Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Til' Death Do Us Part...No Plan B

I take you to be my lawfully 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.

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." [Ephesians 5:31]

Being completely honest, how many of us stood before a preacher, pastor, or justice of the peace on our wedding days being fully cognizant and aware of the true worth and extent of the vows we recited as we gazed across at our soon-to-be husbands?  I mean, unless you had labored diligently over penning beautiful and personal vows for each other, how many of us studied our traditional vows beforehand and considered every possible situation?  Were we really okay with toughing it out if our husbands became totally poor?  Were we really okay with sticking it out with them at their worst?  Were we really okay with signing on til' death with someone if all of a sudden he became disabled and required our 24 hour care and assistance?  Did we really know what we were vowing to?

Unfortunately, unless you constructed your own vows from your heart, I am of the strong belief that many of us did not consider all of the possible options and the costs before we recited those vows and got married.  I believe that the idea and consumption with gushy, butterflies in your tummy, emotional type love overwhelmed us all and blinded us from the true realization of the covenant we were making.  For me, I had somewhat considered the vows I recited, standing before a mayor in a municipal building, but in my mind, how difficult would it be to persevere through all these circumstances when I loved this man so dearly.  And quite honestly, how difficult would it be to stay by his side "for richer"?  Come on now! [I later found out that standing "for richer" was a harder task than I'd ever imagine...but that's for another date and time to discuss].

I believe that many of us go into marriage completely unaware of the severity of the commitment we are making.  When we stand before our mates and all our family members gazing on, we are vowing to a covenant before God A covenant as defined by the Scriptures is a solemn and binding relationship which is meant to last a life time.  But the way I view it, and according to the 40-50 % rate of divorce in our country, many of us getting married and entering into covenants with our husbands and God, are not taking these "'til death" commitments seriously.  I truly know that for some of us, we enter into to the marriage with a "Plan B" frame of mind:  "Okay, if this does not work out for some reason, if he cheats on me, if we just cannot see eye-to-eye on an issue...I can always divorce him."  We go in with the notion somewhere deep within us that if something just goes awfully wrong, we will always have an out (our Plan B).  But is this what marriage and a covenant was meant to be?

According to the bible, this was not and is not God's plan for us and our marriages.  God's picture for marriage was never to include a "Plan B Option".  Based on God's word: 

"For the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I hate divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment [his wife] with violence. Therefore keep a watch upon your spirit [that it may be controlled by My Spirit], that you deal not treacherously and faithlessly [with your marriage mate]." [Malachi 2:16 AMP]

God's plan for our marriages is a lifetime journey and commitment that He hopes will bring glory to Him.  His hopes and intentions are also for our marriages to be actual, earthy reflections of the relationship of Christ and the Church, and Christ's unconditional love for us.

"Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her...In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body... and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church."
[Ephesians 5: 25, 28, 29, & 32]

Knowing this, God has never intended for us to go into our marriages lightly, nor to consider that we even have the "Plan B Option" to get divorced.  And I am sure that many of you may try to argue that God allows for divorce in the consideration of adultery.  However, I beg to differ when I study His word and know his hate for divorce, his continual call for us to forgive, and his call for us to walk in unconditional love at all costs.  How could "Plan B" truly be considered our option?

"Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven." [Matthew 18:21-22]

To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband.  But if she does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife.  To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her.  And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him.  For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. [1 Corinthians 7: 10-14]

Simply said...God intended for us to STAY married 'Til Death Do Us Part...

What God has joined together let no man put asunder!
[Mark 10:9]

Today my husband, Cornell Oba, and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary by the wonderful grace of God!  We have most definitely been through our shares of ups and downs.  And I have had the pleasure of standing through when he was "better" and he was his "worse".  I have withstood being "richer", and weathering all the battles with the glitz, glamour, and clamoring Jezebels standing against our marriage; and I have stood strong through the "poorer".  I have experienced pain and have had to forgive as many times as "seventy times seven".  But with prayer, resilience, great Christian friends, and God's grace and mercy, OUR LOVE NEVER FAILED and we are still together and growing in love on this March 2, 2011!

LOVE NEVER FAILS!Happy 10th Anniversary!
3/2/01- 3/2/11

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." [Ephesians 5:31]

"What God has joined together let no man put asunder." [Mark 10:9]

1 comment:

  1. Great Word. After our vows we pledged that neither of us would ever utter the D (divorce) word. Anger or play No D word.


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