‘Til What Do Us Part?

When we got married, we thought we were surrounded by solid Christian marriages.  Even the couples that we knew were struggling seemed absolutely committed to their marriages regardless of the difficulties.  Within a year or two, only one of the local couples that we’d thought would be our support as we learned this new thing called marriage were still married.  By the way, that same couple is still married.  I watched long-term and short term marriages crumble– including my parents’.  Thankfully, Mom and Dad reunited a few years later and have been back together ever since.

“We just drifted apart.”  That was the excuse for leaving a husband for another man.  It tore me up.  Years went by and one after another, more marriages around town dissolved.  Why?

What makes someone invest years and years of their life in a relationship– make vows even– and then discard them?  I’m not pretending that it is easy for them.  I’m sure, at least for some, it’s quite difficult to make that decision.  But, considering it happens so often, it must not be so difficult that they don’t let it happen.  When we marry, we vow– VOW– for as long as we both shall live.  It seems that now people make the mental vow, “For as long as we both shall love.”  Actually, I’ve heard of secular marriages using that as their vow.  At least it’s doable.

Don’t get me wrong.  If Kevin found himself a honey on the side and committed adultery, I can’t imagine staying married to him.  I suppose if there was genuine repentance, I would try.  I would want to be the wife who could do that, but I don’t know if I could be.  If he started beating me, I’d be gone– our kids with me.  I have no idea HOW I’d do it, but I would.

I just wonder whatever happened to “for better or worse” and “for richer or poorer.”  What about, “in sickness and in health” and (since it seems to be a huge problem in our day) “forsaking all others?”

I don’t know the answer, but I do beg Christians to take heed lest they fall… I need to keep alert, watchful, and prayerful before I become the next statistic.


2 thoughts on “‘Til What Do Us Part?

  1. In my new job, I have seen several examples of people who kept their vows — in sickness and in health. The man whose wife has become difficult, often combative and sometimes doesn’t even recognize him anymore, but he continues to provide the very best quality care for her, even though I know their marriage was often difficult even when they were young and healthy. The couple who both struggle physically and find their normal lifestyle drastically curtailed as their faculties and privileges are curtailed. 65 years of marriage – both active and busy people – didn’t prepare them for this isolated confinement. Another couple, who live in a remote area with no family nearby. A crippled, frail woman and a loud, cranky man. They may not find great fellowship together, but they are committed because of their vows.

    I don’t think we take vows very seriously anymore. We see circumstances and emotions changing and decide the vows are null and void.

    We also live in a time where the government can force us into things. We can’t remain married and apart, sometimes, to try to work through things or wait for a prodigal. A woman whose husband is convicted of a crime – especially a financial crime – must divorce him in order that she can make a living and not have her assets and income taken because it would otherwise be community property. If a woman ever calls the police because she is afraid of her husband, that family has come under government scrutiny. She might have to worry about losing her children if she decides to reconcile with her husband. In a more ideal world, such human sins would be dealt with by the church instead of the civil authorities. But this is the culture of a fallen world.

    Think of the word “love.” When a man says, “I just don’t love her anymore,” we should all gasp in horror. He’s supposed to love her!! God said so, several times, in Scripture, and then the man vowed to do it, in a ceremony of marriage! But instead, we don’t just see it as a fault, we see it so casually that we require no repentance. It becomes a reasonable attitude and valid excuse to end a marriage.

    It’s a fallen world. Even Christians are swayed and stumble. We are all just very very human.

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