When our daughters were pre-teens and teens, they had friends who were sisters. The four girls enjoyed putting on plays in our basement and we loved watching them. One time they entertained us with the Princess and the Pea. Another time they did Cinderella on roller skates. This week I read fresh renditions of these fairy tales to one of our granddaughters. They were really fun for both of us.
Fairy tales are fun as long as we remember that they are fairy tales, as long as we don’t turn them into expectations of a completely “happily ever after.”
A mama once told me that she felt like God’s princess—until she experienced a tragic loss. When Paul wrote to Timothy (whom he called “my true son in the faith”), he reminded Timothy of his (Paul’s) life. In doing so, Paul gave a much more realistic description of “ever after.”
Now you followed my teaching, conduct,
purpose, faith, patience, love,
perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings,
such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra;
what persecutions I endured,
and out of them all the Lord rescued me!
Indeed, all who want to live in a godly way in Christ Jesus
will be persecuted.
2 Timothy 3:10-12
As your children grow up in your home, it is crucial that they receive your teaching, watch your conduct, learn your purpose, see your faith, and experience your patience and love. As they watch how you handle your own sufferings, they can learn not to expect “happily ever after.”
God loves us too much to make our whole lives fit the fairy tale view of “happily ever after.” Even His very own, one and only holy Son had to suffer and He did so willingly for us.
In the days of His humanity,
He offered up both prayers and pleas
with loud crying and tears
to the One able to save Him from death,
and He was heard because of His devout behavior.
Although He was a Son,
He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
. . . let’s run with endurance the race that is set before us,
looking only at Jesus, the originator and perfecter of the faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame,
and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
For consider Him who has endured
such hostility by sinners against Himself,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.