No Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a girl who came from a good family, and though she was beautiful, there seemed to be no prospective husband in sight. Being a good girl, she served her father's household the best she could. Maybe she dreamed, just like any other girl does, of being swept off her feet by a handsome prince and riding off into the sunset with him. (Or maybe not.)

Unknown to her, in a far away town, a rich man's son was of marriageable age but no girl was seen fit from among the land to be his bride.

A servant was charged to look for a bride for him in another land. 

He came to a place where women habitually did some work. Godly man that he was, the servant prayed to the Lord, for His kindness to be shown towards his master's household through leading him in choosing a bride. He knew how important marriage is and was not leaving anything to chance. He prayed for a particular sign, and even before he was finished speaking, the girl came along. She accepted the proposal and decided to go with him to be with the boy.

From there, everything happened as if a director orchestrated all the scenes of a love story. The girl and the boy met, love grew... and I want to say so much that 'they live happily ever after' like in all fairy tales, but I can't, because these two people are humans and brought into their marriage their personalities, their family backgrounds and their own personal issues. Well, you can find out the rest of what happened in Genesis 25:20-34, chapters 27 and 28.

This is Isaac and Rebekah's love story. This is no fairy tale. But as what most fairy tales would make us believe is that all it takes is a pretty girl and a prince (and maybe a horse... as it would be too hard to walk into the sunset on your own two feet... as it would kill romance on the outset), and they would live happily ever after. 

But as most true stories, the statistics, and any married couple could attest, marriages are never that easy. Marriage is work. It is a labor of love. What Isaac and Rebekah didn't know was that, their work didn't end with the search. And for this couple, marriage wasn't as happy as it could have been had they continued to follow the example of that faithful and humble servant by allowing God to continue to write and direct their marriage. In doing so, they could have been very attentive of their own part in this relationship, and could have avoided shifting their affection on a child just to gain sympathy, and could have avoided as well the hurting consequences that follows along with favoritism in the family. 

What happened was that, they had a hard time adjusting to their own personalities and their roles in marriage, gave up and turned their backs on each other. After losing sight of each other and instead of working as a team, they worked behind each other's back as competitors, and maybe even, enemies. They transferred their affections on their sons, choosing to favor the one that had the traits that they lacked or the one that shared their interests. The children saw themselves pitted against each other as the parents used them to their own advantage.

Here are some points we can get from their story.

1. It is not God's intention for us to wait for someone or something to change our lives or to intervene; and to sweep us off our feet, and carry us away from whatever circumstances we are in, and ride off with us into the sunset. Rather, He gave us the responsibility to make our own lives. It is His intention that we make full use of our time, the abilities and blessings that He gave, for His glory and the benefit of our families and the people around us. It is His will that we do our best in whatever simple or hard task that our hands find to do. Rebekah was at work when Abraham's servant found her in that well. Don't wait for a man, ladies. Get an education, a job, train to acquire a skill, serve in whatever capacity you find yourself in, be the best you can be and before you know it, God has brought somebody into your life, not to take on his world, but that, together to help the world.

2. God intends for us to make decisions and work it out. Rebekah decided to be with Isaac but had a difficult time carrying out the plan. Decide to succeed... and WORK it!

3. Marriage is too vital, too important to be approached without any help. In dating, there is a very big possibility of false advertising. The girl puts on her best dress, best shoes, best face, best attitude; while the boy borrows and shows off the best car he can find, the best suit, and best manners. However, in marriage, couples will not only find the best but at most times, the worst of themselves and their partners. Seek wisdom from parents, counselors, friends, and most of all, from God. Read the Bible and prayerfully meditate on it. Read books about marriage. Never go at it alone. There is wisdom in having a lot of advisers (Proverbs 11:14).

4. "Submit to each other in the fear of God" (Ephesians 5:21). Work hard for your partner. Never lose sight of him/her. Challenge yourself everyday to love better than yesterday. Focusing on other things is a formula to a failed or a bland marriage. Instead, walk hand in hand with your partner in every situation and decision, and put the needs of each other before your own. When married partners have each other as their priority, children and all other interests will have their place and be secured in the knowledge that all is well and they will be taken cared of in their proper time and place. There is a very big difference when husband and wife hold each other's hand, seeing each other and every member of their family; as opposed to having their backs turned on each other, focusing on the child closest to them and neglecting each other and other members of the family that are not close to them. The first scenario has the family working together as a team, everyone working each of their roles for the good of the whole team. The second one has the atmosphere of a boxing match with each parent on different corners and children taking sides, and going nowhere but destroying their own home.

5. It takes three to make a marriage work--- a loving husband, a submissive wife (not saying a doormat, big difference there!), and an all-knowing God. God instituted marriage. He is the author of marriage. He established the priority of marriage at the beginning of the world. We need Him to function healthily in each of our own marriages and to make it work. He is cheering for us and wants us to succeed. Remember Him.

A fairy tale may give us warm feelings, but it can never prepare us for reality. In truth, only being rooted on God's Word and being convicted by the Holy Spirit can help us escape the duplicitous hype of false romance and get us through the rough patches, the valleys and hills of marriage. There were many times in which I forgot that I was working for our marriage and not destroy it. Times when I was cutting and sarcastic, or feeling selfish and say,"I don't care!". Times when I had pity parties and think the worst of my husband. Times when I see myself at my worst... and I just wanted to run away, cocoon myself from further hurt or humiliation. But I remember that God doesn't condemn nor confuse. He is consistent in His convictions, His rebukes; but is positively drawing me forward, correcting me, making me a better person, a better wife.

I am glad that God is with us in our present and has the key to our future. When we give Him the full authority to write our love story, we might be surprised at the unconditional love, the courage, the commitment, the passion that we find in our marriage. I pray that He will reign in our hearts, in our marriages, and in our homes. Let Love reign!

You may also want to read...

Living a Miracle

Learning from the Ultimate Parent
Real Love


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