“I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” – Traditional Christian Marriage Vow
Sitting here and pondering on the enormity of what it really means to actually say, “I Do” is scaring me a bit. Yes, I love Lawrence. Yes, I am excited to marry him and yes, I really, genuinely, cannot wait to start our lives together. However, in all honesty, I am a bit apprehensive. I say apprehensive not because I am unsure – no – but because I am legit scared of the “…for worse…” “…for poorer…” “…in sickness…” and “…until death…” parts!
I think it is safe to say that when we (meaning engage individuals) stand up anticipating the “You may now kiss your bride” moment, or the “I present to you Mr. & Mrs. __________” moment, we do not dare to think that this person who is standing in front of me – in perfect health, with the perfect job, and who makes just the perfect amount of income – that I am pledging my life to just might actually fall ill, might actually become disabled, might actually lose his/her job, might actually have hidden skeletons in the closet that I know nothing of (!), might actually break the vows and commit _________, and might actually _____________. Who gives an extra thought while planning their big, fat, extravagant wedding about the “little” annoyance(s) they see in him/her that irritates them to the bitter end? No one. Instead, we push it aside because we are so “blinded by love” and those “little” annoyances in turn become a “so he/she chews with their mouth open, how cute??”
Thus, these “little” annoyance keeps getting shoved under the rug until an anthill came out of the little mole hole deep into the marriage. By then, one wonder how’d they even got here and the only way out literally is either
a. the person falls out of the annoying habit
b. the person dies
c. divorce happens.
It seems that in this day and age, the marriage vow should be read something like:
“I, ____, take you, ____, to be my lawfully wedded (husband/wife), to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better,
for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sicknessand in health, until death[divorce] do us part.”
You see, Lawrence comes with a history of divorce in his background. I come from a traditional nuclear family, raised by both mom and dad, and whose parents are still married 25+ years later. As I am studying for my upcoming child psychology exam, I came upon this statement from my textbook and so I sent it to Lawrence saying:
Nathalie [11:25:10 AM]: “The divorce rate of children from divorced parents doubles that of children from stable families.” – this quote is from my psych textbook….where does that leave us?”
Lawrence: [11:39:48 AM] We’re good
Nathalie: [11:41:51 AM] ok
Lawrence: [11:50:28 AM] It’s saying I’m likely to get a divorce
Nathalie: [11:51:21 AM] it is. but since i come from a stable family i guess i cancel it out lol. we start fresh
Lawrence: [12:14:56 PM] Lol
Nathalie [12:20:52 PM]: right?
Nathalie: [12:20:53 PM] 🙂
Lawrence: [12:26:13 PM | Edited 12:26:58 PM] I did not pay attention to statistics because they can be missed leading and I don’t let it to determine how I’m gonna live my life
(NOTE: Conversation is posted as it was sent/received. No editing. So, please, ignore the grammatical errors! 😉 )
I love, love love Lawrence’s response. Here’s why.
It shows that even now, before the “I Do” stage, we are consciously and solidly making the decision to not give up on whatever “what if” situation that comes along – together.
I see Christ in Lawrence’s response. Jesus has also committed Himself to us even now before His wedding day (Revelation 19:2-9). The Bible tells us that God “commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8.
Meaning, Christ fully understood that even though He would give His life for His bride there is a chance that the bride will reject Him (John 1:9-11). Even though His bride has committed herself to Him – through baptism – she will break her vow to Him (Romans 3:23). Yet, even then, Christ “‘commendeth his love toward us.” Even yet, Christ is heard saying to His bride: “Come, let us reason together…” (Isaiah 1:18). Christ knew, as He hung on that cross, that there will be those whom He dearly loves and committed Himself unto death to who will mock Him, and jeer Him, and spit on Him (Mark 15:29-32). Yet, for the faithful few, He hung. Wow. What love is this?!
I hope that all who are contemplating marriage will truly sit down and speak to each other wholeheartedly about the “what if” moment(s).
I hope that you not only speak about it but discuss it and have a set decision on what is to be done when the “what if?” becomes a “what now?” situation.
Of course, nothing ever goes as planned, but at least you will have a minute safety of an umbrella to be underneath in when “all hell breaks loose.”