I remember the day well.
They say everybody is nervous on their wedding day, but I wasn't. Maybe I was stupid and didn't know what I was getting into, but I wasn't nervous. Not at all. I was so excited I could hardly take it. Our six month engagement seemed eternal. I was ready to start this life together already!
I took the commitment seriously. I did. We even wrote our own statements to add to the traditional vows. I listened intently to everything the pastor said, to everything Kevin said. I looked my future husband in the eye and meant it. I had no fear in being united with him. Before coming to the altar, Kevin and I shared MANY conversations about marriage being forever. We agreed divorce was not an option.
But were we too young and naive to know what we were agreeing to?
Not long after the wedding I saw a new side to him. He wasn't as particular with money as I was and that scared me a little. I remember thinking, "What have I gotten into here?!" Was I going to have the burden of being the responsible one? Could I count on him to provide? But I loved him and knew God had brought us together. I trusted if I did what was right in the eyes of God, He would make it good.
Kids came and I quit working. At the same time Kevin was establishing himself in his career. I was home with four kids and he was gone. A lot. It was easy to feel slighted, overlooked, unappreciated. There were LOTS of times I wanted to be gone when he got home, to make him worry about me for once, to escape the demands of small children and take some ME time. I longed to drop the kids off at one of our parents' houses and get lost without anyone knowing where I was. But I didn't. Because that would not be right. I loved him and knew God brought us together. I trusted God to make good of it.
We purchased a van from a crooked dealer. We felt threatened when properties around our house were bought up, pressuring us to sell cheaper than we could afford. Kids got sick. Medical bills mounted. Problems arose in extended families. Basically life kicked us in the pants and I thought back to how much we didn't know on our wedding day. Would I have been as excited knowing all this was in our future? Desire for escape built and I wondered how much easier life would be without this husband, this family. But I loved him and I knew with every fiber of my being God brought us together. So I stuck it out with him. I learned to trust my husband. I found reprieve in his arms instead of escaping to no one and no where. God made it good.
The commitment hasn't always been easy. For either of us. I've been no picnic to live with, let me tell you. My husband has had to muster unbelievable amounts of patience and grace. I believe our commitment has stuck not because we were so dedicated to one another, but because our first day together we pledged to each other and GOD. We committed to HIM first. When disappointments and disillusion and trouble came and we didn't feel like honoring each other, we remembered making vows before GOD. When it felt like the other didn't deserve the commitment, we knew God did. We've been able to persevere through the rough days knowing we promised God we would.
I wonder if that's where we're missing the boat in marriage these days. Are we committing to a person who likely will change and hurt and disappoint us, instead of committing to God who is the same forever? Is it easier to break a vow to a person who's hurt us than to God who makes all things good?
When I said I do, I was madly in love, eager to be Mrs. Boesiger. Committing to him that day was easy. I had no idea what troubles might be ahead. When they came, I remembered I made a promise to God and that is what spurred me to work harder, forgive and press on.
I love him (oh, how I love him) and know God has brought us together. Only He makes it good. Honoring our commitment to our God has made it so.
When trouble hits your marriage, what motivates you to stick it out?
If you like reading about marriage and how others make it work, click on over to Chrysalis and read more Marriage Monday posts.