“For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”
Today makes 27 years since my husband, Mr. Dwayne Pratt, and I repeated those words on June 6, 1992. Over the years for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health we have remained committed to these sacred vows and with God’s help we will continue to do so until death do us part.
In today’s society, people seem to be getting rid of their spouses just as they would dump their garbage. There seems to be no stickability especially amongst younger couples. People are walking out at the first sign of problems and for many, they are what I consider frivolous reasons. I’ve heard excuses like “I just outgrew him”, “He isn’t going anywhere in life” or “We are just not compatible anymore”. These are not at all grounds for divorce! How quickly we forget our marriage vows!
Before I continue, I should state that I am not a professional marriage counselor nor do I profess to have all of the answers or have the mysteries of marriage figured out but I am someone who is very passionate about marriage and the sacredness of vows. Having been married for 27 years, I have made many mistakes and would be the first to admit that two people living together will definitely encounter problems. As the saying goes, “It takes three to make a marriage work: husband, wife and God!” That is definitely the truth!
If it were not for God and us trying to keep the sanctity of marriage, my husband and I would have probably been divorced many years ago! Over the years we have experienced some trying times, our vows have truly been tested but for better or worse, for richer or poorer, our love for each other has kept us together. So often, though, many persons forget that initial love, the intense feelings they had for one another during their courtship. Yes, we are only human beings we will become hurt, we will make mistakes but if we truly love each other, with God’s help we should be able to forgive.
It is not my intention to make light of anyone’s situation; persons being physically or even verbally abused, or in cases of adultery where no reconciliation seems possible may have reasons to separate or divorce. I am not going to get into the arguments over biblical reasons for divorce, I am simply concerned about the many separations and divorces over seemingly shallow reasons where persons do not seem to remember the vows they made.
Prior to marriage, couples need to ponder the seriousness of the vows that they will be repeating and realize that it is a solemn vow that they are making before men and God. It is nothing to be taken lightly! It always bothers me when attending weddings, while a couple may be repeating their vows and one of them pretends to choke or do something as a joke when it is time to repeat a line in the vows that he or she may not agree with. It is my opinion that this should be a quiet, serious time of the wedding ceremony, not a time for joking.
Marriage vows are not just mere words being spoken, instead a solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment. Let us examine these vows:
For better or worse
During the courtship period, most persons are “head over heels” in love, they are blinded to the faults or flaws of the person that they are so in love with and do not take the time to think about the fact that marriage is a life time commitment. In any marriage or any relationship, there would be bad times and good times. If you loved someone so much before marriage, you should be able to go through those bad times together.
For richer or poorer
This line has probably never been as tested as it is in today’s economy. With persons losing jobs etc., many couples are experiencing tough times. They are certainly poorer than when first married. You may not be able to maintain the same lifestyle that you became accustomed to while dating or early in marriage but it takes love and commitment to endure during these times. When I said this line 27 years ago, I never imagined actually experiencing it as we have but through it all God and our love has kept us!
In sickness and in health
Yes, that once healthy and fit mate would become sick sometimes and age over the years but your marriage is a lifetime commitment. You would have to be nurse or doctor many times pampering and taking care of your mate.
Until death do us part
Wow! This is a lifetime commitment; waking up to the same face for 20, 30 maybe 50 or 60 years or longer until one of you dies and until death do us part doesn’t even give you permission to kill the person!
Aren’t they some really serious promises? Many of us may make promises on a regular basis that we do not keep; a promise to a child, promise to a friend employee or employer etc. and think nothing of it but repeating a marriage vow is much more serious. You are making a pledge, an earnest and solemn declaration before God, often ending with, “This is my solemn vow.” It would be better for a bride or groom to leave the altar on their wedding day after realizing the seriousness of their vows than to continue with the ceremony and separate soon thereafter.
To you who are contemplating marriage, think about the vows that you will be making and be sure that you are ready for such a commitment. To those of you already married, reflect on those vows you said on your wedding day, take your wedding video/DVD out once in a while and listen to yourself repeating those vows.
In order for a marriage to work it takes the willingness of both parties, lots of communication, compromise and creativity, a strong faith in God and a lot of prayers.
It is my hope that this article is able to help someone today.
“For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part,” this is a solemn vow!
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