On the morning of December 27, 2017, Disneyland tweeted: “Why not relax and join us for a vacation to a galaxy far, far away. What’s the worst that could happen?”
Later that morning, fantasy was halted when a glitch in a transformer caused a major power failure. Guests had to be rescued and escorted off rides, including the hot monorail. It took up to five hours for various attractions to be restored. Peak season crowds were angry and frustrated.
I guess not all their dreams came true that day at the happiest place on Earth.
Disney communicates a continuous “what’s the worst that could happen” message with their “happily ever after” stories. But many couples’ feelings vanish after the wedding like Olaf in summer.
There was a time I felt the power went out in my fairy tale marriage. It wasn’t feeling so magical anymore, and I thought I married the wrong person.
Apparently, my husband felt the same. One night he told me he didn’t want to be married anymore. I cried and prayed all through that dark, unsettling night. Although I wasn’t happy either, I didn’t want to break up my family. After hours of heartfelt prayer, I sensed God impress on me to love and understand my husband.
“But, Lord, I don’t even like him right now,” I rebelled.
I continued to pray, and a peace began to cast a ray of light across my darkest night. I recalled things I’d heard. Things like,
(Not exactly a Disney message.)
Could it be that God was at work in the brokenness of our marriage?
I began to have hope that there actually could be a dawn coming if I worked through this dark time, that the “power” could actually be restored.
Sometimes marriage can be Disney-like, but in reality, Disney is a place we visit, not a place we reside. Marriage, relationships, life, is full of ups and downs, and there may be times when the power goes out in the middle of our roller coaster.
Powerful feelings get us to the wedding, but we need a different power to sustain the marriage.
Where I live in Florida, our power company is called Florida Power and Light, aka “FPL.” I have my own words for the acronym FPL – three powerful components that can amp up our relationships and keep our marriages charged.
F is for forgive – We cannot live in the past, we can only learn from it. If we hold on to anger and resentment in our relationships, we halt present and future growth. Our marriages are to be an example of Christ’s love for his people.
Colossians 3:13 tells us, “Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”
How did the Lord forgive? “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Christ didn’t wait for us to change; He gave us a reason to change.
What grudges towards your spouse might you be holding?
P is for prayer. Storms will come in our marriages and can leave us feeling powerless, but if we are patient and persistent in prayer, God’s power is released to work in our situation.
Jesus told us to always pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1). Galatians 6:9 states we will reap if we do not give up.
Prayer is like a conductor wire leading to the power source. Whether we connect and the amount of voltage we receive is up to us.
Are you fervently, continuously praying for your spouse and your marriage?
When we are receptacles of God’s power, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
L is for love – not the feelings of love, the commitment to love. You see, love is a verb. It can be a noun (as in, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” or “Love is an Open Door”), but when we say, “I love you,” it’s a verb. A verb denotes action. In essence, we’re saying, “I will love you.” That’s what wedding vows are – a commitment to love in action, in good times and in bad, whether our spouse does so or not.
Love binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14) and covers a multitude of offenses (Proverbs 10:12).
We get to love, and then watch a miracle!
The problem with “love” is, we think it’s suppose to be a feeling, and happiness is the goal. (Thanks, Disney.) Successful marriage should be our goal, and success does not happen without hard work; it’s doing what needs to be done whether we feel like it or not.
I assure you, my husband and I were not feeling love at the time I told you about. What God impressed on me was to act in love, not to feel love. Feelings of love cannot be commanded, but the action of love can.
This can be hard, but it turns out, God is in the power business. First John 4:7 says, “God is love.” He is the source of love, and His love is powerful. God is the infinite, eternal power source we can plug into any time, if we will.
Disney should not be our model for marriage. God should.
What short circuits your ability to love your spouse unconditionally?
It took several months for healing to begin in our marriage. There were several difficult years for our family. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it. God was faithful to provide the love I needed to get through as I prayed for His help and guidance. The more I acted in love, the more my husband felt loved and acted the same. The miracle is that these actions turned into feelings. What a powerful thing! God fixed things in our relationship I thought could never be fixed.
Disney was right about one thing. Love really is an open door.
How about you? Is your marriage not quite the happiest place on earth? Has the power gone out in your fairy tale? Do you need God’s direct power current of forgiveness, prayer and love in action flowing through your relationship?
Just as FPL must get its power from a natural source, God is our power source. As long as we stay connected to Him, we can restore power back to our marriages through our own “FPL.”
Join the conversation. How long have you been married? What marriage advice do you have to share? I welcome your comments here and on social media.