A Promise is a Promise: What Marriage Really Means
This year my husband and I celebrated 29 years of married life. When he returned from three weeks overseas with the Army, I met him at the airport and we took the weekend to meander down the Coast.
But that isn't what marriage is about.

Our vows, though common to many weddings, have great meaning.

"I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my 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, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you."

When we said our vows on that day 29 years ago, we had no idea where that promise would take us. But we promised we would fulfill it.

What does that mean?
In an era where promises aren’t kept, words aren’t important, life is lived on feelings —we promised each other our lives.

Even though words are important, actions are too.
Saying “I love you” doesn’t mean much without showing me that you do.

When I said, “I do,” that means I abandoned my desires, my career, my family, my everything—to support him in what he must do. 

That means when I don’t understand what he must do, I support him anyway.
Even if I’m not sure I agree with him.

That means I just sit with him, because he values time and my presence, even when I can think of 100 other things to do.

That means he listens to a lot of words, because I must talk things out. And I must hear for the feeling behind his few words.

That means we won’t always communicate well, but we can communicate kindly.
His perspective is definitely not mine. If it were, we’d both probably be wrong, and one of us would not be needed. I’d rather be needed and loved. He’d rather be respected and valued. We listen and learn.

That means, when I am right and he is wrong, I follow his leading, and trust God to keep us right. Because by obeying, I remain under his protection. God honors that.

That means life’s ebbs and flows must be taken with courage and encouragement. No man can fight the world’s battles for long when his home is not a haven. And he isn’t supported by someone who knows him. Nor can a woman feel appreciated without encouragement.

That means he protects, provides and leads.
But by protecting, he tells me things I do not want to do, but must do, or he cannot protect.
By providing, I must allow him to provide; for he cannot, if I’m busy with my own career.
By leading, I must follow. For without a follower, he cannot lead.
By allowing him to do his job, I am free to do what I must do: be his helpmeet.
This models to our children what Christ wanted the Church to do: obey Him.

That means sickness makes us vulnerable. We protect each other, not share the other’s shortcomings with others.

That means health can make us proud, forgetting we need each other and God. We are cautioned to remember both.

That means children can either unite us together to raise and train them, or tear us apart by my refusal to obey my husband. For if a family is divided, how can it stand?

That means for better or for worse. 
That means even if my husband pursues something I didn’t plan at the time of the wedding, I support him. Even when it takes time, energy, finances, . . . away from the family. It is his ministry, so it is mine as well.

That means, the two shall become one.
I don’t understand how God makes two people one, but without my husband, I am nothing.
Without his encouragement, I falter.
Without his support, I lose heart.
Without his guidance, I lose focus.
We, together, travel down the same road toward being one with Christ.
And on that road, God makes us one, yet each accountable to Him for our own obedience.

Maybe those trips along the coast do show what marriage is about.
A promise is a promise.
But as we fulfill that promise, God helps to complete us.

Displaying all 2 comments

Beautiful!!! I've been married going on 13 years. What makes it beautiful? The fact that God is with me through the good and the bad. Through my failures and my hubs unfaithfulness. Gently teaching me and leading me to rely more and more on Him. Teaching me to give it all up to Him as He can reach my hubs better than I can. Teaching me to be still and wait, His timing is better than mine. And as I give it to Him and wait He is working behind the scenes where no one can see. And just when the days seemed dark, He sent a ray of Light into my life and rescued my hubs from the pit. Now I have a brand new man who is daily becoming a man after God's on heart. What a blessing!!! The beauty of it all is that two shall remain one and that God gives me what I need to bless and fulfill my spouse even if I'm on empty. Even if I don't feel fulfilled. God never lets us down. And I love my hubs more everyday even when in those dark valleys. Marriage... A bed of roses... Because what bed of roses doesn't have thorns? Being in God's will is what truly makes a marriage beautiful. Focusing on my responsibility and life before God and making sure my relationship it's what it should be with Him instead of trying to change my spouse... He is in control. God is so GOOD. I AM SO BLESSED!

Beautiful! Only a woman who has been married that long can share such wisdom! Keep up the good work!

I write about what you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Women's Roles
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Is Your Family Different?
Created for Him reprint
Gender Differences Backed by Science
What Should Men Do? reprint
Where Are the Men? reprint
What Is Man? reprint
Man VS Woman: Making Man Act Like a Woman
Man VS Woman: Is It Eqality We Seek? reprint
How Do You See Sin?
Marriage Is a Covenant before God
Are You Precious?
What's a Mother-In-Law To Do?
A Promise Is a Promise
Happily Ever After
Point Lobos, Monterrey
Where You Go, I Will Go
Protecting Our Men
What Makes a Marriage Work?
And the Two Shall Be One
Do You Let Your Husband Love You?
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Are You Losing Your Mind?
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Biblical Manhood
Find more articles about Biblical Manhood here:
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Where Are the Men?
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Biblical Womanhood
Find more articles about Womanhood here:
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Letting Him Protect
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Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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