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when fairytales died

As I was getting a ride back home a few nights ago from my mentor I asked him the question…

“Shouldn’t falling in Love be simple and easy?” 

This idea has been something I’ve happily poured over for the last decade… I was the guy who was writing letters to his wife at age ten, drifting off in the back of Mrs. Rogers 1st grade class. Haha, I still remember when I was asked to stay seated one day while everyone else made their way out to recess. Mrs. Rogers strolled her tall modest figure all the way ‘cross the classroom and sat right down right next to me…and then gently said…”What were you thinking about when you obviously were not listening to the lesson?” I looked right at her, paused for what might have been thought dramatic effect, but was surely just my little boy confidence…and said to her light blue eyes…”I was thinking about the person I might get to Love one day.” 

Needless to say, I was never again asked to stay after everyone else was excused, eventhough I clearly repeated my academic offense countless times after.

So, while Mrs. Rogers was beautiful and heartfelt and understood what it was to be forever intrigued and smitten with romance and Love, I’ve found myself crashing into many others since then that do not feel as devoted to the idea…or worse…that they do not believe that people can fall in Love like the fairytales we grew up hearing of.

I don’t know why I have such a strong reaction to these comments throughout my life, but they poke and prod at my very core…why not the fairytale?!

I think it’s important for me to define what I believe fairytale to be. When I think of fairytale, I think of Loving a Princess and paying the bills… making Love and morning breath… a candlelit table for two and sippy-cups. The point of contention I think that stirs in my heart is that many people I talk to don’t leave much room for romance…for that stuff I, and many others, dreamed about when we were little…for the fairytale. You might be thinking…’well, his definition of fairytale isn’t really all that romantic and fictional if it’s including bills and sippy-cups.’ But don’t be fooled…I’m absolutely talking about the crazy, nowadays-long-abandoned Lovely whims of every fairytale we grew up hearing and knowing.

As a now single guy I remember all too well the warmth of Love and lesser but still flooring affections… their sheer power and allure…the way they would gaze back at you unblinkingly… the way it fit in your hand so perfectly…the way it slept next to you perfectly breathing in your smell that it could pick out of a thousand others, reminding you that you were at last found… the way it rested its lips right upon your shoulder as you held it close for hours. I remember this even if I only drew near to giving myself entirely to it. But nowadays all I often hear of is people taking their checklists and pragmatic futures into their daydreams.

I for one await that one person to come who will inspire me to be swept up, and, do some sweeping up of my own.

I had a friend recently get engaged and while I love their story, I really do, I found myself wondering why it didn’t really tug at many of the depths of my affection that, by all estimations, should respond to such a culmination as a story ending and beginning in the blessing of marriage.

What I found was that they had done what so many people have done these days…they talked about so many aspects of their marriage long before they ever got married…so much so that when time came to get married, it was more of a challenege of tricking his Lovely as to when he would propose and not if. She knew it was coming…and not in that, “Well, perhaps he would ask me the greatest of all questions one day”…but she knew so very well that the question was looming in the nearing days, draped in formality.

I don’t know about you, and I’m sure I’m alone in this in many ways…but what the heck happened to getting down on one knee and actually asking a question…one that’s not rhetorical?

Sure, I would pray and hope I would have an idea, perhaps even assurance in some ways of what my lovely might say to such a question, but I can’t imagine having talked about that moment so much, that my bending down on one knee was more a formaility that a faithful, vulnerable, perfect step of affection.

I hope I am in that moment honestly asking my possible wife-to-be if she would spend the rest of her life with me, and not simply confirming on one knee what I already know to be the case. Is that wrong to want it to be a question? And the deeper question… Is there something irreplaceable and unfortunately long forgotten in thinking it could be that way again?

I understand all the practicality behind the let’s-talk-about-everything-we-can-think-of-having-to-do-with-us-possibly-getting-hitched question…but I guess I have a question… at what point does that become awakening Love before it’s time, which we know to be unbiblical?

Haha, I’m sure everyone out there who took that as, “Wow, did he just call me unbiblical” might want to fly off the rail at me…and please know I’m not saying you’re refuting God’s Word…I’m again just working with age old questions, equally old Truths, and our culture (paradigm) to see if we are not even begging questions that hold Truth behind them…like the wedding ring question in a previous blog.

