The Fairy Tale called Marriage
There seem to be 2 kinds of people in the world – people who love fairy tales and who love happy endings and people who can’t stand them! The people in the latter group feel that fairy tales are fake and set people up for disappointment
So should we side with the sentimentalists or the cynics? Cynics are right of course – the world is hard. Love is complicated and it will break your heart and your back. It is harder than anyone realizes. But that should not imply that love isn’t worth it! While it is important to be realistic such a negative outlook leads to despair. It really is self-protection: Lower your expectations and no one gets hurt.
The best fairy tales are not naïve. They are not cheap escapes and are not just sappy. Tolkien wrote one of the most powerful tales ever when he wrote The Lord of the Rings. When asked about his view on fairy stories he said that the fairy tale story does not deny the existence of sorrow and failure, rather it is necessary to the joy of deliverance. Fairy tales don’t deny the realities of life. If anything they lean into those realities and acknowledge the genuine fight against defeat and death in the midst of life. Fairy tales breathe the oxygen of hope and bank on the idea that victory can always be snatched from the jaws of defeat.
Lacey, I pray that your marriage will be a fairy tale and that your friendship and romance with Mr. Galbraith will continue to be the amazing and romantic tale it has been up to this point! In fact, finding and catching a mate is usually the whole story in a Disney tale. It ends with “happily ever after”. But the point is missed that this is when the real story begins; the real drama and the more interesting part is the adventure of a life together! This is why I love UP where we see the happily-ever-after of Ellie and Carl’s story at the beginning!
Proverbs 12:4 states that the excellent wife is the crown of her husband. See crowns are for royalty and Jordan will enjoy you as his arm candy when you enter the room together for some years to come, because you are beautiful inside and out, but it is when you leave the room that people will be reminded of his crown: his excellent wife who works hard at the relationship and in her home.
Another thought is that many people get married believing a myth that marriage is a beautiful treasure chest full of all the things they have longed for (Companionship, intimacy, friendship and the like). But the truth is that marriage is at the start of the empty chest; you must put something into it before you can take anything out. The pages of your story are blank! Remember that there is no love in marriage until you put it in; love is in people and people put love into marriage. There is no romance in marriage, you have to infuse it into your story as you learn the art and form the habit of giving, loving, serving, praising and of letting God write your love story, of keeping your treasure chest full. Remember, if you take out more than you put in the chest will be empty; the story will be a sad tale indeed.
You are about to make the biggest promises you will ever make. They are bold. It is like writing a blank check: better/worse richer/poorer sickness/health…. stating your commitment to each other no matter whatever comes. Whatever will come and it will surprise you. This is one of the mercies of an unwritten story, one of the blessings of marriage is that you will not know of the difficulties or the joys to come. What I mean is that young love is fun but it knows nothing of the quiet warmth of old love. It does not know the love on the other side of forgiveness and failure.
Marriage is the best example of the relationship of Trinity. And the promises made in a marriage are meant to reflect the greatest promise maker and keeper of All – God himself!
So your fairy tale begins. May you joyfully take up the call to journey together even on the difficult days, the dark days and the days when you would rather walk alone! On those days and every day may God grant you fleeting glimpses of joy. May you be reminded of the One who for the joy set before him endured the cross, despised the shame and is now seated at the right hand of God. Jesus is the story teller in the grandest fairy tale of all! It is a real life adventure story in which our hero fights the fiercest foes (sin, death, Satan) to save the one he loves!
If the story of Jesus is a fairy tale—and it sure seems to fit the pattern—then we can safely say that fairy tales aren’t for sentimental saps after all. Here’s what it took for this greatest of tales to end in happily ever after: The God who made the world, and who made it good, had to become part of that world. Not only did he become a part of the world he created, he endured the worst it had to offer. Though he was blameless, merciful, truthful, wise, courageous, he was mocked, misunderstood, and maligned, bullied, beaten, and betrayed—and, finally, hung from a tree and killed. This was the end. Only it wasn’t. In the greatest reversal ever known, the God who made the world and then was killed by that same world rose from the dead. Death could not contain the Living One, nor will it be able to contain those who find life in the resurrected Christ, for he promises to give life to all who come to him.
The Bible describes Jesus’ people as his “bride.” And so you see, the greatest fairy tale is itself the story of a marriage. Jesus endured the cross for the joy set before him—the joy of meeting his bride on their wedding day and living happily ever after. My Lacey, may the joy of belonging to Jesus fortify you in the years to come to love Jordan all the way to the end, all the way to that final wedding day when you gather together at the marriage supper of the Lamb.