How to THRIVE in Your Wedding Vows Series
“Grow old with me! The best is yet to be.” I loved this sappy, secular sentiment so much I put it on the back of our wedding program. To me, it reflected the longing of the human heart: undying love, "till death, do us part," you and me against the world forever.
"Till death do us part" is the finishing touch to the traditional wedding vow. It's every couple's dreamy end goal, growing old together, weathering life's circumstances side by side. But, some days the finish line seems so far away. To top it off, society tells us if we get tired of our spouse, it's ok to step away from our promise "till death do us part."
But "till death do us part." provides us with an endpoint to focus on when feelings come and go like waves on the beach. It's commitment. It’s resolved. It’s unmovable.
In fact, the commitment of "until death do us part" is living and loving well like Jesus.
Loving Like Jesus Loved
While Jesus never married, He did choose 12 men to do life with for three years. Three years might seem like a cakewalk compared to the length of our marriage, but those three years were filled with the highest highs and the lowest lows. Just like marriage.
These were men Jesus lived day in and day out with. He knew their good, bad, and ugly. Knowing what we know about this motley crew, I love what He prayed in one of His final prayers leading up to His crucifixion.
“During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me;
I guarded them so that not one was lost,
except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.” John 17:12
What stands out to you in this verse?
Two things stand out to me:
1. By the power of the name you gave me.
What a strong, death-defying name is the name of Jesus! When the last drop of hope has drained from a situation, all we have to do is say His name. No matter the marital situation, calling on His name renews hope and the strength to stick to loving our spouse well even on the hardest of days.
2. I protected… I guarded.
Both of these words — protected and guarded — come from a form of the word “kept.” meaning to attend to carefully, To take care of, Focused, Purposeful. Jesus chose to take care of those in His care to the end. Likewise, our spouse's heart is in our care. On those hard marital days, looking to Jesus's example enables us to love our spouse with focus and purpose.
A few examples of Jesus protecting and guarding His motley crew:
Judas - betrayer
Jesus washed his feet knowing He was going to betray Him soon.
He called him friend as Judas walked up to betray him.
Knowing what He knew about Judas (betrayer), He still chose to take care of Judas well to the end.
Thomas - doubter
Jesus washed His feet knowing he’d doubt His resurrection.
He invited Thomas to touch his scars when he declared doubt of Jesus’s bodily resurrection.
Even when Thomas doubted, He lovingly invited Thomas to make his faith sight. He chose to take care of Thomas well to the end.
Peter - denier
He washed his feet knowing he’d soon deny Him three times.
Jesus warned him, but Peter denied Him anyway.
After He rose from the dead, Jesus sought Peter at the water's edge. He fed him a warm breakfast and gently realigned him for even greater service. He chose to take care of Peter well to the end.
Jesus protected and guarded Judas, Thomas, and Peter. By following His example, we can live with the mindset of “till death do us part.” despite our spouse's brokenness.
The Ultimate Finish Line
"Till death do us part" is the ultimate finish line. If we outlive our spouse or step into Glory first, we want to look back at our marital life and know we cared for them well.
So, how do we get to the finish line? The wedding vows show us how to protect and guard our spouse:
To have and to hold - the physical beauty and necessity of sex inside of marriage, the ultimate picture of oneness.
For better or worse - the pressing in and respecting our man even on the worst days.
For richer or poorer - the one-minded mentality when it comes to money and marriage. What’s yours is mine. What’s mine is yours.
For sickness and in health - the patient, long-suffering kind of love whether our spouse is physically or mentally or emotionally unwell.
To love and cherish - the purposeful 1 Corinthians 13 approach to loving our spouse well.
Intentionally living our wedding vows guides us across God's finish line.
When I think of God's finish line, I think of the passage in Scripture where the master tells the faithful servant, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." That to me would be the ultimate prize we could receive for choosing to thrive in our wedding vows.
I don’t know about you, but this series on the wedding vows has renewed my commitment to love my spouse well. I love acrostics. To help me run across the finish line, I am choosing to C.O.M.M.I.T. to thrive in my wedding vows.
C - compassionate - be kind-hearted in my words and actions.
O - optimistic - believe the best of my spouse.
M - mediator - pray for my spouse.
M - mindful of my own humanity - looking at the log in my own eye rather than dwelling on the speck in my spouse’s life.
I - intentional. Purposely pouring life into my marriage.
T - true to my word. Choosing to thrive in my “I do.”
Lock arms with me, my sister. May God find us both faithful to C.O.M.M.I.T. to thrive in our wedding vows "till death do us part." I am praying this blessing from Jude over you and me. <3
24Now to him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
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
Love AND Cherish no Matter What? - Part 6
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.