Last week we celebrated our anniversary. Since then we’ve been reflecting back on the “history” we share together. We’ve been reflecting on promises made, and those we have kept. We’ve learned that it’s not just what we’ve lived through that’s important, but what we’ve “learned through” and pass on. That is what we’re doing in this Marriage Message.
We’ve stumbled and have fallen back on certain promises we’ve made. But with God’s leading we’ve gotten back to the place where we’re keeping them again. And we intend, with all our hearts, to keep doing so.
In regard to the “promises made,” there is a book titled, “For Better, For Worse,” compiled by Marlene Bagnull, where it talks about this. Marlene takes each part of the traditional wedding vows and expands upon those promises made. We’re referring to the promises:
“To have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, or for poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
First, we’d like to share something that Marlene wrote. When referring to these made, Marlene said, “The temptation to put our own spin on the promises we made is always present.”
Some of the spins we can add are:
• To the promise to: “Have and to hold” we add: “and to control.”
• To the promise: “For better or worse” we add: “as long as there’s more better than worse.”
• And to the promise: “For richer or poorer” we add: “but love doesn’t pay the bills!”
• To the promise: “In sickness and health” we add: “but I didn’t sign on to be a doctor or nurse.”
• To the promise: “Forsaking all others” we add: “but can’t I at least look?”
• And to the promise: “To love and to cherish” we add: “when that’s how my mate treats me!”
• To the promise: “Till death do us part” we add: “You mean there’s no escape clause?”
“Today some couples write their own vows. But the key word, COMMITMENT, may not be taken as seriously. …Our marriage is stronger because we’ve chosen to live out the commitment we made on our wedding day and to face—together—the ‘challenges and opportunities’ (as a friend encouraged us to view them) that are a part of life.
“God promises that ‘nothing… is ever wasted’ (1 Corinthians 15:58, TLB) and that ‘all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans’ (Romans 8:28, TLB). And remember, God ‘speaks no careless word’ (Psalm 12:6, TLB)!”
Marlene Bagnull closes her thoughts with the following challenge (which is ours, as well):
“May we all be encouraged to strengthen our commitments to one another and to the Lord so that He may be able to point to us and say, ‘See how they love one another!’”
Love, As God Commands
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
On those thoughts, we’d like to add a few quotes we posted on the Marriage Missions Facebook page. They go along with things we’ve learned through in our marriage. These are things that helps us to treat each other in ways that reflect the love of Christ. They may help you as well in your marriage.
Quotes to Note:
• “I believe if we understand the level of commitment God requires of us in marriage, we would do anything and everything we could not just to make our marriage survive, but to make them successful. You see, a Christian marriage goes beyond an earthly partnership. It’s a commitment involving three individuals —the husband, the wife, and Jesus Christ.” –Dr Norm Wright
• In marriage, “think of a triangle. The bottom left corner is the husband; the bottom right corner is the wife. The top of the triangle is Jesus Christ. The point is: however you communicate with your spouse horizontally —lovingly or otherwise, you’re also communicating these same words to the Lord vertically. Marriage is not a relationship of only two, but of three. The husband, the wife and the Lord are all connected.” –Emerson Eggerichs
• “Marriage is more than sharing a life together. It’s building a life together. What you do now is for both, and what is said for now is for both. Your purpose is now for the kingdom, giving glory to the image of God.” -Dr Norm Wright.
Additionally, Prayerfully Consider:
• “You cannot separate the horizontal from the vertical. You cannot talk one way to God and another way to your spouse, family, friends, etc. We’re warned about the power of the tongue. James wrote, ‘with it we bless our Lord and Father. And with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so‘ -James 3:9-10 ESV.” -Emerson Eggerichs
• Just because you are married, it does not give you a license to be mean-spirited and disrespectful in the way you speak to your spouse. It doesn’t matter how he or she speaks to you. “Put away perversity from your mouth. Keep corrupt talk far from your lips.” -Proverbs 4:24 Treat your spouse “as unto the Lord” and you do well. “The tongue has the power of life and death.” –Proverbs 18:21
• “I’m called to love my spouse out of my love for God. Matthew 6:33 says, ‘Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you.‘ The question to ask yourself is: How do I bring God’s Kingdom into my house? …Seek first God’s righteousness in your attitude and actions within your marriage, and God will surprise you in other ways from behind.” -Gary Thomas
In closing, this is our prayer for you:
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (Hebrews 13:20-21)
Cindy and Steve Wright
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