It's the last line of so many fairy tales: “and they lived happily ever after.” In fairytales it all seems so simple. Find the right person, fall in love and you too can “live happily ever after.”
We live in Pasadena, just a stone's throw from the fairytale capital of the world, Hollywood. There's not a week that goes by that the rumor mill doesn't cycle fresh gossip on who's seeing who, who’s living with who or who's engaged to who. The text is accompanied by candid snaps of the lovers beaming as together they make a hasty exit from an exclusive restaurant or trendy night spot.
Inevitably in the following weeks more information leaks about the extravagant engagement ring, the lavish wedding plans, the possible destination wedding setting and of course which guests are on the “A–list.” Fans eagerly lap up details on everything from color schemes to wedding favors. Often, celebrity weddings easily cost more than the average American home.
I confess this type of knowledge would never have registered on my radar except for the fact that my son just got married. Our whole family became acutely aware of the wedding industry and the pressure it can exert to do the fairytale right. So many major and minor decisions had to be made on everything from chair covers (yes or no) to entrées (vegetarian option?) centerpieces, printed programs, meaningful wedding mementos, etc. I was shocked to learn that the tab for the average, no-celebrity American wedding today is around $28,000.
There seems to be an increasing need to create the perfect fairytale wedding almost as if that will ensure the perfect fairytale ending. But does one lead to the other? That happy, loving Hollywood couple all too often reappears several years post-wedding as two estranged, completely miserable, singles exiting divorce court. Unfortunately, many will repeat the same cycle again with a new partner.
As I watched my son make his covenantal vows of marriage, I found myself praying that he would find happiness and fulfillment. The wedding was lovely, but I knew that no matter how “fairytale right” it appeared to be, that it was simply window dressing. We all long to live happy lives, but we will never find “happily ever after” in the wedding details, no matter how perfect they are.
There is a path to real happiness that God offers to all of us. Ephesians 2:10 tells us: “For we are God's own workmanship, re-created in Christ Jesus that we may do those good works that God has planned for us before hand, and that we may take paths which He has prepared for us ahead of time so that we should walk in them and live the good life which He has prearranged and made ready for us to live.”
Father God has prepared a wonderful life of happiness and fulfillment for you, but you will never find it by trying to create fairytale perfection. Make a decision to step out of the fairytale and start living a real life, the one God has established for you.
Come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM or 1:00 PM. Our Lead Pastor, Karl Malouff will be giving the message.