How to THRIVE in Your Marriage Vows Series - part 4
Disclaimer - Because of sin, there is serious dysfunction in some marriages today. This series does not mean to whitewash any problems inside of broken marriages. Instead, I desire to uncover the beauty of the vows thru a Biblical worldview and how they are meant to play out in a healthy marriage.
I’m not sure when it became so bad. But I distinctly remember the June day I flipped as never before, Dr. Jekyll turning into Mrs. Hyde.
I had miscarried our first child. I had to undergo a physically and emotionally traumatic D&C. And when we returned home, we discovered that our basement had flooded and many of the possessions in our basement were ruined. I was a wreck.
My husband put me on a lounge chair in the driveway and told me to rest as he cleared the basement of our possessions as well as the water. That act was one of many ways he cared for me “in sickness and in health.”
When we take our wedding vows, we promise to love and cherish our mate “in sickness and in health.” Most of us think of physical sickness when we hear this phrase. But because of the fall, there can be extreme emotions, attitudes, and behaviors that can negatively affect marital bliss.
Our story is more of the emotional side of sickness, of dark, dark days ruled by my erratic behavior and anger. I knew when I came to the line “in sickness and in health” in this wedding vows series that I needed to share my husband's story. He truly is the unsung hero of who I am today.
It's time we, as the church, recalibrate our thinking about "in sickness and in health." It is not just about physical health, but it also includes emotional and mental health. I would even go as far as to say emotional and mental health issues are more common today than physical health issues.
Brokenness may or may not have been present at the altar when we said, “I do.” Situations and circumstances can unfold causing us to wonder where is the person that we thought we married. In their place stands a stranger whose actions are not lining up with who we thought we committed our lives to on our wedding day.
What are we to do? Throw our hands up in despair and deem the situation hopeless? Absolutely not! Christ's death and resurrection promise hope and victory in these hard places! This is where our faith grows feet and takes steps we didn't think possible.
Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen;
it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.
I’m sure there were days my husband felt hopeless, but he didn't give up on me or our marriage. I'd like to introduce you to my husband, Remy. What follows is his story on how he chose to live Hebrews 11:1 in our “in sickness and in health” story.
3 Ways My Husband Chose to Walk by Faith in the Darkest of Days
What kept me from walking away from my wife during those hard times? I have to admit that during the dark times, it was not easy. I chose to focus on three things:
1. The Good Times
One of the things that kept me going was to focus on the good times between those dark times. The good times gave me hope and helped me push through the difficult periods.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
2. My Issues
Another aspect was knowing that I too had my own issues. This perspective gave me compassion for the struggles my wife was experiencing. My issues were not resolved in a day, and I knew that it would take time to work through our problems together.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32
3. My Commitment
Lastly, it was the commitment that I made when we got married. No matter how bad things became, the word divorce never came out of my mouth. It forced me to seek God’s help, to focus on working on our marriage, and not to give-up on it. It did not happen overnight, but each small step encouraged us to stay the course and see God do a work in both of our lives.
But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
2 Thessalonians 3:3
Why do I share my man’s choices on a blog for women?
Remy had no idea the depth of brokenness inside of me when he said, "I do." and vice versa. Though our circumstances may all be different, our choice as wives to stay committed needs to be the same. My friend, we need to stand by our vows "in sickness or in health", whether it's physical, emotional, or mental sickness.
Over time dealing with health issues in our spouse can be taxing. It can even strain our compassion for our spouse. In those times we need to press into our faith. Christ extended compassion to sinners like you and me. Since Christ has extended compassion to us, we can now extend compassion to others, including our spouse.
Luke 5 explains:
"But the Pharisees and their scribes complained to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus answered, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”
Whether or not you knew your spouse's physical, emotional, or mental health on your wedding day, you committed to who your spouse was as well as who he would be in all your tomorrows. You, my friend, can be faithful to love your "sick" spouse well, because God desires it of us and is faithful to empower us.
If you are currently in a valley with a sick spouse, humble yourself. Seek to love your spouse through Christ's strength. Press into your promise to love your spouse in sickness and in health.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
There are no guarantees your spouse will be well this side of glory, but the God of hope promises never to leave you or forsake you. He promises to complete the work in you that He started. He promises immeasurable growth in ways the world can't hold a light to. You. Can. Do. This.
Others are watching, dear one. Shine in the dark places. My husband and I are praying for you and cheering you on! May we all be found faithful thru the sick days and the well days to quietly live out a bold faith inside our own marriages to the glory of the Lord and for His Kingdom.
He will sustain you to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.
1 Corinthians 1:8-9
How about you, my friend? What are some tips you have used to not grow weary in sickness in your own marriage? Do you have any words of encouragement for us? Perhaps you're in the thick of a tough situation. I'm sorry. I'd love to pray with you. Let me know. You are not alone. <3
I Do? Who Knew? - Part 1
Heat up Your "to Have and to Hold" - Part 2
Winning Solution "for Better for Worse" - Part 3
Do Not Grow Weary "In Sickness and in Health" - Part 4
Jesus Girl. Wife. Momma. Student. Teacher. Confidante. Lover of milky coffee, dark chocolate, lively laughter, deep talks and a front row seat on the beach at sunrise.