I spoke with a man today whose wife has had a stroke. She is no longer able to speak and can no longer hold a pen or pencil to write. We talked about how his life is now and he was honest, his life was forever changed that day in April. He was now living out the other half of his wedding vows.
I said a silent prayer for him and his wife as they face these next days and years together. I thought about how he would never hear her say again, “I love you” or read a letter or receive a card for Valentine’s Day with her handwritten note inside. Those days are gone.
His decision to continue to live out his vows, now on the other side of the bright promises reminded me of the promises my grandparents made to each other. They were married in 1936 and 1946, each set promising to love, honor, and remain faithful in sickness, health, for richer and poorer, for better and for worse.
I watched them as they stood by each other for surgeries, illnesses, life-changing health issues. And finally, I watched my grandmothers become widows. Taking the title with a bittersweet honor. They had stood by their husbands in day-to-day experiences, training up children, making business decisions, and holding conversations that no one else ever heard. Sharing love, sharing struggles, sharing sorrow no one else ever would know.
I watch too many decide that their wedding certificates/ marriage licenses are “just paper” — disposable items, tossed in the trash like a used napkin. When difficulties come it seems easier to walk away, dust the hands, and shrug saying, “It just isn’t working out.”
When difficulties come husbands and wives have the opportunity to link arms, choose to bind themselves to each other, and look into the trouble determined to come out on the other side stronger, together.
Marriage is a sacred thing. It is used to symbolized the relationship between God and the Church. God never gives up on His Church– His Bride, why do husbands and wives give up?
During the past year or so, my husband and I have had some of the deepest, hardest, best, most beautiful conversations. Recommitting our hearts to each other as we go forward into the next season of our lives– together.
We meant what we said and said what we meant– we are committed, through the tough times, the fun times, the sad times, and every other experience to stand together. We know there may be times when one of us in down on our knees and we will choose to bend down, comfort, and encourage each other to get up and continue on the path.
This decision is no– no not ever, possible to do without God. No amount of grit is going to bring us through the troubles without God’s help.
Here are some verses to lean into and be encouraged by… Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 147:3, 1 Peter 5:7, Deuteronomy 31:6, Psalm 43:1-5, and Matthew 28:20.
Don’t give up. God is faithful to His Bride. He will help you to be faithful to your spouse too.