Tuesday, March 8, 2011

For Better or Worse

In two weeks, Dan and I will celebrate 8 years of marriage and it's got me thinking a whole lot about marriage...my marriage.

Almost eight years ago, I stood at the most beautiful wedding, in front of my now father-in-law (who married us), with a whole bunch of people watching and said vows to my now husband that went something like this:

"I, Bethany, take you, Daniel, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness."

I have thought about these words many, many times...especially during the few times that I wanted to throw in the towel.  When I said these words, did I even realize what I was saying?  Was my mind so preoccupied that I even heard what was coming out of my mouth?  Did I think about the depth of these vows?  Did I think about to whom I was saying them?

If I am really honest, I didn't have a clue.  I had heard all of my life that marriage is forever.  I watched my parents model a wonderful relationship and they really made it look quite easy.  Married was something I knew I was going to be someday...and it would be wonderful...all of it.

I often joke that if it wasn't for kids, money, bills...and I am sure a few other things...we would have the perfect marriage.  But, life happens...stress happens...selfishness happens...sin happens...and you both are left staring at a wedding photo wondering who the heck those people were and what the heck were they thinking.

I have loved my husband through better and I have clung to him through the worse until I didn't think I could hang on any longer.  I have walked with him through the richer and crawled through the land of the poorer.  We have been through stuff.  Maybe not as big and some others, but we have had our share in the past eight years.  Have I enjoyed every single day?  No.  Have I been thankful for the worse and the poorer.  No.  Have I wanted to pack my bags and say to heck with it?  I sure have.

The truth is, we all have a 50/50 shot at making it...that's what the statistics say...whether we are Christians or not.  If my husband and I are not committed...if we are not making time for eachother...if we do not chose to "leave our father and mother"...if God is not our very center...you pretty much have a sunk ship...or you'll need no help sinking it yourself.

In a card I gave Dan on the morning of our wedding day, I wrote the words of Ruth : "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried."  I was moving to a different state, away from my family, leaving my friends, my job, everything I knew...but I wanted to let him know that I was committed and I would follow him.

It is really by the grace of God that Dan and I have made it through the past two years...there's been so much...so much that I won't even go in to...maybe another time...but, I have a renewed commitment to my husband...a renewed commitment to making the time for him...a renewed commitment to respecting the man that God has given me...a renewed commitment to putting in the hard work.

Last night, as Dan and I were kissing in the kitchen, it was so nice to hear Kaitlyn in the background say something sarcastic about love.  I don't want them to think our marriage is perfect or that it's not a lot of hard work.  But, I do want to be secure in knowing that Mommy and Daddy are together forever...and we leave them at least once a month for a date and come home a lot happier!

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