Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Love, Honor, and Cherish

The focus necessarily has to be on my husband or wife.

When we start out reciting those vows at the ceremony they are THE filter for which we are to view our relationship for the rest of our earthly life. I have promised to love, honor, and cherish my wife for the rest of my life. I declared before God and others that I would make her the focus of my affection. I would lift her up privately and publicly. I would hold her close to my heart as a precious gift that I would never want to loose.

These are not merely romantic ideas but exciting and critical commitments.

They seem easy to keep early on and even natural for awhile but what happens when "things change." It's amazing how quickly we seem to put a condition on that promise that at first was unconditional. The relationship got harder. My needs weren't being met. I felt like I was doing more "loving, honoring and cherishing" than my spouse.

It's easier to start out than to continue.

Isn't that similar to our Christian walk? We start out very excited about our commitment to Christ and His love to us. We have an "unconditional" commitment to him and his will in our lives. Then "things change." If we are honest we feel like the relationship with Christ has not turned out to be all we thought it would be. Yet the call is to love, honor and cherish him.

"Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."I Corinthians 13:7

I can do this only because of the unconditional love of Jesus. My love for my spouse must flow first from his love for me and not for what I am getting from my partner. As a Christian couple our love has to look different from the world. Our love is not based on ourselves but on God's love. Therefore, in Jesus I not only can keep my commitment but I can actually grow in that love. A love that looks more and more like Christ and his church.

May the world see Jesus today in your marriage by how you "love, honor, and cherish" one another.

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