Prince Charming and Snow White may have looked like they had a perfect marriage ahead of them, but let's be real. The next day Snow found that the toothpaste tube had been squeezed wrong and the toilet seat had been left up. Prince found nylon stockings hanging on his towel and...well, let's just say that the Dwarf's had exaggerated Snow's ability to cook.
Does this put "happily ever after" in jeopardy? Not at all. All couples have problems. Many couples have LOTS of problems. But they can still have a wonderful life together if they commit to dealing with their problems God's way.
Some of the best marriage advice comes from Paul's admonition to not let the sun go down on your anger. Husbands and wives will find that their joy increases when they commit to resolving their problems and not carrying them to bed each night.
Imagine the scenario again: Prince finds the stockings dangling over his towel yet again! He's irked by how inconsiderate his wife is. But instead of calmly talking to her about it, he huffs off to put his PJ's on. He throws a pillow over his head and makes his best attempt to sleep on it. In the morning he "hi-ho's" off to work, being happy to be away.
What Prince has done is allow the sin of resentment to build a small, invisible wall between himself and the new Mrs. Charming. Each night this happens, more bricks are added to the wall and more damage is done to the relationship.
[Let's remember Mrs. Charming could be reacting to his resentment in a not-so-good manner too. She may get huffy with his grumpy attitude and becoming embittered herself! Needless to say, happily ever after could be in serious danger as the relationship spirals further downward!]
Is the marriage doomed? Are the Dwarfs going to have to have Snow move back in with them? Not if the couple begins to look to the Lord's way.
Remember that no wall ever has to be built in the first place. Instead of internalizing his anger and letting the sun go down on it, Prince can focus that anger on the problem at hand. He can go to his wife and tenderly speak with her about his annoyance. Perhaps he can even build a special rack for her stockings, so she can hang them in the laundry room.
Even if a wall has been built up over many years and multiple layers of angst exist, the marriage can be restored. Scripture says, "Repent therefore, that times of refreshing may come." God is able to bring times of refreshing to the marriage and restore happily ever after.
God's refreshing grace will only come through repentance though, and each of the bricks that have been laid has to be removed.
Key to this demolition process is personal responsibility. That is to say, each person take care of his own bricks first. Prince may want the "inconsiderate stocking bricks" to be removed, but he must first deal with his own contributions to the wall. Prince needs to humble himself and acknowledge that his lack of godly communication has contributed significantly to the family's troubles.
Thus, the first step to happily ever after would be to do something like this:
"Snow, Things have been difficult as of late, and I recognize a lot of it is my fault. I haven't been open with you or forthright about things on my mind. I want to to ask your forgiveness for that. I think our relationship would be better if I were better at communicating. Being that I have a hard time expressing my feelings, can you be in prayer for me? I really need God's help in this regard."
It may be good to leave it at that for the time being. That's because it's not about them at this moment. It is about you and your sin. Maybe the next day, you can come back with, "I am going to try the communication thing. This is hard for me, you'll recognize. But one of the things I have trouble with is..."
Just like that two bricks have just been removed. The wall is beginning to crumble and the lovely couple is back on track to experiencing their happily ever after.
Need More Counsel?
Do you have issues with which you are struggling? Marriage, family, or otherwise? God's word has the answers to all of life's problems. No matter what difficulties you are facing, the leadership at Hopewell can help you find peace and joy.
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