I, (samurai), take you (my beloved), to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part.How many of us actually paid attention when we said them ourselves (or some variation thereof)? Last week my beloved took very good care of me as i struggled with either some kind of food poisoning, or a variation of the "Mongolian Death Flu". This week has turned into it being my turn to help her... except for today, which i might get into later. A co-worker once told me that he was cured of his infatuation of a lovely young woman. When he was in his early twenties he was apparently head over heals in love with this gorgeous woman. A friend of his, who was concerned about his motivations, told him this very simple tale, "Right now you are smitten. She is beautiful and you have fallen hard for her. But you need to ask yourself this question... five years from now, the initial desire has worn off and you both get up, go to work, clean house, now picture her nine months pregnant he head hovering over the toilet while she is puking her guts out. No make-up, her hair matted down and unkempt ~ and not in a good way if you know what i mean. You two have not "connected" in over two months, and she has sworn the act off because of what you've done. Now, are you willing to go through all that?" That was enough for him and he cut ties with that woman. Later in life he met the woman to whom he is married to this day. He found that woman who he was willing to lay down his life for. It's a good thing too, because today he is his beloved's primary care giver. For reasons unknown to him and his wife, God has allowed her to become a quadriplegic. Her very life depends on him making sure she is fed, turned over in bed, everything. He goes to bed late getting her ready, gets up at least once a night to take care of her, then gets up early to get her ready for the day. There is much more, and in many ways he puts my past two days to shame. But it helps illustrate my point for today. On Wednesday my beloved called me at work to tell me that she was having waves of really intense pain. We spent the night at a local hospital as doctors tried to discover what's going on. We are still trying to figure it out. Over the past 36 hours i've not had much sleep and i've had to do a lot of the things she normally takes care of. But it is worth it, because she is the woman God has given me. The same co-worker has told me stories of spouses essentially abandoned as they tried to go through the recovery of becoming paralyzed. Many of them do not make as good a recovery as this man's wife has, many of them did not survive longer than a year or two. American's live in a "disposable" society and it has infiltrated even the relationships between husband and wife, and parents and children. We are so wrapped up in pursuing what we "deserve", what is best for us, what makes us happy. If that is your view point - that you must pursue whatever makes you happy at the exclusion of all else... don't get married. You are just going to get miserable, and make someone else unhappy as well. Marriage is not a 50:50 deal. You must give 100% to the best of your ability. No one is perfect, and when your spouse is not giving her full effort (which will happen by the way... and before you get smug, guess what... you won't either), you have to redouble your efforts to give to the relationship.
"Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." (Genesis 2:24, ESV)
"He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord." (Psalm 18:22, ESV)A lot of people quote:
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands."but they often neglect,
"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. " (Epehsians 5:22-27, ESV)Now that does not leave room for when you feel like it, or when you get something out of it. What did Christ get in return for his giving Himself? A lot of pain and suffering. Now, He receives eternal fellowship of those who walk in Him and are called according to His name, and have received Him. And we (husbands) are not Christ. We are co-heirs with our wives, so it is not that we really receive anything for it ~ except ~ we learn to change our view and learn how to serve others before ourselves. And that is a great reward. Can there be a better example than what Christ did on the eve of his crucifixion?
"Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him. " (John 13:3-5, ESV)