How to THRIVE in Your Wedding Vows Series - Part 6
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.
My husband made a comment. I replied with a snarky remark. Without missing a beat, he quoted, “It is better to live on a corner of the roof than to share a house with a quarrelsome wife.” He had a twinkle in his eye which caused me to laugh, diffusing the fight in me. But it also made me stop and think,
"Are my callous remarks and digs causing my husband to want to be anywhere but at home with me?"
On our wedding day, promising to “love and cherish” our spouse seems like an easy task. Yet, how often do we hear, “We just don’t love each other anymore.” when couples choose to divorce. When I thought about skipping this line in the Wedding Vows series, the Spirit slowed me down and prompted me to dig a little deeper. What a treasure trove I discovered.
What does this line of the vow look like for the Jesus girl yearning to thrive in her wedding vows? My hunt began with the wisdom book of Proverbs. As I dug, I began to formulate a question to guide my research, "Which Proverbs wife am I?”
The wise woman builds her house,
But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.
Am I like the wise woman building up those in my household, starting with my husband?
Do I resemble the foolish woman by tearing down my house, beginning with my husband?
Proverbs 31 helps us answer these questions. Let's personalize them to see which wife we are.
The Proverbs 31 "Love and Cherish" Litmus Test
vs. 11 - The heart of her husband trust in her.
Wise wife - My husband’s heart trusts me, no question about it. Like a bird in a nest, he trusts his heart in my gentle, kind hands.
Foolish wife - My husband’s heart used to trust me, but now he’s not so sure I’ve got his back. Some days I’m encouraging and loving, but other days I slice and dice him with my words and actions.
vs. 12 - She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Wise wife - I do him good not evil ALL the days of my life.
Foolish wife - I do him good some days, but other days I do him evil if I am feeling hormonal or tired or I didn’t get my way, or he just isn’t living up to my standard of an excellent husband.
vs. 26 - When she speaks, her words are wise.
Wise wife - I only open my mouth when I have something wise and encouraging and edifying to say.
Foolish wife - I open my mouth with wisdom some of the days, but other days folly spews forth like a toxic brew.
vs. 26 - and she gives instruction with kindness.
Wise wife - My words and actions are those of a lover, rather than a mother. They are kind and gentle and patient with him at all times.
Foolish wife - Some days my words and actions are kind and compassionate, but other days, I nag and demean and belittle.
vs. 30 - But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.
Wise wife - I am a woman who fears the Lord and thus even on the hard marital days, love my man well for the glory of the Lord.
Foolish wife - I fear the Lord some days unless my husband irks me then I let my flesh take over.
Ouch! This litmus test hurts and is convicting. Proverbs 31 is the standard God has set for us Jesus girls. I fear I fall short more days than I care to count. But I want to measure up. I want God to find me faithful to this task He set before me.
On our wedding day, this task to "love and cherish" others well moves our spouse into the top spot below God. And... above our children. Goodness, that's a whole other post.
So, how do we "love and cherish" our husbands well thru the good, the bad, and the ugly? God in all His kindness provided us with a list full of attainable ways to "love and cherish" our men well. In the place of the word love, however, we're going to insert ourselves. Lol - come on, don't check out on me! We want abundant life for our marriages. No better place to start then on ourselves. Join me, my sister!
The 1 Corinthians 13 "Love and Cherish" Checklist.
I am patient - I will love with a long-suffering kind of love, through the good and the bad, with a "til death do us part" kind of patience.
I am kind - I will be mild and gentle in my manner toward you. I will do simple acts of kindness, a "just because" loving act, because I choose to be kind.
I am not jealous - I will rejoice when others prefer you over me for we truly are one.
I do not brag about my accomplishments to undermine you or appear superior. Nor will I trumpet the little or big things I do for you.
I am not arrogant. I will not look down my nose at you because you don’t know something or act a certain way. I will focus on your needs rather than my own.
I do not act unbecomingly - I will not be rude or disrespectful to you in my words or actions.
I do not seek my own way - I will not manipulate a situation for my own good or favor.
I do not provoke you - I will not seek a fight or a rise from you. I, in turn, will not be provoked by you, or become irritated by your ways or habits.
I do not take into account a wrong suffered - I will not hold an infraction over your head over and over again. I will let the past stay in the past and hope for tomorrow!
I do not rejoice in unrighteousness - I will not color the truth or paint a scenario to mislead you or negatively influence you about others or a situation.
I rejoice with the truth - I will stand on the truth in a loving, encouraging way.
I bear (or cover) all things - I won't go around telling all your deep secrets or faults.
I believe all things. - Even in the worst of times, I choose to believe the best of you.
I hope all things - Some days seem long, as do some seasons, of marriage. Yet, l will hope for brighter days and for the best in you.
I endure all things - I won't give up on you, no matter what. I will keep on bearing, believing, and hoping until death do us part.
And that's it. God's doable checklist on how to "love and cherish" our spouse well. It's a tough list, but through Christ, it is not only doable but also the way to thrive in our wedding vows.
Why do we want to "love and cherish" our spouse well? At the end of the day, we want to be the safe place where our spouse chooses to land. So, we will choose to be the wise woman and build our house by loving and cherishing our spouse for the glory of God and the good of our marriage.
I don't know if you or your spouse wish the other was living on the corner of the roof. But dear one, you obviously loved your spouse deeply at one time, or else you wouldn’t have married him. Listed below are some tips on how to rekindle that loving feeling.
How to Rekindle that Loving Feeling:
- 5 Love Languages - take the test to find your spouse's love language and intentionally serve him that way.
- Husband Encouragement Challenge - a 30-day encouragement challenge
- Love Dare - Take the 40 days Love Dare
- The Three Things Thankfulness List - Write down three things you’re thankful for about your spouse each day.
- One Act of Kindness - Choose to do one kind thing each day for 30 days for your spouse.
How about you? How did you fare on the Litmus Test? Which area do you need to move from the foolish wife to the wise wife? What about the Checklist? I know as I was writing there were a couple of areas the Spirit convicted me. Let's lock arms and cheer each other on in this race called marriage!
Wedding Vows Series
I Do? Who Knew? - Part 1
Heat Up Your "To Have and to Hold" - Part 2
Winning Solution in "For Better or For Worse" - Part 3
Do not Grow Weary "in Sickness and In Health" - Part 4
Content in "For Richer or Poorer" - Part 5
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.