noticed it was set in Rome, with a 'prince' somebody-or-other. Well, the other evening as I had been doing something around the house, and the TV had been on "mute" after the evening news, I happened by to notice the Bachelor show was on. Apparently the final episode where two girls remained. So I turned up the volume and watched a few minutes. The man had spoken with the fathers of both girls for their "blessing", and according to the promos (I didn't watch long enough to see it all) the man asked one of the girls to marry him.
The thing worthy of note was the girls. During the final date, they each were giving the man their last-ditch pitches for why he should choose them. The one had gone for a sail boat ride; the other, pretending to like horses, obviously was not totally comfortable on the horse. In these shows they also have "private thoughts" where the girls, individually, are speaking into the camera about their thoughts, away from the man or other contestants. And in both cases, each girl was enamored with the 'idea' of marriage. They both liked the 'idea' of becoming -a- "princess". (Every little girl's fairy tale dream, to grow up and marry a "handsome prince", and live "happily ever after") But as I watched them on their 'dates' with the man, I was saying to the man (at the TV), "Duuude! -NEITHER- OF THEM!!!" It was obvious to me, even though the girls spoke of "love", that they did not truly -LOVE- the man. They had no concept of what love -is-. They were not 'one' with the man, but were enamored with the 'concept' of what such a marriage would do for them. In their 'private' comments to the camera the repeated concept, something on the order of: I could see myself married to this man. ... (Ho hum)
Move ahead...next day...at work: Lettering a sign for a customer, likely a pawn shop, catering to the season saying, "Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds" Lots of words "diamonds" sized, in sequence, to form the shape of a big diamond. As these "diamonds" were being applied to the sign, somehow my thoughts were also replaying the Bachelor show I had just seen the night before (the two seemed, somehow, related in concept), and I came up with an idea for a new kind of -REALITY- "romance" show.
Here goes... ready....?
Item: Who wants your dream man? Who wants to marry a "prince"? Do you want to live in the lap of luxury with all the amenities? (Of course, they would have clever ways of saying these things, professionally, to make it seem alluring and enticing. I'm only presenting the 'concept' here. Somebody else who knows 'show-biz' would work out the details.)
So hundreds of girls jump up, clapping and squealing wildly (like on Oprah). The 'star' says, "You who just jumped up and down screaming? We have a special surprise for you! COME ON DOWN! You're the next contestants to move to the next stage of the competition! Come on down! ...and go through this side door where the surprise is waiting for you!" They go into the room, the door is shut (Mt25:10), away from those remaining in the auditorium. Once in the room, another person in there makes an announcement to them, "Thank you, ladies, for coming. For you the show is over. Please exit out this other door, and be on your way home." This room is for those who do -NOT- get the 'rose'. The Prince is looking for a wife with other desires and priorities.
Next Item: Your ideal man is one who -knows- what you want, and knows how to give it to you. He likes to pamper and baby his woman. He knows you are worth so much, and wants to give you what you deserve. Does this fit you?
This time dozens of girls (not realizing what the first girls found) get up and go to the 'room', feeling dreamily excited. This time it's only 'dozens', because most of the girls left with the previous item. These girls, of course, get the same message, and go home.
How many other such questions might be asked, to weed out the 'players' from the genuine article? How many girls are left? A "few"? (Mt7:14) And by now, with all the glitz and glamour, the small 'handful' who remain, or is there only 'one' remaining? ...what are they thinking by this time? They have seen the phoniness of it all, and wanted no part in it, but had come because they heard they might find a husband.
Perhaps in the now-empty hall some sobbing is heard? Rejected! Dejected!
For the one remaining, the 'show' has just begun!
Yes, I know I know... such a romantic sap!
And then, when Ruth follows Naomi's instructions regarding approaching Boaz regarding him being a "kinsman redeemer" (essentially, when all is said and done... asking to marry him), he responds, "Blessed are you of Jehovah...you did not go after young men, WHETHER POOR OR RICH...for all the people of my town know that you are a woman of strength (virtue)." (Ru3:10-11)
Ruth did not set about to become a princess or for wealth (she had come to Israel to be under God's shadow), but ended up being the great grandmother of King David, an even higher honor historically. And even greater still, she was in the lineage of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Ruth was of the same attitude as Abigail, when David asks her hand in marriage, "And she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, Behold, your handmaid, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord." (1Sa25:41)
These kinds of hearts, contrasted to "Trisha" we observed back in 2004, who had not received the rose, but sassied up herself and boisterously (Pr7:10-13) grabbed the 'bachelor' from a date to offer herself to him, again, based on all her provocative sensuality.
Of course, the reason she had not received a rose was because it came to light that she had previously dated a married man. She was NOT a woman of 'virtue'. She was a (classic, textbook case) "strange woman". (Pr2:16, 5:3,20, 7:5) The REPORT about her was NOT good. Her refuge was NOT under the shadow of the wings of Jehovah of Israel.
This may be sounding like the topic is male-female relationships, and the qualities of a good wife. And we certainly have just addressed these things. But you astute ones already recognize the 'real' topic here.
In the recent "bachelor" episode it was obvious (to me) that the two girls were not really in love with the prince. But they were doing like most people do regarding the Most High.
They like the -concept- of "Heaven". They desire the -idea- of a "forever" where there is no more pain, crying, sickness, war, etc. They like to get all gussied up and go -to- 'church' where they can put on smiles, be friendly with lots of people, dance around to pagan music, get their emotional batteries charged up for another few days. They like being told from the pulpit that "God accepts you JUST AS YOU ARE". They are in it for -ME-.
They might just as well go to a taping of an Oprah program, for all the good any of that does them. The other day I happened to turn on the TV and saw a bit of her show. It was all about "me, me, me, me, myself, I, me, me". Several celebrities as guests, proclaiming how they had been 'down-n-out', until they looked inward and saw just how wonderful they "really were", and started paying more attention to "self", and 'realized' that they needed to do things for Me, Myself and I.
On the other hand, the one Jesus proclaimed who went home "justified" was the one who in humility beat on his breast saying, "God, be merciful to me a sinner!" (Lk18:13)
And once saved, the person does not seek all the spiritual pleasures, asking, "What can God do for me, but what can I do for God?" (like JFK's famous speech in 1960) A person who has "counted the cost" (Lk14:28), asking Jesus, "What do You have in mind for me to do?" (Ac9:6) and says, "I will very gladly spend and be spent for your souls; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I am loved." (2Co12:15) willing to have the "sentence of death" and to endure "mockings and floggins... sword... being destitute", etc. ones "of whom the world was NOT WORTHY" (2Co1:8-9, Heb11:36-38)
This is the one in the back, crying, after everybody else has left the auditorium under the ruse of the promise of the world's glamorous, fame, wealth, and fortune; but was looking for something else... something lasting and eternal in Heaven (2Co5:1, Heb11:14b); sobbing in emptiness, "they have taken away my Lord", who then experiences the Prince of Life (Ac3:15) come up quietly and say, "Mary!" (Jn20:13-16)