The Myth of Happily Ever After
- Monday, September 16, 2013
Ever notice that fairy tales always conclude with a happy ending?
The Beautiful Princess falls into the embrace of her Prince Charming and they live happily ever after.
In fairy tales, the struggle always occurs before the romance. Cinderella, single and alone, struggles to survive under the hatred of her step-mother. Snow White, hiding in the forest with her 7 dwarfs, hoping to protect her life from the evil witch. Beauty, held captive in the enchanted castle, waits patiently for the evil spell to be broken. Each one struggling, waiting, hoping…
First comes the struggle, then comes the romance, and “poof”- the happily ever after…
The thing about fairy tales is that there is always an underlying subliminal message that all problems and pain will end in the arms of true love. Though that mentality has set up young singles for anticipated excitement, it has also caused great despair.
Relationships can’t solve our problems, heal our wounds, or fulfill all our hopes because they were never intended to. They don’t have the capacity to. It’s a myth to think that all struggles will be lost in the embrace of love because the truth is that struggles will always be a part of our lives. While we are a part of this world, we will always be exposed to the consequences of sin and pain. We are broken people who reflect a broken world. Sometimes, that brokenness is actually magnified within the context of relationship - two flawed human beings, rubbing up against each other day in day out.
While there is potential for great love to be felt within the dynamics of a loving relationship, there is also the opportunity for pain, struggle, and brokenness - which leaves us right back at where we started. It’s easy to forget about the realness of marriage before you’ve actually taken the leap of lifelong commitment. It’s easy to imagine a world of bliss, living happily ever after while forgetting that the majority of marriage comes down to routine ordinary moments wrapped up in the context of an extraordinary commitment.
Marriage is all about the day to day choices - choosing love over selfishness, peace over rightness, intimacy over control. It is the day in day out grind of two humans learning to love in a way that they never imagined they could; in a way they hardly know how to do. Within that calling, there are intoxicating moments of happily ever after, but there are also moments of struggle, sin, and human depravity.
But what it comes down to is whether we are single or married, our lives will never find their happily ever after until we allow our lives to be encompassed by our True Love: Jesus Christ. Rather than seeking a relationship to dissolve our struggles, we must remember to continually come back to the embrace of Jesus, who cleanses our wounds, heals our pain, protects our hearts, and wipes away our insecurities.
Relationships were meant to bring companionship, friendship, and a great love - but they were never meant to be our happily ever after. Far above earthly love, there is a God who longs to embrace you in His loving and eternal arms; a God who wants to show you that there is so much more to your story than the happy ending of romance. God’s plans and purposes for your life include your love life, but even more exciting, they exceed your love life.
True love is not the end of your story…it is only the beginning, a glimpse of something more.
Don’t sell yourself short on your happily ever after, open up your dreams and allow God to let in so much more.
Article ran originally on truelovedates.com. Used with permission.
Debra K. Fileta is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in Relationship and Marital issues. She, her husband and two children live in Hershey, PA. She is the author of the new book True Love Dates (Zondervan, 2013), challenging young men and women to do dating in a way that is psychologically sound, emotionally healthy and spiritually grounded. Visit www.truelovedates.com and follow her on Twitter to get your dating questions answered and to learn more.
Publication date: September 16, 2013
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