“I ________ take you to be my __________ from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish…”
I’m pretty sure our vows should have just said, “In sickness and in more sickness” because I don’t think my poor husband is ever going to see me in “health”.
But then, isn’t that true of all of us?
If we’re breathing, the sickness of original sin is inside us and will present itself in countless ways throughout our lifetime.
It bothers me when I hear someone say of their spouse, “He/she isn’t the person I married…I didn’t sign up for this!” So many DID sign up for this, though they may have failed to fully consider the words before they said them.
If our marriages are meant to be a model of Christ’s love for us, perhaps we should contemplate what His vows to us would be. I imagine they would be something like this:
I love you __________. And I will never stop! I will love you in your physical sickness; in your sickness of pride; in your anger; in your gluttony, laziness, addictions, and doubt. And I will rejoice with you as I help you overcome those things. I will never leave you.
The thing about Christ is that He is the only one who knows how to love this way. We are called to love this way because Christ does (see 1 John 3, 4:7) but we need Christ in order to make that happen. Only by His spirit in us will we be able to love in the way we should.
Let us ponder that today. Whether we are single, or parents, or spouses, or friends…are we allowing Christ to love through us?
This may sound silly, but I actually consider myself fortunate to have had all the health issues I did before Nolan and I even started dating. I love that Nolan knew exactly what he was getting into when he married me. He knew I may never be “well”; he knew I would suffer, and that my suffering would cause him to suffer; he knew loving me would take work; and he did it anyway…with JOY. That will forever be a stunning illustration in my life of God’s love for us.
He loves us anyway. Any way. Every way. Whichever way. No matter which way. All ways. Always.