Happily Ever After

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The wedding coordinator said we were the happiest couple she'd ever seen.

I suppose there's a chance she says that to every couple, but it seemed spontaneous, immediately after we were pronounced husband and wife, still brushing rose petals off our shoulders. It was the first words anyone had spoken to us in our new, married state. "I've never seen a couple so happy!" 

She was right.

We have a history of happiness.  

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There's a popular marriage book based on the premise that marriage was created not for our happiness, but for our holiness. We have two copies of it on our bookshelf. (I've read it, you haven't, so you'll have to take my word for it.) At first it sounds profound, and for a serious soul like myself, it is a welcome instruction. We shouldn't forget that marriage doesn't primarily exist to give us warm fuzzies and a companion in house cleaning. Marriage cuts, rubs, and refines, and Lord knows this first year has been a sanctifying one of spats and jabs and the occasional cold shoulder.

But wow, there has been happiness.

So much so, that I have to wonder if a grave disservice has been done to our marriages by pitting happiness and holiness against each other like fighters in a boxing ring. Why did we decide these two things were mutually exclusive? (I think I know the answer, and I think it pertains to our fear of losing the things we really love.) What if instead, happiness and holiness were viewed as inseparable companions in the work of being married? 

I don't exactly know how this all breaks down theologically, especially when I've been told over and over again that it's joy, not happiness, that counts in the Christian's life. But the truth is, 95% of the time, I am so happy when I am with you. I laugh and dance and sing and skip and sometimes it's like we're on the rim of heaven, peering into the place where there will be no more tears. 

Happily ever after isn't just for fairy tales.  

It is for you and for me-a pauper and a peasant girl,

weaving delight into the drudgery,

asking God to bless us all the while.