I’d like to expose an old fairy-tale myth once and for all.  “And they lived happily-ever-after.”  First of all, I called it a myth which means there is probably no truth to it.  Saying that and knowing that, there is still a certain desire in our society, particularly among women, to find the person who can fulfill that dream.

While divorce affects fifty percent of marriages these days, the pursuit of the ‘perfect wedding’ still continues.  Weddings have become a very profitable business that frequently adds new traditions and themes and schemes to bring the industry even more money.  The average wedding these days cost $20,000.00.  

I’m afraid that too many young women become caught in the snare of their wedding dreams at the risk of settling for the not-so-Mr. Right.  So what if you divorce in a couple years; at least you had your dream wedding!  That seems to be a popular attitude.  Are people marrying for the wedding or matrimony?

We live in a world that feeds off our emotions and makes big money while doing so.  All the commercials on television (and there are plenty there) are geared to our feelings.  “How cool would you be if you owned this car – this drug will make you feel better – this food tastes so good – how great would you look in this clothing" etc., etc.

I have to be honest; when I see a commercial where he’s holding out the diamond ring and asking her to marry him, I always get tears in my eyes!  Really?  What is that about?

Is it my strong belief in marriage that brings tears to my eyes, or is it the image the world has created of how it should be?  No wonder couples go into marriage feeling so convinced that they’ve found their forever partner.  The world hypes them up for it.  Why? TO MAKE MONEY! 

This certainly doesn’t apply to every couple.  I’ve seen some that go into marriage with the proper logic.  Even then, very few are prepared for the difficulties that will follow after saying “I do”.  I wish every couple was required to take pre-marriage classes.  We have no clue what we’re getting into when the honeymoon ends.

Please don’t call me cynical, I merely speak the truth (and do a lot of marriage counseling). Part of the process of marriage is to go through trials to bring two halves together to make a perfect whole.  We have to get rid of some garbage and our own selfishness before we can have a healthy relationship and a whole unit that compliments and compromises. 

Marriage is about falling in and out of love.  There will be days when you don’t particularly like your spouse and days when you don’t feel that love that brought you together.  Marriage is not about feelings.  We have to rise above our emotions or the marriage will not survive.  We have to stay committed no matter how we feel.

I stumbled across a website with these words from Dr. Alexander Roman.

“Rather than rationalizing things to marriage counselors, "Well, if he doesn't improve on such and such a thing, I'll . . ." or "She always at me on this . . ." we need to see beyond the petty hurts we fling at one another. We need to remind ourselves of the fact that our Crowning is a real sharing in the spiritual Kingship of Christ where the willingness to suffer one another's faults is the fullest expression of love.

One person once explained this to me and I wanted to share it with you. He said, "Love means suffering, one cannot have one without the other.  What would imply greater suffering, then, for the Father to come Himself to save the world, or to send His Son?" I said, "To send His Son, of course." Then he said, "Now we know what it means for God the Father to love us whom He made."

Take from this what you will, but for me, the Rite of Crowning is the expression of the Church's wisdom in knowing that true love implies suffering. If the west were more imbued with this attitude toward marriage, then the experience of suffering within marriage would no longer be the justification for divorce. It would become a challenge to be met and addressed between husband and wife together!”

God did not promise us a happy life, He asked us to pick up our cross and follow Jesus. That means we would experience suffering as He did.  The words in bold print gave me a deeper impression of God’s love for us.  We would all rather die ourselves then lose our own children to death.  That’s how much God loves us, too.  He sent His Son instead of Himself to prove so. We won’t know that love for our spouse until we experience the suffering that reveals love.


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