When you got married do you remember saying, for better or for worse? I didn’t. I mean, I knew I said it, but what my brain internalized was, Happily Ever After.
There is a confusion that shrouds this juxtaposition. Here’s how it’s created: While in the midst of experiencing the high of a fairy tale day, the culmination of more than a year’s worth of planning this shindig called a wedding, you are simultaneously promising to endure the opposite of that very fairy tale: the worse. No one has a clue how the worse is going to show itself in each marriage, but it does. You can guarantee it: Those who get married will have trouble.
Do you see the confusion? The mentality of “Happily Ever After” deludes our hearts into believing that there will never be a for worse… only a for better.
Although the two phrases appear to be at odds with each other, they actually reinforce one another. If you can understand the sentiment of, Happily Ever After, through the lenses of God’s guaranteed conflict, it will read very different. Ask yourself, “happily ever after.. .after what?”
after the wedding ceremony?
after the wedding night?
You see, it isn’t an event that determines happily ever after, it’s a maturity that we grow into. It was after contending with the worse in each other that we started to live happily. The more we stuck with our marriage and didn’t give up on each other, the more happily ever emerged.
I would like to rewrite the happily ever after thing. What if in our vows, we didn’t say for better or for worse, but instead, “I will stay, for the worse, until we get to the better.”