Sour Grapes In The Midst Of The Sweetness

Posted: July 12, 2011 in Love and Marriage
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The day my wife and I got married was the happiest day of my life.  I will never forget what I felt when I saw her standing at the back of the church.  I’ll also never forget the friends, the reception, and the fun we had that day.  It was the perfect blend of fun and seriousness.  There were pranks and light moments, and there were solemn vows and songs of devotion.

The two biggest surprises for me both involved our car.  The first was that the guys had poured Rice Krispies into the air vents and turned the setting to high, so as soon as I started the car, we were showered with them in our seats.  Not only was it a fun shock at the time, but over the few months following, stray pieces of rice would work their way loose and come flying out at random moments, bringing smiles to our faces.

The other unexpected surprise was the reaction of other people to the “just married” writing and other evidence of our wedding that was all over the car.  We couldn’t afford much of a honeymoon at the time, so we just drove from Dodge City to Wichita, KS and stayed at an old fashioned bed and breakfast.  Everywhere we drove, people smiled, honked, waved, and gave us thumbs up signs.  Maybe it was the grins plastered all over our faces, or maybe people were just glad for newlywed couples, but it was as if an entire city of strangers shared in the joy of our special day.

After our separation, and when we got back together, those grins were all over our faces again, but we were in for another surprise.  Not everyone was happy for us or supportive.  We didn’t have decorations on our car to signal strangers that we had just been joined back together in marriage, but people that we knew, who were aware that we had been split up and had worked it out should have had even more reason to be happy for us, we thought.

Don’t misunderstand, there were many who were. I would say the majority of our friends and co-workers were happy for us and said so.  With that being said, there were those who blew us off, showed no happiness or support, and even withdrew from us.  We didn’t expect everyone to be all giddy with joy, but we did think that people would fairly universally rally around a story with a happy ending.  After all, the fairy tales all say, “and they lived happily ever after,” don’t they?

Maybe that’s where some of the problem comes in.  True love and a happy marriage is what people really want deep down.  But in today’s society, so many people have been hurt, abused, used, and discarded, that they’ve quit believing in that dream.  They’ve put up walls that they think are protecting themselves, and they are choosing to accept less than what they really want because they are afraid that they won’t ever be able to get it.

By being negative toward marriage, and congregating with other equally negative people, they try to insulate themselves from their own dissatisfaction with life and love.  When they hear of people getting married, their reaction is, “How long do you suppose it will last?”  When they hear of people splitting up and getting divorced, it reaffirms in their mind that there is no happily ever after, so therefore, they aren’t missing out on anything.

Those are the people who have a hard time with our story.  It flies in the face of their false smugness, and forces them to look at what they don’t want to see.  They won’t rejoice with us, because it would expose their own sorrow that they are trying so hard to deny.  They are jealous of our love, and they resist it instead of letting it inspire them.  Instead of letting our victory be a beacon of hope that shows the way to real and lasting love, they turn away and cling to their belief that love can’t be true.

I ache for those people, and I keep them in my prayers.  I so long to be able to share with others what God has done in our marriage, and what He will do for them.  The princess being rescued and the guy getting the girl, these are at the very heart of all romantic notions.  The reason they persist is that we were made to believe in and experience real love.  It is a part of our very make-up as human beings.  If you’ve found that kind of love, you’ll undoubtedly rejoice with us.  If you haven’t, don’t ever give up.  It’s real, and it’s for everyone who will fight for it with all their strength and never give up.

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