I had the privilege of conducting a wedding ceremony a couple of weeks ago, and am preparing for another in the near future. The more I see suffering and sickness and sadness in pastoral ministry, the deeper my appreciation of the profundity of the marriage vows.
"For better, for worse,
for richer for poorer
in sickness and in health"
The weightiness of these words perhaps doesn't fully strike the excited young couple on the mountain-top experience that is their wedding day, but it is a staggering commitment to make before God and man.
There's no doubt our world acknowledges the importance of love, a listen to the charts or a walk through a bookstore will leave us in no doubt about that. But the problem is that the world is utterly confused as to the nature of love- what love is. It's not a fluffy feeling which is here today and gone tomorrow, nor is it lust. Love is a choice, a decision. We must decide daily to love our spouse for better for worse, for richer for poorer in sickness and in health.
One resource I've found recently which is a great help in walking through the implications of this, is Wayne Mack's 'A Homework Manual for Biblical Living (vol 2 family and marital problems).'
I've scanned a page which highlights the importance of deciding to love- when it's easy and when it's costly. It also helps us husbands to examine ourselves honestly. How are you doing?
(Click on the picture to enlarge).