Marriage is not a Hallmark Christmas Movie
Marriage is great. Marriage is wonderful. Marriage is a wonderful institution created by God.
But marriage is not a Hallmark Christmas movie.
My husband has been gone for almost two weeks in Israel. During that time, I have been eating delicious Trim Healthy Mama cake at night and binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies.
My husband hates Hallmark Christmas movies. So if I am going to watch them, it has to be when he is gone.
I need cake to take my mind off of the fact that I am all alone and binge watching Hallmark Christmas movies.
After about the third Hallmark Christmas movie, I began to notice a few things.
The main character is almost always an overworked, frazzled, flustered woman who is working her way up the career ladder, who is in a shallow relationship with another vicious career shark.
She has to go to a small town, somewhere in Virginia or the Midwest, and shut down a business. Cue the snow, flannel, and mistletoe.
The business is always owned by a good looking, sensitive, caring, compassionate, rugged man.
At first they butt heads and they drive each other crazy, all while she complains and moans and can't wait to get back to 'Big City' New York or Chicago life, but things soon change.
They start to grow on each other.
He is such a caring, compassionate, amazing, (but yet still single!) listening, attentive guy, that she begins to doubt her relationship with Shark boyfriend.
He realizes he is falling for the vicious, relentless career woman.
They go to a Christmas tree lighting, where the snow is falling, angels are singing, (not really, it's just carolers) there is the smell of pine and fur trees and mistletoe and gingerbread, and they kiss under the starry sky and vow their love for each other.
She dumps Shark tycoon boyfriend, tells her boss that, "No way is she going to shut down this business at Christmas, doesn't he know what Christmas is all about?!" and rides off in her horse drawn sleigh to a romantic life with rugged, small town hunk, and all is happily ever after.
Can I just say it?
Falling in love, getting married, and all that follows, is not like a Hallmark Christmas movie.
The older I get, the more that I am convinced that any two people can make a marriage work. No matter your upbringing, if you have God first and foremost, you can make it work.
All it takes is grit, determination, God, commitment, faithfulness, and character.
I don't believe in this "soulmate" stuff, where when you meet the one that you are 'destined for', the skies part, a light shines down from heaven, butterflies flit around your head and you say, as you twirl arm in arm- "This is it! This is the one!"
Instead, I believe in two people, with common interests and goals and a love for the Lord, who meet and like each other. That 'like' blossoms into love, and they decide that yes, this is the one that I am meant to spend the rest of my life with!
Then they stand before witnesses and the Lord and make vows.
And then they spend the rest of their life living those vows.
Sometimes it's not pretty.
Sometimes it's angry words thrown out in carelessness.
It's a shoulder turned away in anger, because you just don't feel very loved at the moment.
It's tears and confusion and hurt. "How can he love me, and say those things?" "What if we aren't soulmates after all?" "He just doesn't understand me."
It's loss and pain.
It's financial woes, and bills, and debt, and work, and toil, and hard times.
It's realizing that you messed up. You hurt him, and he hurt you. You said things you should not have in the heat of the moment, and he was brutally honest with how he felt about you at the time.
It's apologizing and making up.
It's vowing to do better.
Those aren't Hallmark moments. They aren't ones that are featured on movies, and they aren't glamorized.
But they are real life.
Marriage is not a Hallmark Christmas movie.
Marriage is two sinners coming together, vowing to spend the rest of their lives loving each other.
It's the good times and the bad.
It's working through the problems.
It's never saying the "D" (divorce) word.
It's tenacity, and loyalty. Long-suffering and patience. Putting up with each other's faults. Selflessness and dying to self daily.
Putting God first, and your husband second- but realizing he is the most important human relationship earth side.
Marriage is more like a movie about battles or war, than a Hallmark Christmas movie! Because you will be going to battle when you get married. So many want godly marriages to fail. Satan does. The world does. The dark forces at work do. Because when a godly marriage fails, it affects generations to come.
Forget about the silly Hallmark Christmas movie nonsense.
Instead, appreciate the good man that you have. He may not be the most romantic man alive, he may or may not wear flannel, he may or may not be a rugged hunk, and he might not swoop you into his arms for a fiery kiss under the mistletoe, but if you chose and married him, he is what God wants for you.
Marriage isn't a Hallmark Christmas movie- no.
It's deep, fierce love. It's fighting and never giving up. It's commitment and undying devotion and a bond that nothing on earth can sever. It's knowing what your person is thinking before anyone else does. It's reading his emotions on his face. It's growing old together. It's memorizing his every feature. It's the peace that comes just from sitting next to him. It's balance and contentment and security in the relationship with the one you have vowed to spend forever with. It's happiness, and it's fulfillment.
I'll take the real thing, not the made up, make believe, shallow fairy tale.
The real thing is so much better than a Hallmark Christmas movie.