Marriage Vow: I Do to I Didn’t

Marriage vow - Pixabay i-do-1093132_1920Steve and I could hardly wait on our wedding day to make the marriage vow, “I do.” We were so headstrong in love with each other that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. What we didn’t realize is that we had a lot to learn about how to make a marriage work. It takes more than a whirlwind romance to make a marriage a good one. We can appear to be so good together before the marriage. But after the wedding it takes more than simplistic love to keep that love alive. It’s like what J&G Murphy said:

“You didn’t learn how to play an instrument well in one night. It will take time to learn how to ‘make music’ with your spouse too.”

How much I wish I had known that just because you love each other before marriage, it doesn’t mean that you have what it takes to make a good marriage. I thought it would just come “naturally” to build a great marriage. I was sure we would build a great life together. WRONG!!!

The Marriage Vow Crumble

And after Steve and I said “I do” we didn’t. We didn’t have a clue as to all it would take to keep our promises to “love, honor, and cherish each other, for better or for worse, for richer and for poorer, til death do us part.” We started out loving, honoring and cherishing each other. But as life got more serious, asking more of us than we were prepared for, our relationship started to crumble little-by-little.

We didn’t even realize how bad things were getting. Eventually we looked at each other with contempt and anything BUT love and honor. We forgot the cherishing part of what we promised and we were ready to say, “We don’t.” We didn’t want to continue on being married any longer.

What we didn’t know was something Brela Delahoussaye said:

“Saying, ‘I Do’ is required not only at your wedding, but every day of your marriage.”

You have to keep growing your love if you expect it to sustain you through the “better or worse.” I wish we would have had that advice at the beginning of our marriage.

Eventually though, God made Himself known in our lives. And despite our hard heads and hard hearts, He got through to us. God let us know that we had a whole lot that we needed to learn. Only then COULD we have a good marriage. He showed us that having a good marriage WAS and is possible. He also let us know that He was willing to teach us. But we had to be willing to humble ourselves. And we had to become students of marriage —a marriage as HE intends.

We Surrendered

Thankfully, we accepted His invitation. We surrendered our lives and our marriage to Him. We placed ourselves upon the Rock to go “from that day forward” with Christ as our Lord, God as our loving Father, and the Holy Spirit as our “Wonderful Counselor.” And counsel us, He did! And counsel us, He does! It’s an everyday process of listening, learning, and now loving… very dearly, I might add.

As I look back I can say that we love each other now more than ever before. Thank you Lord.

Because of what we’ve been learning to build a great marriage, Marriage Missions was born. And God breathed even more life into it to cause this ministry to have an international presence. We are truly humbled by all of this. We are just ordinary people who participate with an Amazing God. And because of it, we witness miracles every day.

But Marriage Missions isn’t the only ministry that is dedicated to helping marriages. As you go through this web site, you will see that we point people to other helpful ministries, as well. And that is what I want to do here.

Marriage on the Rock

In closing, I want to give you some very practical advice that is supplied through the ministry of Focus on the Family. I figured that you can look through this web site for additional advice. But below you will find a link to a YouTube video featuring Focus on the Family President Jim Daly and his wife, Jean. They were guests on a Boundless Show live podcast recording. Watch as they give their best marriage advice! And then afterward, you can make a choice to see any of the 28 other videos they feature on the issue of marriage:

Please remember that when you said, “I do” you are committing to living out a marriage that says to the world, “I will.” I do and always will. I WILL do what it takes to make this marriage the best it can be. From this day forward I will do this with my marriage partner and with God for the rest of our lives.

We almost missed this opportunity in our life. We almost split up, and joined the forces of those who say, “I no longer do.” But THANK GOD He came into our lives and pursued us! God would not let us go, and still doesn’t. He continually reminds us that we are to put our hands into His to build an even greater marriage. And He has given us the mission to inspire others to do the same. Here is a little peak into our lives:

ANNIVERSARY: We Still Say, “I DO!”

Prayerfully keep in mind:

“Marriage is designed by God to be a total sharing of life between two people. It is a life-long bond that can be surpassed only by a person’s eternal bond with the Creator. The price is laying down one’s entire life to the one we are covenanted with in marriage.”

“Don’t let fear drive you; let faith lead you” (Jimmy Evans, from his book, Marriage on the Rock)

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One response to “Marriage Vow: I Do to I Didn’t

  1. This is so hard to accept. The thought of spending the rest of my life in this marriage is terribly distressing. It’s given me a depressive illness that nearly led to suicide. I’m at my wit’s end. I married her to protect her from bad things (which I’ve singularly failed to do). It was such a mistake. I regret it every single day. I regret it from her perspective as much as mine. I live with the guilt of adultery that I thought, wrongly, would give me affirmation. I can’t imagine wanting to be intimate with her, or being able to.

    So what are you saying, bearing this situation makes me holier??? Rubbish. It’s turned me into, or exposed the fact that I am, a disgusting monster. The whole concept of marriage makes me sick with anger. It’s a trick. Would I advise anyone to do it? No, no, no, no, NO. Your approach is tormenting. I (and others in this position) will almost certainly leave eventually and this will just add to the guilt and self-loathing. Why can’t you accept that some marriages need to end, for everyone to heal? My poor wife needs a life beyond me. I need a life beyond this marriage. Your misguided theology denies us that. Please think about the impact of what you write.