Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV).
When my husband and I married in 1967, I repeated these vows:
I, Lydia, take you Milt, to be my husband; to have and to hold from this day forward; for better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; forsaking all others; to love and to cherish from this day forward until death do us part.
Over the years, these short but powerful vows have definitely been tested. “For richer, for poorer” came in the first few years of our marriage when my husband suddenly lost his job just as we started our family. It took a few years and two graduate degrees, but finally he got a job in another state. We left family and friends behind and flew to California with two young children and little money in our pockets. With God’s help, we weathered the “poorer” part of that vow.
Then later came the “in sickness and health” test. Because of my incurable illness, my husband retired early. God extended my life, but now my husband has multiple health issues. We’re grateful to have the Lord and each other to lean on as we keep our vows.
Some years ago, in the midst of my health crisis, I contributed to a marriage devotional. The book organized meditations around various lines of vows. My devotion appeared under the section, “to have and to hold.”
“Whew,” Milt said when he saw the devotion. “I’m glad it wasn’t under the till death do us part.”
That’s my man.
Now after forty-six years of marriage, we’re thankful for God’s continued help and blessing in our union. Divorce was never an option.
Just as our heavenly Bridegroom remains faithful to us, His bride, we want our marriage to reflect His faithfulness as we keep our wedding vows, day by day.
Thank You, Lord, for Your great faithfulness to us. We can personalize the familiar hymn and sing: “Great is Your faithfulness, great is Your faithfulness. Morning by morning new mercies we see. All we have needed, Your hand has provided. Great is Your faithfulness, Lord unto us.”