Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A promise to keep...

The vows that we say to each other when we get married are for life. Virtually a promise to each other to follow it to the "T". A contract if you will and promise made in front of family, friends, and God. One of the lines in there is "in sickness and in health". I often wonder how many of us actually knew the true meaning of "in sickness and in health". Did we take that phrase at face value? I will admit, I sure did. I had no idea all the meanings that were encompassed in that phrase. Many times in counseling while trying to put my life back together as well as our marriage, our counselor would remind both of us that we made the promise to each and to God. I am convinced that married couples often lose site of this promise. 

To me the promise of "in sickness and in health" means loving your spouse, supporting your spouse, and being a part of the healing process with your spouse. It means loving your husband or wife in the the best of times, or worst of times. Sickness means physical, mental, and spiritually.

Colossians 3:12-14

12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

To me the above scripture is a good reminder of what it takes to have a marriage. In talking with men, couples, and individuals that I know who are facing hard times either in relationships, or personal struggles, I remind them that healing takes time, it takes patience and understanding. Most of all having compassion and walking with them through this journey.

I am an avid Chicago Bears fan. I have suffered through some terrible seasons and celebrated through some fantastic seasons. I have see seasons of rebuilding and it has taken patience through that rebuilding process. Through my experience in rebuilding my marriage, both my wife and I had to have the expectation that neither one of us were going to be perfect through the rebuilding process. We had mis-steps and many times we went back to the drawing board to figure out what we did wrong. Many times spending time with our counselor and in prayer looking for guidance. The rebuilding process saw many defeats, but many times of celebration as something monumental had been accomplished. More and more we celebrated as the journey went on. Colossians 3:12-14 mentions many attributes of being a child of God, but also those same attributes are part of the promise we made when we got married. 

I wish more couples would spend more time on what the promise of "in sickness and in health" means. I can still see the smug look on our counselors face as she nailed me to the wall with that reminder every time. There was no excuse to walk away from my marriage. I made that promise and I needed to stick to it. I am so glad I listened to God use her words to penetrate my life. The pay off has been amazing. My wife loved me through my sickness, and any excuse or justification that I had for walking couldn't stand up to the promise I made when I said in sickness and in health. 

Ready to give up? Ready to walk? Refer the Colossians 3:12-14. Have you displayed and been all those attributes to your wife or husband who may be struggling? Does your excuse or justification really stand up to the above scripture or promise you made? Are you praying for your wife or husband that God would change them? Are you asking God for guidance? What is God's will for your marriage? Are you in line with what God wants for your marriage? Are you ready for any and all consequences good or bad of your decisions? 

I have and always will be a Bears fan. I always will be a fan of my wife. I know of very few people like my spouse who loved with the love of Christ and stayed true to that promise. In the world today, that promise is so over looked. Husbands and wives put their needs and happiness opposite of the promise they made. A promise is a promise is a promise especially before God.