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Posts Tagged ‘vows’

in sickness and in health

September 15, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s a hard decision when a spouse is faced with an ailing husband or wife. It’s one thing to care for your spouse when he or she has a cold or a flu, but what happens when you are watching the love of your life coming dangerously close to making an appearance in next weeks obituary. I think about this as I am watching my mom deal with the harsh reality of my dad’s heart condition. In fact I am writing this while sitting in a hospital hoping that my dad will be soon leave this place to live out the rest of his years.

While marriage, I am certain, is a gift from God, the traditional vows we speak in a ceremony are man made. The words we know so well, “for better or worse, in sickness and in health…” these first came from the ‘Book of Common Prayer’ published in 1549. So, while the words are man made, the value in these words are given to us by God. What happens when we stick things through in both the good and the bad? What happens when we are able to properly handle sickness and health? There is no doubt, that something incredible happens through the times of trial that we face.

I can’t seem to say this enough, but it is when we find ourselves living in isolation that it begins to become almost unmanagable to live any type of quality life. We tend to give up more and we find ourselves becoming more cynical on just about everything around us. So, those vows that we have been repeating since the mid 16th century, those are more than just common words. They are the glue that ties us to God. They are what gives us the hope of living a life worth living. It’s what brings us into the community of God and other people.

When the trials of life come at us, its incredible when we are able to call upon the strength that we have access to through Jesus Christ. Through those trials we are given this encouragement from James 1:2-4..

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So, while you may be facing trials of your own, allow God to complete the work He has begun in you. Allow perseverence to finish its work. This is the promise that whether you are facing the ugly in life or the failing health of your spouse, you will not be alone. Christ is with you, and He will never leave you. This is the type of companionship you cannot live without.

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Til death do us part

Till death do us part.

More and more we’ve turned this from a vow to an ultimatum. One thing our culture does not like is ultimatums. This could explain the skyrocketing divorce rate. We enjoy options. Being tied down to one person is a thing of the past. At least that is what popular television, magazines, and modern culture would have you believe. Even the shows that do show steady marriages are made into a mockery. Everybody Loves Raymond and the Simpson’s are among the decreasing number of shows that display a marriage of one woman and one man. The problem is that these shows are meant to make you laugh. They’re sitcoms. Really, do good marriages exist anymore?

Even in our own reality there is plenty of details which could be the makings of the next sitcom. Some of our marriages even have the making of the next Lifetime movie that ends in tragedy. I’ve seen shows that encourage multiple relationships and even other shows that tempt couples with other men or women in extracurricular relationships.

Regardless how you look at it, marriages are in shambles all across the nation. According to the 2007 figures from the CDC,  there are on average 250 marriages per hour in this country, we also see 102 divorces per hour. That is nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. There are fewer and fewer marriages every year, while the divorce rate is on a steady rise.

What does this mean for the church?  For too long now, couples inside and outside the church aren’t investing into their marriage. We are working more and more hours and have more activities than ever before. What about you? When was the last time you took time out  for your own marriage. I’m not talking about going to a movie together or going grocery shopping. I am talking about some serious investing.

I think we can all agree that we do have busy schedules. Think about this, how much time do you spend with your spouse without interruption (kids, telephone, internet, work, tv, etc.) One on one time with your spouse is what you need. Now, how much time to spend with other married couples without interruption? I am guessing not too much.

So, what lengths would you go to in order to make sure that your marriage is getting the investment it needs and to stay off the divorce rate statistic? Do you want to end up as one of the 102 couples that end up in divorce each hour? The odds are in your not actively investing in your marriage, when things get tough, they’ll take longer and longer to get better.

Take the time now to invest in your marriage. Third City has many opportunities for you. Take a look at the list below and find one that suits you.

LIFE Groups for couples
Home Builders by Family Life
Weekend to Remember Getaway
Adult Ed courses:  Love & Respect, Sacred Marriage
Marriage Counseling
Date Nights

Any of the above suggestions are sure to give you what you need for a healthy marriage. Now is the time to invest in your marriage. Don’t wait till its too late. No one is exempt from those stats, just make sure you are doing what you need to do now to ensure a great marriage for years till come. Bring back the covenant that you make before God when you said, “Till death do us part.”.