One such as “real love is not how it appears on this screen” or “don’t forget that this is just a made up story.”
I have nothing against Prince Charming.
Or damsels’ in distress waiting to be rescued by knights in shining armor.
There’s nothing I look forward to more than the movie ending with the bride and groom declaring their endless love to one another and riding off into the sunset together.
Disney movies are great for entertainment.
But they are terrible at portraying what true love really is.
Because real love is so much more than feelings.
It’s so much more than words of affection.
It’s so much more than living out the perfect dream.
Sometimes I wish they showed what happens after the “happily ever afters”.
After you have put your tux and wedding dress away.
Because that’s when true love is tested.
After the celebration of your love.
After you have made your promises and said your vows.
“Till Death Do Us Apart”
It looks so nice written on paper.
Sounds so sweet when you say it out loud to one another.
But it’s not easy when it comes to living it out the day you get back from your honeymoon.
Not when your wife is lying in the hospital for months suffering from cancer.
Not when your husband just lost his job.
Not when your marriage isn’t that fairy tale that you have always hoped for.
And sadly it stops being “till death does us apart” but “till hardship does us apart”.
Often times it is the same in our relationship with Christ.
In the beginning we are so enthralled with Jesus and what He has done on the cross for us.
We want to spend every moment seeking Him.
We are just overwhelmed with His grace and love.
And one day we make that declaration of love to Him.
Of our dependence on Him.
Of our faithfulness to Him for all the days of our life.
We walk into the water and as we get dunked under we make that commitment to serve His needs over our own.
To follow Him wherever He will lead us.
To love Him even in our darkest days when we don’t feel Him near us.
And we do just fine until we get up the next morning and realize that life with Jesus is no happily ever after.
Instead it’s a straight and narrow road.
A road with hardships that you were not ready for.
Twists and turns that you weren’t expecting.
Deserts and valleys that you didn’t prepare for.
And all of a sudden those vows you said don’t sound so sweet anymore.
That promise you made when your heart was just bursting with love is foreign to you.
When you are the one facing trials and you feel forgotten and alone.
When you are the one lying on that hospital bed fighting an illness.
When you are the one who loses your job, your house, or someone you love.
And it’s at that moment that those vows of love you said are tested.
Not on the good days.
But on the bad ones.
Not on your wedding day when everything seems like a fairy tale dream.
But on the days that follow that may seem like anything but a dream.
Divorce keeps on rising because people give up on real love.
They give up on fighting for each other through the tribulations and trials of life.
They would rather do life on their own then struggle through it together.
And don’t many Christians do the same?
We trust God in the good times, but when the hardships come we are nowhere to be seen near Him.
We love Him and serve Him faithfully when it’s easy and everything is going our way but we pull back when life makes no sense and nothing is turning out how we expect it to.
We confess our love to Him on Sunday morning when we are feeling our best, but we don’t live it out on Monday morning when are feeling our worst.
Our vows become empty promises that we made but never kept.
Our “love” grows stale and we retreat back to trying to do life on our own.
I think there is nothing sadder than giving up on love.
Then breaking promises.
Then letting go when the going gets tough.
For some reason we falsely expect our walk with Christ to be easy, just like we expect our marriages to have fairy tale endings.
But the truth is marriage is no fairy tale.
And neither is our relationship with Christ.
And in the end what will get you through is not a feeling but faithfulness.
Faithfulness to go on when you are feeling weak.
Faithfulness to keep on trusting when it gets dark.
Because God wants more than your words and your promises.
He wants your commitment and your heart every step of the way.
For better for worst.
For richer for poorer.
In sickness and health.
Until death finally brings you together.
The truth is real love is hard… but it’s possible.
I know not because I have experienced it myself but because I have seen it lived out in my home from the moment I was born.
I have seen my parent go through heartbreaks and hurts.
Through tribulations and trials.
Through sickness to the point of death.
I hear them pray together in their bedroom every night.
I see them encourage one another through the hard times.
And they are a constant reminder to me that love is no fairy tale… but it’s worth the fight.
It’s worth protecting.
It’s worth pursuing.
It’s worth cherishing.
It’s worth living your life for.
So today… choose to remain faithful to God, especially if it’s hard.
Your happily ever after will come in eternity with Him after He comes to pick you up on those clouds.
But for now, keep on loving and fighting the good fight!
It will be worth it in the end.
Be blessed! -Anna… ♥
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”- Mark 12:30