Friday, August 7, 2009

Happily Ever After

One of my favourite bloggers runs a "Wifey Wednesday" posting, and this week's was about the idea that a man who makes his wife cry is not worth having. The point of Sheila's post was that we need to get over the idea of a fairy-tale life with Prince Charming and value our real-life marriages.

I saw the Disney movie Enchanted just last night (and loved it). I found it more humourous than anything, and took it to be poking fun at our tendency to expect fairy-tale endings. (All the spoofs involved were hilarious!) The premise is that Gisele, a fairy-tale girl, is waiting for her Prince Edward to sweep her off her feet, complete love's duet with her, give her True Love's Kiss, and marry her for a happily-ever after ending. Unfortunately, the jealous evil queen interrupts her plans and sends her to the real world of New York City, where "there is no happily every after." There she learns about love in real life, where she can actually get upset, get hurt, and get angry, and still find true love.

It is important to realize that when we marry, two imperfect human beings are joining together in the closest relationship we can possibly have. Each one of us is far from perfect, and that means there are bound to be conflicts and bumps along the way. Love means dwelling on the best parts, and getting over the worst parts. It means forgiving, putting the other person first, sacrificing cheerfully, and sharing generously, and all this unconditionally. Love is not for wussies.

Unfortunately sometimes people (ourselves or our spouses) can be selfish or hurtful, either spitefully or unintentionally. Also, for most women, there will come times in our lives when our hormones are causing a chemical imbalance in our brains (like prenatal/ postpartum and menopause), and we simply may not be aware that we are thinking irrationally or being driven by false emotions. Sometimes "conflicts" don't actually exist, they are just in our heads. So, even if your husband is the most sensitive man in the world (mine is!), you cry. And maybe sometimes it's not really him that's making you cry, even if you think it is.

No matter what our partner's actions or level of sensitivity, we need to be able to deal with our emotions safely and productively. We must learn to overcome hardships. We need to know that we can take our issues to a loving Father and get help. This is why Ecclesiastes 4:12 says "A cord of three strands is not easily broken." A marriage that fully relies on God will last.

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