(Part 2, Happily Ever After?)
Remember your wedding day? We can all recall how excited we were, how fun it was to be with all our friends, how wonderful to be joined to the man we loved.
But what happens to that feeling of being a fairytale princess or of having your prayers answered when you realize that the man you married doesn’t pick up his dirty clothes, has bad habits, or reacts to you in anger?
Do you remember the vows you took the day you got married, something like: “… to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until parted by death”?
Most of us took a vow in which we promised before God and before our friends and family that we were going to stay with this man “… for better, for worse, … until death do us part.”
However, our culture that says, “get rid of the jerk,” “you deserve more,” “your life will be better without him!” This philosophy can be very alluring; it tells us that all our problems would be solved by a divorce!
At some time in most marriages, one of the partners gets to a place in which they think or say, “I don’t think I can take this anymore!” I did. My husband wasn’t behaving like I thought he should and that continued for several years.
“Well,” I thought. “What are my options?” After reconsidering my wedding vows, my commitment to this man before God and everybody, my desire to have a different kind of relationship from that of my parents, and what God says about divorce in His word (for example: Malachi 2:16, Matthew 19:4-9, 1 Corinthians 7:10-16), I realized that I had no other option!
I finally sought counsel from a godly older man. I asked him, “What do you do if someone you are close to isn’t doing what he should be doing? God knows, he knows, you know, and you’re caught in the backwash, but there’s nothing you can do to change anything.”
His response was very simple. He said, “God knows you’re there.” As I contemplated his words, I realized they were very wise and based on scripture. (Romans 8:28-29, Psalm 66: 10-12) God was allowing this in my life (not just Tim’s). If He weren’t going to use it for good and to help conform me to the image of His Son, He wouldn’t have allowed it to happen.
I realized then that I really was going to stick with Tim “… for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish … ,” that God was in control of him, and He would use even the things about my husband that frustrate me to work His good in my life.
How committed are you? Are you committed to obeying God and honoring your wedding vows? It is not always easy to stand firm in that commitment, but the rewards of obedience far outweigh and outlast the momentary relief of doing things our own way instead of God’s!
Recently a friend told me about a book that teaches this concept, “Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?” by Gary Thomas
The following comes from the publisher’s information about the book:
Happy is good. Holy is better.
Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply.
If you have had issues with negative thoughts and reactions in your marriage, this book might help you begin to look at your relationship through God’s eyes and encourage healing.