I myself have posed particular pre-wedding questions to a handful of God’s daughters with the express intention of wanting to see what they’d say…to see if they answered as my wife would hopefully answer. These weren’t finicky questions holding preference in their centers, but more bridges possibly leading to a future that God has called me to share with another. This gets dicey and interesting to navigate when you find someone whom you could very well see yourself mursuing with marriage in mind…especially when you’re still to even take the step of boyfriend and girlfriend.

I know I have been guilty of asking questions that have filled my heart with as much God as they did enemy…for on such vulnerable ground erupt brushfire and benevolence. One such friend now is a beautiful and remarkable young woman…fierce and gentle and filled with bewildering joy often, at least when I see her (which is a good sign). I  would surely find myself and lose myself more in God should I be so lucky to call her my wife one day…and while my fight within is one of freedom, learning to Love again and learning to be His so as to perhaps one day be hers… I pose the greater question again…one that I have even knowingly eschewed for the frustration of not getting to do something, anything, to actively bring about this thing called falling in Love… At what point is it awakening Love before its time?

Resting in God is a challenge in that it calls us to not be inactive as some denominations have legalized their sabbath(s)…but more in the idea that we ought to come to a place of dependent activity… relinquishing the desire to need to put our hands, words and even our hearts to the task of rescuing and redeeming and even requestion the chance for pursuit of someone else. My call to creativity, and to honoring this age old gift from God called marriage…even long before you ever enter into it…touches many aspects…from the idea of fairytale to wedding rings, to the right questions and the things best left (perhaps just for now) unsaid. I am learning about this flooring concept called marriage more and more as those around me enter into it before God’s blessing and expectations, and am in process as everyone else is…so firgive me if I seem brash or overly-agog with the subject. 

But why must the fairytale die? Why must we not act like royalty prancing around in Disney movies? Why can I not hold fast to the reality I believe to be thus…

   in the morning I take in the saluting song-birds as much as the methodic morning breath escaping my wife’s nostrils…and while I don’t pretend the smell is non-existent…I am utterly in Love with it all. Why can I not find joy in skipping the intimate-still-in-bed early morning hours with my wife to instead let her sleep in alone, and go play with kids…and be in Love with what I foregoing and what I am not! Why can I not make her breakfast in bed more than once a month…or a week…and Love doing it…do the taxes for her…go jogging with her and slip away off the trail with her and make love in the wilderness (which by the way is recorded/suggested in Song of Solomon).

Why would I not get creative for her on her birthday… leaving her with little kid digging tools and a treasure map showing where I buried her gift…which on the bottom would have the place she was to meet me down in town after she got cleaned up of course, haha. Why does that have to be the rarest of rares…the one she would hark back to as her favorite. I hope my wife can fill up days on end talking about all the romance I gave her in all its various forms. Why can I not throw an actual ball for her…turning it into a ministry of sorts…perhaps for an old folks home…getting her a big beautiful gown and everything else fairytale? Why do these things sound stupid and silly to others, warranting only huffs and puffs of “yeah rights”…and, “that’s not possible?” Oh you of little faith I say!

 You know what… despite my naivety and my young age, not being married, etc…I’ll tell you what’s not supposed to be possible… Finding someone to spend the rest of your life with! Someone who will embrace my faults and my victories…my wounds…my uniqueness…my idioms…my smell…my grins…my tendencies, good and bad, all in one sexy handful!

It’s not supposed to be possible that someone can love you more than yourself…call out of you the power of God that you perhaps would have never tapped into, because God actualy made someone for you, to draw from you treasures and Life and gifts for the world as though they as though they alone held the key to your heart! But that crazy therein is possible and we claim to be a part of it all the time…all over the world we say it…”I’m married.” Then I say, as that hopeless believer…BE MARRIED! Throw balls, pay bills, mow lawns as acts of Love and service, make Love OFTEN, skip sex to let her sleep-in and play with the offspring she gave you…make her breakfast in bed…and lunch…and dinnner and dessert…haha, assuming she desires to stay in bed all day long, haha.

