Vows: How serious are they?


Vows are an interesting thing.

We went to a wedding a few days ago and listened as two of our favorite friends said I do. Ben and I both love going to weddings for a number of reasons. one, because we're big partiers and weddings are typically the best parties ever. and two, because we're reminded. Reminded about the covenent we made before our friends, our family, eachother and most importantly God.

Part of the vows our friends said, (which ben and I have totally adopted in our hearts) was the statement that if we are separated by anything other than death, then "May God deal with me ever so severely, and then even more so"

When it was first said, I was a bit surprised. But when it was said a second time, I was so blessed. I've been thinking about this. When I said I do and repeated all those vows, I made a promise to be with Ben through everything to support him in all the ways I said I would and that I would not leave or forsake him till the day we meet death. And that God would deal with me. "Severely and even more so, "if I were to ever break that vow.

I dont know if I actually understood what I was talking about.

The reality of that promise has hit me a million times (potentially literally that many times) over this past year. There are times when, especially when I'm cranky, the idea that this is a LIFETIME (and the only one I get) of a relationship is daunting. It was scary to think that this relationship is the thing I get to work on for the REST OF MY DAYS. Till the day I die. 

As time has progressed, that fear I once felt has turned into a sweet joy. The permanence of this situation used to make me feel a little trapped, especially in hard times. But God has been good. I think God has been gracious to show me that, yeah, I kind of am trapped. But in His goodness. In his Grace, in His love and in the promise that He will provide in our marriage. I made a vow to be with this man till I die, but God promises he'll mend brokenness and he'll convict hearts. That he's the judge and he is just. And that he'll grow love in each of us and that that growth will be a blessing that comes only through years of tribulation and fighting the good fight together.

I stare at Ben a lot.

He reads and gets so involved in whatever he's reading that staring is an easy thing to do. This is a definite perk to my desire to look at him uninterrupted and without explanation. I've been looking at that same sweet face for over 2 years now. and My heart might burst.

He's seen my shortcomings, and by shortcomings i mean canyon wide shortcomings, he's seen my heart-in its deceitfulness and selfishness and he's seen me be ugly to people and to him. And yet, he made a commitment to stay by my side. To be my leader, to be there for me through all life's hardships and point me to Christ. And he does it with joy (Which is crazy to me!)

His Leadership and love baffle me. If any of you think you know me-you don't. Not compared to this guy. And yet he loves me. He celebrates me! He thinks the world of me! He shows me Christ and sees me as the woman  I can be. He moves towards me when I don't deserve to be moved towards. What a joy to be receiving all that! What a blessing! In Light of Gods promises and the awesomeness of my man, the permanence of my vows and his bring such joy and comfort and humility to my heart.

But one thing has to be remembered. If that man that I love stops being so lovable, if he truly stops being 'a good husband,' I still am in this marriage till the day I die. And this marriage will still be joy. How is this possible?!  Because God's promises remain. And the blessings that come from years of marriage pointed at Christ are the same. And God's forgiveness and mercy and love are still the same. We will experience the Almighty and we will see him move, whether we fail or not. Because God is who he is and his promises stay true no matter what.

I used to think that the main joy of marriage was to spend countless hours with your one true love. This is great. But its not the main joy. The Main joy of my marriage has been seeing God be gracious. And seen God do the work when I can't do it anymore. Its in seeing how God has made my husband into the man he is, not with my griping or my 'constructive criticism" But from God changing his heart without my help. Its the joy of waking up and realizing that my old self last year was selfish and that I didn't really love Ben just a year ago. Not in comparison to now. I loved me so much more than I loved him. and i think- "if I think that now of last year, how will I feel about this year?" I know that God is continuing his good work and that i will probably say the same thing then. In my life, this marriage has changed me. God has taken it and used it as a daily manner to show not only his love, but just how in control he is. This is not about my performance, this is about him showing me and Ben how he can take two very messy, very sinful people and form them into his image. so much so that we bless each other and build each other up and find joy with each other.

We vowed to stay and watch till we die.

How Great is our God?

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