Forgiveness Isn’t What You Think It Is

photo-1455541029258-597a69778eedWhen someone hurts you, you’re supposed to forgive them. If you don’t the only person you’re hurting is yourself, right?

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Top Ten Romance Films

Since Valentine’s Day is coming up, we decided to put together a list of our favorite romantic movies for you, because, well, we’re sappy. Comment with some of your favorites! ❤


Petunia: How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days

This movie has topped my mental chart of romantic comedies since the day I first saw it. In order to write a how-to article, a magazine writer has to make a guy want to break up with her. He won’t. And things get crazy. While I like this movie more because of the laughs than the romance, the two leads are ridiculously likable. I’ve watched this movie more times than I can count, and I never get tired of it.




Peony: My Big Fat Greek Wedding

What strikes me about this story is that it shows the importance of being patient in love. Due to the constant pressure to get married, Toula felt like she was past her prime. But each life is different, and love doesn’t always come a’knocking when we think it should. Instead of spiraling into an early midlife crisis, Toula tried new things, honed her confidence, and learned to be content with her life. She became a better person for it. So when Ian finally came along, she was ready for him, and it was well worth the wait.




Petunia: Austenland

The story of a girl obsessed with Jane Austen who takes a vacation in a Jane Austen theme park. The lines between fiction and reality start to blur. As an Austenite, as Jane Austen fans call themselves (I took a whole class on her work), I’m bound to love pretty much everything that has anything to do with Jane. She was a master of the romance novel, and almost all movies inspired to shadow her genius. Austenland is hilarious, romantic, and really, really fun to watch.




Peony: The Phantom of the Opera

This one is a huge guilty pleasure of mine. It’s indulgently dramatic, and I can promise you that you’ll be belting out those musical numbers for days. It’s such a fun watch, especially if you just let yourself get sucked into the desperately beautiful tragedy.




Petunia: 500 Days of Summer

This film appeals to my angst. If you’re looking for something happy to watch, definitely look elsewhere on this list. But if you watch films to think deeply about life and not to procrastinate on tasks that require deep thinking, this will make you consider some interesting things about interpersonal relationships. Boy meets girl, or has he really met the girl? The camera takes you forward and backward through the 500 days of their relationship, examining their interactions from multiple angles. It’s thought-provoking as well as entertaining.




Peony: One Night with the King

This is the film adaptation of the story of Esther. It’s worth a watch for its stunning visuals alone, but watching the scriptures unfold in all their cinematic glory is the real hook. It stays true to the crux of the source material –to trust and obey the Lord, and to be ready to answer His call–but it does not shy away from the romance at all. It’s perfect for movie night at the ladies Bible study.




Petunia: A Walk to Remember

Ah, Nicholas Sparks. Bring on the tissues. Just kidding. I’m not really a crier—although this film brought me a little too close to the waterworks for comfort. It’s a tender story: a Romeo and Juliet high-school romance. The characters are caricatures, but who cares? I’m not ashamed of my love of the sappy. Call me a maple tree.




Peony: Little Women

This film (and book and musical) awakens the hopeless romantic within me. There’s something charming and moving about classical love, and I succumb to it every time. Jo’s journey through the drama of young love and into a sweet and solid marriage is something I wish for myself. That being said, I’m still torn between Laurie and Friedrich.




Petunia: The Princess Bride

Arguably one of the most tongue-in-cheek love stories every produced—The Princess Bride is as much anti-romance as romance. Westley and Buttercup are 20 romantic tropes rolled up into one fairytale couple. As a huge fan of the book, this was my favorite movie, bar none, for years. It’s got fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles. The movie’s got everything, and will appeal to you no matter what kind of movies you prefer.




Peony: Meet Me in St. Louis

Talk about show tunes! This film has a special place in my heart. It’s a favorite of my grandmother, who was a big fan of Judy Garland. It’s a simple, sweet little film with awkward crushes turned to budding romance, swanky parties, and of course Judy’s magnificent vibrato. Relatable even to this day!

10 Quotes about Relationships

I love quotes. The quotes section of Goodreads is pretty much the best thing ever to me. Really, I just love words. So I thought I’d share some of my favorites with you: specifically, some about relationships. biography

1. “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves, and not to twist them to fit our own image. Otherwise we love only the reflection of ourselves we find in them.” — Thomas Merton

2. “People change and forget to tell each other.” — Lillian Hellman

3. “God is more interested in your future and your relationships than you are.” — Billy Graham

4.  “Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.” — Ann Landers

5. “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather, it is one of those things that give value to survival.” — C.S. Lewis

6. “I think…if it is true that there are as many minds as there are heads, then there are as many kinds of love as there are hearts.” —  Leo Tolstoy

7. “Every relationship for a Christian is an opportunity to love another person like God has loved us.” — Joshua Harris

8. “True friends stab you in the front.” — Oscar Wilde

9. “At the touch of love everyone becomes a poet.” — Plato

10. “And remember, as it was written, to love another person is to see the face of God.” — Victor Hugo

20 More Pieces of Old-Fashioned Relationship Advice (For Girls)

6a00d8341c7c8e53ef0177446ff133970d1. No man is an island; therefore, no couple is an island.

