Touted as one of the great love stories of all time, the affair of King Edward VIII of England and Mrs. Wallis Simpson of the United States, has long been the subject of fascination by romantics the world over. Many have looked to their relationship as an example of selfless romantic love. After all, what could be more selfless, more romantic than a king who leaves his throne for the woman he loves?
Unfortunately, Edward was, in fact, a womanizer with a penchant for married women. Wallis was a married woman already once divorced. While the King did end his relationships with the other married women in his life (there were two others at the time of his first meeting Mrs. Simpson), this can hardly be deemed "selfless" love. Nevertheless, his infatuation with Mrs. Simpson was persistent. Faced with the prospect of his entire government resigning over his scandalous affair, King Edward decided he would rather retain relationship with his mistress than with his government.
With these words King Edward VIII, on December 10, 1936, abdicated his throne in favor of "love," saying: "I, Edward the Eighth, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Emperor of India, do hereby declare My irrevocable determination to renounce the Throne for Myself and for My descendants, and My desire that effect should be given to this Instrument of Abdication immediately."
Regardless of the backstory, hopeless romantics still cling to the image of selfless sacrifice--a king willing to give up all for his beloved.
If a royal love story of selfless sacrifice is what you're yearning, you need look no further than the pages of Scripture. There you will read of the King of the Universe who likewise relinquished His throne for love. Only, in those pages, you'll not read any scandalous backstory. You'll only read of the One who loved so purely, so deeply, that He was willing to give up all to gain relationship--eternal relationship--with those He loved.
Our challenge is to love even as He did. "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!" (Philippians 2:3-8).