I love weddings.
Experiencing the joy, anticipation and hope of a couple as they make their vows to each other is a sacred trust. They stand before witnesses–in places beautifully and carefully decorated–to commit themselves to each other.
Until death separates them.
The pastor who officiated threw me for a loop when he gave his charge to the couple.
The church they used was almost 100 years old. Small and intimate. The pastor began by saying much has changed in wedding ceremonies from the time that little church began.
It used to be about commitment. People agreeing to marry to create a partnership where respect and commitment segued into friendship which moved into a deep, abiding love.
Unlike today, where folks come together because of passion or romance. Where feelings pull them into vows that say one thing. Often meaning something completely different to the two involved.
It would seem counter-intuitive to insert vows that spoke of our current reality.
“Do you, So and So, take this person to be your lawfully wedded spouse. To enjoy while you can. To get what you want. To feel special for a little while. And then appropriately discard said spouse when someone more fun, more attractive, wealthier, kinder comes along? Will you always look for the feelings and then jump ship when they fade? Will you insist on your way or the highway? Will you promise to think only of yourselves for as long as you two are together? If so, please say I do.”
Nobody would–should–choose to enter marriage this way. The fun and expense of one day of magical bliss isn’t worth the cost of being with someone you’re not willing to completely commit to.
Commitment recognizes that marriage is work. That there will be those days you wake up, look at the other side of the bed and think, “I’m not sure I like you today.”
Disagreements will happen. You won’t always like, agree with, or enjoy your spouse all the time.
John and I have been together for longer than we haven’t. I wouldn’t consider ending our marriage just because we don’t get along on any given day. Or because he doesn’t agree with me.
Besides, it’d take too much effort to break in someone new.
We’ve had our share of disagreements. I’m not proud of the fact that I’m the one who taught that kind man to fight dirty.
What God has brought together isn’t a whim. Or something to be entered into lightly. It’s a lifetime commitment.
My niece, Kate, got engaged Saturday to a great young man named Alex. Two very different people who happen to be very much in love.
They get that commitment trumps romance. They’re agreeing to be in it for the long haul.
It’s that reality that once you say, “I do”, you really shouldn’t say, “I quit”.