Marriage is work and we’re clearly told that it will be hard, so why does it surprise me when it happens! That’s like failing to put gas in your car before a long trip then being shocked when it runs out of gas. Or planning a picnic, bringing food and no utensils for eating and then sitting there speechless wondering who‘s fault it really was that they were forgotten. It’s just plain stupid.
I was lead to believe a lie; I wonder if you were too? It’s the “marriage is easy, happy ending” mindset found in the phrase happily ever after. It’s not that there aren’t times of complete bliss and euphoric pleasure found in marriage; there are. It’s just that I find the mindset itself unbalanced when you stack it up against the Bible: Yet those who marry will have physical and earthy troubles (1 Cor 7:28).
“Happily ever after” is a neat and tidy box that doesn’t move. There’s no elasticity in it for the deep transgressions that husbands and wives commit against each other. Transgressions that cause us to suffer anguish or be burdened and afflicted. These transgressions can rub and chafe our soul into a narrow rut. Transgressions of thlipsis.
We plan to get married. We get married.
Then when our marriage twists up on us we act like it’s something out of the ordinary or something bizarre, “I can’t believe this is happening to me.” (1 Peter 4:12) Walt Disney and The Brothers Grimm start to show themselves and the thlipsis hammers away at our ’happily ever after’ and we realize, “Oops, we forgot to plan for the trouble.”
It’s not that we plan for problems to happen but this knowledge is power and when we use it to our advantage it can be powerFUL. I don’t believe that Paul warned us about this so that we could try and circumvent the reality of earthly troubles in marriage, but to forewarn us on how to navigate through them.
happily ever after VS earthly troubles
If I could choose, I would have the easy one 24/7 – but I’ve found it’s just not the reality of life here on earth.