Unfortunately, we live in a society where individuals would rather set high expectations for their lives and then sit passively by so they can blame someone else when things don’t go as planned. I admit to you now that when it came to my marriage, I fell into that way of thinking. Like everyone else, when I got married, I thought Happily Ever After was something every marriage was entitled to. You meet. You fall in love. You get married. You live Happily Ever After. Right? Wrong.
As my marriage began to fall apart, I pointed to all of Jim’s issues: If only he’d change, our marriage would be amazing. We’d be in love and our vision of Happily Ever After would be restored.
Then one day, as I pleaded to God (for the millionth time!) to rescue my failing marriage, it occurred to me:
I wasn’t praying God would rescue my marriage. What I wanted was for God to swoop in and rescue me from the EFFORT it would take on my part to repair my marriage.
You see, I wanted Jim to make the first move. I wanted Jim to fix his issues so I could change my heart towards him. I wanted God to change my husband’s attitude and heart towards me and magically restore romance. For me, somewhere along the way, Happily Ever After became some mythical fairy tale.
But I realized in that moment there is nothing wrong with the notion of Happily Ever After. The real “fairy tale” is thinking I can have Happily Ever After with no effort.
I wasn’t taking personal responsibility to make Happily Ever After happen. This was the day my marriage changed forever.
My old granny who would have put it this way, “You can’t be leaning on a shovel and praying for a hole.” If you’re praying for a better future what are you doing about it? Are you seeking a rich harvest you haven’t even sown yet?
If you want Happily Ever After then what are you doing, or more importantly, what are you NOT doing to make Happily Ever After happen? You can either take responsibility for your marriage right now or you can sit passively by and endure whatever comes your way, hoping for the best.
You can blame others and point outside yourself saying, “It’s not my fault. You should see how difficult it is to live with this person. Our marriage is a mess because my spouse is a mess. Our life together is rotten and I’m angry because life has dealt us some pretty rotten cards.”
Or you can realize, only you hold the keys to your own future.
You decide how you will make a difference in your marriage. You decide what you will allow yourself to think and feel about your spouse. You have the power to let things go. You have the power to forgive. You have the power to move beyond the past so you can enter a better future. Many marriages have overcome great challenges. Yours can be one of them.
Excuses for not moving forward only keep you where you are now. On the other hand, when you take responsibility, it means you have the freedom not to wait around for someone else to make a change so you can move forward. It means you have the freedom to stop throwing up your hands in frustration so you can sit around doing nothing and blame someone else.
If you really want Happily Ever After, then own it.
Leave entitlement, laziness and excuses behind. You have the freedom to decide what happens from this moment on.
Oh sure, there will be many dragons to fight along the way and God will help you do it. He will bring others into your path to encourage and teach you how to overcome challenges. But this is still your life and it is your fight. No one else will come along and do it for you. Embrace the responsibility. Embrace the freedom to step out.
This is your marriage. This is your life. This is your time. This is your moment to make a choice.
Until a person can say deeply and honestly, “I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” That person cannot say, “I choose otherwise.” —Stephen Covey
Stay lovely my friend,