Happily Ever After Marriage?

I love happy-ever-after endings. Despite our cynical culture, I believe most people feel the same way. There’s more than enough bad news in the world. Christians and non-Christians alike want to know that good still triumphs over evil.

Once Upon a TimeMaybe that’s why fairy tales have experienced resurgence in the past several years. Disney built a reputation on producing kid-friendly movies based on fairy tales. But darker versions of those traditional stories have not only traveled to the big screen, they have also taken over television programming. Which brings me to a recent news account that seems to have blurred the line between make-believe and reality. 

The stars who play Snow White and Prince Charming on television’s Once Upon a Time have apparently brought their fairy tale romance to life. Last month, he popped the question and she said yes.

For someone who enjoys happy endings, you’d think I’d love this story. But there’s a catch I can’t overlook. When they met in 2011, the actor playing Prince Charming was married. According to accounts, the filming schedule and distance (filming was done in Canada) caused the end of his marriage six months later. He claims his connection with Snow White (I’m intentionally not using their real names) remained platonic until after he left his wife of four years. Only then did he fall in love with his fairy tale princess. 

Here’s where my cynicism rears its ugly head. I have difficulty believing that his growing attraction to her, along with their romantic on-screen roles, had nothing to do with the demise of his marriage. While some rejoiced in the fairy-tale-come-true aspect of their engagement, I grieved for yet another broken marriage. While news accounts trumpeted a happily-ever-after ending, I wondered yet again at the ease in which some people walk away from their marriage vows.

Happily ever afterMarriage is hard work. Ask anyone who’s been there. So how can we protect our vows for our own happily-ever-after? The answer begins with our own relationship with the Lord. But even then, it still takes intentional effort to make a marriage work. 

Mitch Temple, Director of Marriage Programs at Focus on the Family, suggests additional help in the form of          ten secrets to a successful marriage. He includes points such as the grass is greenest where you water it; love is a verb, not just a feeling; and a crisis doesn’t mean the marriage is over.

I’m not naïve. I know divorce is a common occurrence in our society—even more so within the entertainment community. I also know there are many whose spouses made the decision for them or who required separation for their own safety or the safety of their children. 

But when the motivation is, as a Hollywood source described in the case of Prince Charming and Snow White, that “it feels right,” then I’ll look for my happily-ever-after ending somewhere else.

What do you think?

Creation: Fact or Fairy Tale?

One of my favorite memories is that of my mother reading to me from a book of fairy tales. Cinderella, Ali Baba, Sleeping Beauty, and other characters came to life through the sound of her voice. As I listened to their adventures, each character seemed as real as any person I’d met.

I soon graduated to reading those tales, and others, myself. Then I moved on to more stories. Grand tales of love and adventure, of courage and sacrifice. Stories set in exotic locales with characters much more interesting than the people I talked to each day.

Trouble is, that’s how some people view all or part of the Bible: interesting stories set in exotic times and places. Stories that have a moral, but aren’t really true.

Even in some Christian circles today, it’s popular to teach that the Bible is true when it speaks of Jesus as our Savior, but that other passages such as the book of Genesis are merely grand stories meant to teach a lesson. For example, the creation account in Genesis couldn’t be true since “everyone” knows that the universe could not have been created in six days, Noah could never have fit all the animals on the ark, and Jonah could not have been swallowed by a big fish.

Why not? As Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis is fond of saying, “Were you there?”

While science has proposed a variety of theories to disprove Biblical accounts, including creation, there has not yet been one scientific law that proves the Bible wrong. Not one. So why are many Christians reluctant to take a stand for the validity of the entire Biblical record, from Genesis 1 through Revelation 22?

Some people seem to think we simply need to teach others about Jesus Christ—that discussions about creation are unimportant. After all, whether it took six days or six million years, we’re here, aren’t we?

But it is important. If we can’t trust the literal Biblical account of creation, how can we trust the Biblical accounts of anything else? If we teach others to choose the passages they want to believe in the Bible, how is this different from belief systems that combine bits and pieces of various religions to create something they are comfortable with?

The book of Genesis is as important as the gospel accounts in the Bible because it is foundational to everything else the Bible mentions. It provides detailed explanations for the basis for marriage and for the development of different people groups and cultures. It even provides a scientific explanation for the fossil record discovered by archeologists in recent years.

Most of all, Genesis explains the reason we need a Savior. If the account of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden is not true, then why should we believe the rest of the Bible is true? As Mr. Ham puts it, “We’re not trying to get people to believe in creation, but to point them to their Creator.”

As teachers, writers, parents, and anyone else who would speak of our Christian faith, if we are ashamed of the Biblical account—the whole Biblical account—then we are not correctly handling “the word of truth” (II Timothy 2:15).

I love reading fairy tales and I love reading the Bible…but they are not the same.

What do you believe?