A little girl ran excitedly to her grandmother to tell her about a story she had just heard for the first time. It was about Cinderella and Prince Charming. She breathlessly told grandmother the story and then she asked, “And then do you know what happened?” And grandmother said, “They lived happily ever after!” And the little girl said, “No grandmother. They got married!”
For far too many marriage is not a “happily ever after” story. The joy of the wedding day, the well-wishes of the family and friends and the enjoyment of the honeymoon can fade quickly in the reality of married life with bills, children, disagreements, and disappointments.
And yet, God’s intention with marriage was to provide a place, an arena, a real-life example of what “love never failing” looks like. It is a place to put into practice real solutions for real problems. What does love look like when it’s protecting… when it’s trusting… when it’s hoping… when it’s enduring? Marriage shows that to the world.
As married couples, we must learn to work through areas of conflict and disappointment; of selfishness and pride; and lay down our lives for one another. That is our calling as Christians in marriage relationships.
That is discipleship in action. Did you know that a part of what God intended in creating marriage was to provide a place where we could become more Christlike by living with a person who is different than we are? Those places where our mates may sometimes rub us the wrong way are the edges where God wants to grow us into people who look like Jesus?
Marriage is not easy and yet, when we persevere through the years and through the trials that come, the beauty of walking with a person 40, 50, or 60 years becomes its own reward. To know a person on the level that comes with the depth of years is a gift that fewer and fewer are being allowed to experience. Marriages, sadly, can fail.
But love never does.
“Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8)
FOR REFLECTION: How has God shown His faithful love in your relationship