- Gender and Relationships
Marriage Vows or Unkept Promises
It is interesting when one realizes how much work and preparation goes into one’s wedding day and how little thought goes into the matter of whether or not the groom and the bride to be are welling to keep each and everyone of their wedding vows.
Women worry greatly about whether or not she will fit in her wedding dress, or who will be her maid of honor. Great thought is often put into who will be invited to the wedding, what flavor will the wedding cake be and how large it will be. Of course, there is the matter of the place where the ceremony will take place, the seating arrangement, the music, especially whether or not they will play the couples special song, and all the other details that are part of a wedding ceremony.
Of course, let us not forget the honeymoon, where the honeymoon will be and how much it will cost and the list goes on and on. Given the divorce rate today, it seems all the preparations that go into weddings and honeymoons just don’t guarantee a perfect life together. I’m not saying your wedding day and honeymoon destination are not important, because they are; many of your sweetest memories as couple will come from these. What I am saying is that most couples give very little thought about what it means to stick it out when there is sickness, poverty and bad circumstances.
If you ask most men and women, who are preparing a wedding why they want to marry this other person, most will answer that they love this person, that they are so in love that they want to spend the rest of their life with this other person. What about when this love is tried and tested by difficult circumstances?
I don't want to be Calamity Jane, but it is a fact of life that sooner or later bad times come. It says in Ecclesiastes 9:12 "People can never predict when hard times might come. Like a fish in a net or birds in a snare, people are often caught by sudden tragedy." this verse is also true for those who choose to remain single, although when married, you must not only consider your own troubles, but those of your spouse as well. When marrying it is important to prepare your mind and heart for when hard times strike.
Various Scenarios that Put the Words in Sickness and In Health, For Richer or for Poorer and for Better or Worse to the Test
In Sickness and In Health
When you say you love him or her does this love imply that if your spouse should ever face a crippling accident you will be there to push the wheelchair for him or her. I ask this because when you agreed to in sickness and in health that is what those words meant. If you are willing to push that wheelchair and care for that man or woman, in a loving way, without complaining, with patience and kindness, than yes you do truly love that other person. Your love is deeper than just rose peddles on your wedding night.
For Better or For Worse
In the next scenario let’s just say, you have the great news that you will soon be parents, but the doctor tells you that your son or daughter will be born with a genetic abnormality and this will mean a radical change in your life as you know it. Ladies this may mean giving up your career to spend more time with your child. Men this will mean having to support both your wife and child, by putting up with the sleepless nights and supporting her through these hardships. Men are you willing to stay there for her and not walk away like many have done. Men if your answer is yes than you do love her and you will be an excellent father, as well.Women are you willing to stick it out and be there for that child and be the kind of woman that is able to support her husband through this trial, if you are than you do love him and you are a truly devoted mother.
Men I have another for better or worse scenario for you; her parents suddenly find themselves homeless and they have to live with your wife and you for a time. I know some of you men out there are saying ouch, big time. In-laws are a difficult challenge for any man. Although, you did agree when you heard the words for better or worse, well here is a for worse. What will you do? Will you break up with her because of the thought of having your love nest invaded is more than you can bear, or will you stick it out and help her parents in any way you can without whining or complaining and be supportive of your wife during this trying time. If the answer is yes, than congratulations you really know the meaning of true love and you truly love her.
Women, I have an interesting scenario for you. Your husband is tiered of the rat race and he wakes up one morning and says the following: “Honey I want to sell the house, pack the kids, take all our life saving because I want to go to Alaska and buy a small ski shop, I would like to make that our new home, so how about it honey?” Will you yell no way to the top of your lungs, make him wish he never even had any dreams, and even threaten to divorce him if he even decides he wants to go through with his desires, therefore making him the unhappiest of men.
On the other hand, are you a woman that realizes that you have to support your husband,as the song says “follow him wherever he may go” will you say yes to your husband with a smile? Are you willing to say to him: “I will call the realtor right away dear and we will start looking on the internet for ski shops in Alaska, I’m happy as long as we’re together” Are you the type of woman that will reassure your husband by making him feel that his wanting to live his dreams is something you support as his wife, even if those dreams go against what you would consider a perfect life? If the answer is yes, than you do love your husband and you will make him a very happy man.
Are you Willing to Pamper Your Spouse and try to Understand his or her needs
Here is another scenario for women to think about. Are you the type of wife that is willing to make sandwiches for your husband and his friends, and make sure that the beer mugs are frosty and that the beer is cold when the game is on Sunday, are you also willing to make sure that he and his guests are comfortable during the game, that they have plenty of snacks and that if he yells at the TV. You just go about your business and try to show some patience, by not ruining the moment for him, by asking him to keep his voice down. If the answer is yes, than you either like football or you understand his needs as a man and you know how to respond in an understanding way.
