Guest post by Angie Schuller Wyatt
Romantic notions about happiness begin early in life with fairy tales about true love that all young girls are taught. From Cinderella to Snow White, the moral of the story is the same: A woman’s happiness derives from being with a man. The right man will solve her problems, provide for her and fulfill her heart’s desire. She will no longer have to be a maid-servant to her horrible family members, and merely his kiss will awaken her from the dark spell of her enemies. She can stop hiding out in the forest and find refuge in his castle. The fairy tale princess falls in love, is loved in return and then marries her beloved. And they live happily ever after.
What does living happily ever after mean? Is happiness the result of staying married, or staying in love? Did the prince and the princess live happily because they had children, or because they had power and wealth? Can a couple live happily without an enormous palace filed with little kids? Are they happy ever after because they died together in old age, wrapped in each other’s arms like the characters in The Notebook?
Happiness can be found with or without romance, with or without disappointment, when we understand our purpose in life. Whether single, dating, separated or widowed, we can be happy when we know the purpose of our relationship status. To be happy at home, school, or work, we must know the purpose of our endeavors. I don’t believe that happiness is found in love, the perfect career or the absence of pain. I believe happiness is found in purpose. Our purpose is not to live happily ever after, but to become more and more like God (Jesus).