Life Will Get Harder
The young couple stands at the front of a church. She dressed in white, he in a penguin suit. As they gaze at each other the world opens up in front of them. They think of all the possibilities and joys of the years to come. The travel, the escapades, the children they will raise, the fun things they will do, the joy of simply living life together. They have no idea.
Life will get harder.
Who can tell them that they may find themselves someday deciding whether to honor their commitment to buy groceries for those future children or to fulfill their obligation to the bank?
Who can tell them that the bundles of joy they imagine in their ideal future life will repeatedly suck joy, energy, and life from them, and replace it with simply more demands?
How can you explain to them that the ideals they now hold will be tested, beaten, shaken down, until only that which is truly true remains, and it may bear little resemblance to what now drives them forward?
Yes life will get harder. But no one wants to spoil the day for the happy couple. Let them have their day. Let the joy spill over. Let the festivities romp, for soon enough Real Life will have it's turn.
The question is, what will they do when life gets harder? For it will, as certainly as autumn follows summer. What will they do then? Will the pressures of life and the disillusionment and disappointments, and just sheer marathon of difficult decisions cause them to turn on one another? Or will these same circumstances push them closer together? Will they allow the inevitable hardness of life to become a wedge that drives them onto different sides of issues, or will these circumstances become the cement that bonds them together?
It all starts right there at the altar. The vows that they say, in this fairy tale setting, actually have incredible power. Here, in front of their parents, siblings, roommates, and friends, these two blissfully naive young adults will make promises that have the power to change everything for them. In two, ten, twelve, twenty years, they will face so many challenges that it is a mercy that God does not permit foresight. But if they will stand by these vows -- to love each other sacrificially in richness and poorness, in good health and bad, for better for worse, when the kids bring joy and when they suck them dry -- then perhaps this is not such a fairy tale after all.