Just a side-note…I’ve thought about this ever since I first heard the following problem voiced to me…and please take this with a gentle heart and even gentler words in return if it seems to make light of something that’s much more confusing and difficult to work with. I’ve heard from a number of men that their sex-life is not the greatest because she’s not always satisfied…it seems, and this is just me…but if you’re still learning her body (and you should aspire to be a straight A student of it forever) and how to entie it and fulfill it…haha, it sounds silly to even say…but maybe opt for letting her be on top! After all, she’s aware of how her body works…and while you’re studying it, serving it and Loving on it from beneath, paying attention to rhythms, etc…well, anyway, there you have it…it was just a thought. Can’t wait til my Mom and grandma read this blushing blog.

But seriously…I ask…not why does the fairytale have to die…but when did it die…for so many anyway?

May it never be!     

  Consider what is awakening Love before its’ time…even if asking the wise questions of the interesting, beautiful friend sitting across from you…

                  Consider that proposing the idea of marriage before we actually propose is not the bravest and loving way to go about calling upon the sacred sacrament to fill our lives

And lastly, consider why we so quickly dismiss the fairytale to be impossible, when in fact out Author of Life has written us into such a story, a a leading role in fact…in it are all the heartbreaks and dangers that make the glorious ending exactly what we believe it not to be…POSSIBLE.

I only read Christ’s Love for His bride one way…entirely, romantically, creatively, without question, with complete sacrifice and in belief of the impossible made possible.

I contend the fairytale never died…perhaps just yours!



About justingunter

I'm recently 29 years old, recently married and ready to change the world for God. He has called me to be a missionary! This means more than just changing zip codes and living in countries where I struggle (for a while) speaking the language the locals dream in. It means a lifestyle of sacrifice, audacious Hope and above all, a desire for Jesus simply because He is who He is. I moved to Franklin, TN in October 15th of 2012 and expect this to be the first of many changes for the great calling on the Gunter's life. Side note...I dig being married. It helps when you're married the best woman ever! Teale and I feel called to plant churches, combat sex trafficking and be a place of refuge and Holy sojourn to all who would seek to join alongside us for good or for a season. For now, Ol' Rocky Top is our home, Zoey is our Great Dane and we, the Gunters, love Jesus with all we have.

2 responses »

  1. wow!! I know I have said this before but your blogs always amaze me. Maybe that isn’t the right word to use but for some reason they always seem to have that special touch of you in them. This is a good thing 🙂 and I know that it is one of the reasons why you are such a good friend of mine.

    As I was reading it, I can imagine you doing all those things with your future family and not many have thought this long and hard about this particular subject. Fairytales do seem they have faded this day in age but I hope for many who read this blog (myself included) will never have to have our fairytale diminish after marriage. Ahh, the joys of looking into our future wondering what they might hold for us. For only God knows what our futures hold. Yes you and I both know that saying very well but yet I feel that we all need reminding of it every now and then.

    Thank you for your gentle and truthful words that continue to come from your mouth. I will always enjoy talking with you about many things until a day comes when we might not be able to share a lot of those moments together on a regular basis. You are truly a forever friend to me, thank you again.


  2. I ran across this today…. in the middle of my own thoughts…… For I will never stop believing in the fairytale….. Bill Sippy Cups and Morning Breath included….. I’m learning now Patience is indeed a virtue, because with each attempt struggle occurs….

    Since I was a little girl I dreamed of having the fairtale… and yes I do mean a princess finding her prince…. and living happily ever after… kids and a white picket fence if you will…… It seemed so simple…. shouldn’t it be???

    My newest discovery : Loving Someone….. and Your Fairytale…. are not the same thing ……

    I know in my heart…. No one should ever change their fairytale simply because they are sick of waiting for their prince in their fairytale to become a dream come true……

    And now I pray…. God I know you have granted me the blessing of choice,and May the Lord be praised for the gift he has given! Choices are the basic proof of real freedom, but choices made without love are simply license, and license is the forge from which the strong chains of slavery to the self come…. Now Lord I ask of you… Guide me to the right one….


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