Wednesday, April 19, 2017
There’s a saying that states “Don’t mock your wife’s choices… you’re one of them.” Tongue in cheek, sure, but there is truth in that. You and your spouse (presumably) chose each other. You made a choice to get married, to share a home, a bed, your lives. You chose, and then vowed before God and witnesses, to forego all others, to love, honor and cherish one another, not for a while but “until death,” or “as long as you both shall live” depending on your officiant. It is important to remember this fact, so that whenever there is disagreement over some issue - large or small - if there is friction, you can remember the bigger picture. Amos 3:3 asks: "Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?" You agreed! How is it then that so often couples seem to so easily forget that they are together by choice, that being married was on purpose, that they chose to be part of something bigger than themselves? That they chose to put another’s needs above their own, that they chose a life of service to another instead of one of being served? The answers to that question are varied, and as numerous as married people, but it comes down to a question of attitude. As married people we should choose to be married… daily. A wedding is an event that happens once, in the past, but marriage, being married, is a state of mind, a state of being that needs to be constantly renewed. It is a choice that we make each day when we rise and see our spouse lying there next to us. In Luke 9:23 Jesus tells those who would be his disciples that they must deny themselves, and take up their cross daily and follow me As in every aspect of life, Christ is our example, our model of how we should live. This verse is not specifically about marriage, but since the relationship of Jesus with the church is often talked about with marriage as a metaphor, it applies. It resonates. Colloquially a “cross to bear” has come to mean a burden, and we should not take this to mean that marriage is a chore, but it is work. And to work the way God intended, it must be undertaken every day. While a formal ceremony to mark renewal of vows is not necessary, the choice is. Every morning, tell your spouse not only would you marry them again, but you are. You are promising to love them, honor them, cherish them, for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and health, as long as you both shall live. Then tell them again tomorrow.