Your turn men, let’s just say, your wife likes to shop; are you willing to take her shopping, have infinite patience as she tries on several versions of the same outfit, go to the sales associate if she needs another size or search for one on the rack, hold all her must haves, have a nice expression on your face when it comes time to pay for her merchandise and help her carry all the bags to the car, and do all this with a pleasant attitude and have the chivalry to help her on her shopping day, after which you take her out to dinner so she can thrill you with her newest outfit. If the answer is yes, than you are truly a rare man, who knows what love is and she is a very lucky woman to have you by her side.
How About For Richer and for Poorer
Well, we’re not done yet. Women, if suddenly your husband lost his six figure salary, which means you loose your nice home in that nice postal code and suddenly you have to sell all your possessions and move to really small apartment in the worst part of the city, what will you do? Will you decide to leave him, because this is not what you expected when you first married the successful entrepreneur, or are you type of woman that is willing to stand by your man even if that means living in a hut in the middle of the poorest country in the world? You are willing to do this because you know that as long as you both have each other you will always be rich. If you are the kind to stand by your man, no matter what his finances are, than congratulation, you truly know what it means by in richer or poorer and you do love that man; you are a woman that is more precious than jewels.
What About Forsaking all Others?
Of all the things that destroy marriage, infidelity is by far the greatest heartache of all. Here is where one’s character is tested the most. Let’s face it, you do not have the same amount of passion you once had when you fell in love, year after year. That is why it is so important that you both grow in love and that you didn’t simply fall in love.
Let’s imagine the following scenario: Men you have already been married twenty years, the kids are grown and your wife is not the beauty queen you once married, she’s put on some weight, she starting to show some wear and tear and because she is going through peri menopause she doesn’t have the sweet temperament she once had, instead she complains constantly about hot flashes and she gets upset very easily. Meanwhile, at work they hired this new young administrative assistant at your department; she is pretty with a figure to die for, very nice personality and easy. If the occasion rises, will you give in as many men have done and cheat on your wife, which is what most men do?
On the other hand, are the type of man that takes the road less traveled and tells Miss Easy, "no thank you, I have a commitment to keep and I will not cheat on my wife” If you make that choice than you are indeed a man that understands not only what love is, but also what it means to truly be honorable and what it means to keep a commitment.
Women, let imagine the following scenario: You have been married for twenty five years and your prince has become a grumpy middle aged man who is loosing his hair and is widening in the middle. His habits are more difficult to tolerate and when you try to tell him something he get defensive and yells. Suddenly, at the place where you take your children for soccer practice there is this good looking man, who happens to be single, fifteen years younger, with a nice disposition and is willing to listen to you talk about your problems and he is patient, thoughtful and kind, plus he would love to have an affair with you. What will you do? Will you do what many women have done, which is to say to yourself, "he’ll never know, it’s just a fling." Decide to have an affair despite the consequences, despite the hurt your spouse and children will experience.
On the other hand, are you a woman of true worth, which means being the kind of wife that remembers you swore to love him always twenty-five years ago, that now he needs your love more than ever, so you tell Mr. Good Listener good-by and you sit as far away from him as possible at your children’s soccer games, or even better you try to invite your husband to come with you. If you choose this, you know what it means to be a good wife and mother, and you truly love your husband and children.
The Secret to Staying Together is No Secret
I could go on and on describing different scenarios where sacrifice and loyalty is a crucial for marriages to survive, but I think you get the point by now. When people get married the word sacrifice is rarely considered, yet true love demands it and without sacrifice marriages are doomed to failure. Marriage is more than just a wedding and a honeymoon; it is more than just hoping on a happy life together. True love demands giving of ourselves even on the darkest of days when one's spouse is poor, sick or demands that we give of ourselves unselfishly. Of course, love is one of the greatest gifts anyone of us can receive in our lifetime, to love and to be loved in return is the greatest gift that any one of us can hope for.
So if you are planning to get married or are newly weds ask yourselves are you willing to stick it out, if either of you are faced with any of life’s harsher realities. If the answer is yes, than congratulations, you truly know what love is. If you can’t say yes to sacrificing for that other person, than you have some serious thinking to do. If you are already married it is crucial that you strengthen your commitment to one another and if you haven’t married yet, than you should either reevaluate your commitment, or maybe you should move on and find someone you do love enough to stick it out through sickness, poverty and life’s trials.