It was a beautiful day. Picture perfect, as the saying goes. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect. All your friends and family were there. Both sets of parents cried as you said your vows. And so did both of you.
You posed for pictures, toasted each other with champagne, cut the cake, and danced into the night. She tossed her bouquet, and he threw the garter. Then you left for a wonderful romantic honeymoon. You spent a week enjoying the perfect vacation, and you hated to leave. But reality called, and as much as you wanted to stay on that honeymoon forever, you had to return to real, every day life.
But you knew it would be great; it would be perfect. After all, you were finally married, and ready to officially start your forever life together.
But after a while, the newness wore off, didn’t it? The almost-magical, too good to be true feelings started to fade as bills came in the mail; the air conditioning gave up in the house; the car decided it needed a major repair; and you got really tired of cooking and eating dinner at home every night because you needed to stay on a budget.
But do you remember those vows you made? What you said to each other? Let’s take a look at them.
“I take you today to be my husband/wife…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, until death we part.”
And you meant those vows. With every inch and every part of your being. Sometimes you need to be reminded of what you promised. Especially that “for better, for worse” part! Because no matter how good things can be, there’s always something that comes along that upsets the way things should be.
That’s where the “for worse” part comes in. And it may seem to last a long time, but that’s only if you let it. When you work through that part together, it works itself back into the “for better”. And it actually becomes a lot better, because surviving the difficult times together make you stronger together.
No one ever said marriage was easy. Because it isn’t. Even the officiating pastor at the beginning of the ceremony usually reminds the couple, “Marriage is a binding and true commitment of two people vowing to love each other for a lifetime. It is a commitment not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly. But reverently, deliberately, and in accordance with the purposes for which it was instituted by God.”
They weren’t just words you said for the moment, you know. You promised, and promises are just that. They’re meant to be kept.
The wedding itself only exists now in the beautiful pictures displayed around your home, but the marriage…that keeps on going. It’s a work in progress, with highs and lows. For better or for worse.
It’s what the two of you make it. Together.
Don’t forget those promises made in love in the heat of a disagreement.
The heat of love is much hotter and far brighter.