2. Take note of how he treats children and elderly people.

3. 10 years older is not too old.

4. Go on dates, not “hangouts”.

5. Don’t let chivalry go unnoticed.

6. Act like someone who’s worthy of respect.

7. Maintain physical boundaries.

8. Try to maintain emotional boundaries.

9. Wear dresses, even when there’s no occasion.

10. Understand that not everything is personal.

11. Honesty is attractive, self-deprecation is not.

12. A mature relationship involves mature people.

13. If you don’t honor the rules of the relationship, don’t expect him to.

14. Long-distance will be harder than you think.

15. Know what he believes before you date him.

16. Make choices, don’t give ultimatums.

17. Don’t judge your relationship’s progress by someone else’s.

18. Pray, a lot.

19. Love him.

20. Loving him doesn’t mean you need to, or should, be in a relationship with him.

The Merit of Self-Sacrifice

In John 15:13 Jesus makes the following assertion, “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Most of us have heard this before, or at least something similar. Very rarely do we pause to consider the validity of the statement. It seems…right. Right?

After all, when Hercules lays down his life for Megara, nobody questions the beauty of the profound gesture—everyone just cheers. When Jean Valjean puts his life in danger for the sake of his daughter’s lover, nobody chastises him for reckless behavior; they generally cry, overwhelmed by his selflessness. When American soldiers lay down their lives for their country, people are rightly sobered and awed.

But why is self-sacrifice the ultimate sign of love? Why must one extinguish his life flame to prove to another the depth of his love for that one? For that is what Jesus did—allowed Himself to be slaughtered by His own creation, all for the sake of love (John 3:16).

We are all commanded to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). The most extreme example of obedience to this command is to place your neighbor’s life above your own. Jesus’ self-sacrifice is beautiful because by subjecting Himself to the most agonizing physical and spiritual pain possible, He proved to the world that He is willing to give her EVERYTHING He has, even, in a sense, His life. He gave up His celestial comfort to live an incredibly lowly life, be ridiculed, be tortured, and ultimately die on a cross like a common criminal; He gave us all that He had to give. He couldn’t have done more. He let us destroy Him.

Now here is another thought. Jesus laid down His life for us, and according to His Word, we are supposed to emanate Him.

1 Peter 2:21 says, “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”

And Matthew 16:25 promises, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

So maybe God’s message for all of us today is something like this:

Don’t be too prideful or fearful to lay down your life; when you do, be your self-sacrifice emotional, spiritual, mental, or physical, I, the Creator of the cosmos and your soul, will surely lift you.


Also posted in “The Gospel Blog by FEBC”

Dealing With Unwelcome Unrequited Love


I’m not just Époninetalking about any unrequited love here. I’m talking about that guy you have a crush on, and it’s a really stupid crush, for any number of reasons. He’s an idiot. He’s immature. He’s mean. He’s stuck-up. He’s lazy. He’s not a strong Christian, or maybe he’s not a Christian at all. There’s no future there, and you know this. We’re not even talking Jacob and Bella. This is more like Romeo and Juliet, except Juliet isn’t a total idiot and Romeo doesn’t love her back. There isn’t a happily ever after, and you knew it as soon as those butterflies started fluttering.

Sometimes, there’s no reason why it happens. Blame it on the hormones, the atmosphere, whatever. Most often, it’s just plain proximity. He’s a boy, you’re a girl, and that’s it. No point in mulling over causes. The feelings are just there. They’re painful, and they’re pointless. So what do you do about them?

Absolutely nothing.

Trust me, attempting to repress the butterflies makes the butterflies flutter faster. It’s simple psychology. The more you try not to think about something the more you think about it. The feelings have to run their course, but the course will end. Just know that it may take a while (mine lasted two years). If possible, limit contact with him as much as possible, so you don’t end up saying or doing something you might regret. Feelings may be there, but you don’t have to act on them. Really, don’t act on them. The modern culture, along with many past cultures, is very, very fond of feelings. It doesn’t matter whether you are from different countries, have different goals, or worship different gods, as long as you love each other. Let me break it to you. We’re to love everyone, even our enemies, but we’re not supposed to marry all of them. This isn’t Utah. Unless you’re reading this and you happen to live in Utah.

The ultimate goal of romantic love as we know it is marriage. Wives are to submit to their husbands. Can you see yourself marrying this guy? Do you respect him? Can you see yourself submitting to him as the church submits to Christ? Of course you don’t. That’s why your love is pointless in the first place. So bite the bullet and deal with it.