Friday, 13 August 2010

What Happened to They Lived Happily Ever After?

For those of us brought up on Cinderella and Snow White there was no doubt that someday our prince would come or that we would find an enchanting, yet mysterious young maiden. There are some of us who even believed that if we kissed a frog it would turn into a prince, unfortunately in most cases they remained a frog. It would be great if I could say that all Christians who unite spend their days in Camelot, it would be but I can’t.

The cold reality is that few couples live in Camelot, for most it is more like a life sentence in the La Brea Tar Pits. And It can get somewhat dicey if we look to Scripture for solace when things are not going well. First Corinthians, chapter 7, verse 28b says. “But those who marry will face many troubles in this life, and I want to spare you this.” Thank you Paul (that would be the Apostle not the Beetle). By the way Paul is not suggesting that those who are single will be trouble free.

It is not like the creator of marriage forgot to leave us the operating manual. He said, “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” (Eph. 5:21) and then spends the next 12 verses unpacking what that would look like.

The next words out of our mouth are usually something like, “Yes but he never…” “Yes but she doesn’t…” I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but I have figured out all by myself that there are only a few options here. We can remain miserable and stay in the marriage, perhaps finding a diversion; we can get out of the marriage and hope to find a totally selfless other person who will meet all our needs (yeah right!); or we can humble ourselves before God and seek His guidance and direction.

Here’s where it gets really tough, given the same choices your spouse may not come to the same conclusion. In your case your husband may remain a frog or your wife may make Dorthy’s wicked witch of the east look like a fairy god mother. That does not alter the choice of where you go from here. Out of reverence for Christ the husband must love his wife as Christ has loved his church. Out of reverence for Christ the wife must respect her husband. These conditions are not based on performance. Ideally your husband/wife embodies the love of Christ but if they don’t you are still called upon to glorify God in all that you do. (1Cor. 10:31)

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