Scripture Texts: John 15:18-27; John 16:1-15; Psalms 37
It happens in every Disney movie, at some point all the people live happily ever after. Disney did not start this understanding in our lives, it seems to be something that is part of our wiring. We assume if we live a good life, do the right things, and treat others well that life will work out for the best. The tragedy comes when that is not how life happens. When it does not appear that happily ever after is part of our story.
In fact Jesus promises we will face struggles and others will cause us troubles because of Jesus. The exact opposite of our natural inclination and a Disney education. Life in Christ is not always easy and the challenges come because we follow Jesus. This very fact is what causes many people to walk away from following Jesus.
The same applies to married life. As two people stand before a congregation and God to make their covenant of marriage all that us in mind is happily ever after. Then reality finds its way into our lives and marriage and things get hard. We learn that living with someone 24/7 is not always as easy as we might have thought. We learn that we cannot simply live life on our own terms, that as a married person someone else gets input into our life. Those are just the challenge of relationship.
There are also the challenges from outside. Job changes, death of loved ones, financial struggle, and the list goes on. All of these things that we might have thought to avoid because we are in Christ and we are married. The promise of Jesus applies, we should not presume to have a life free of challenge. Our struggles are real, and they are not a sign that we are to give up, or that we are doing it wrong. In fact they might be a sign that we are doing things right.
Marriage is hard, and requires perseverance through tough times. God has given us the Holy Spirit for help, and for the ability to stay the course. We must remember as we persevere, the only way we get to happily ever after is to live the life Christ died to give us.