Till Death Do Us Part
Many of you may have watched my wedding video from my last posting. If you listened carefully, you may have noticed that Derek had left out something in his vow; not deliberately but because he was a tad under the weather.
This is what was left out in his vow: “all my worldly goods endowed to you” “as long as we both shall live”
After the ceremony, I pulled him aside and jokingly asked if he had intentionally left out the two most important statements in a wedding vow – which is all that he has is mine and he will love me no matter who I am and accept me no matter what I did! Of course he denied it vehemently!
I saw this joke on the Internet one day….
During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the minister with an unusual offer. “Look, I'll give you $100 if you'll change the wedding vows. When you get to me and the part where I'm to promise to 'love, honor and obey' and 'forsaking all others, be faithful to her forever,' I'd appreciate it if you'd just leave that part out.” He passed the minister the cash and walked away satisfied.
The wedding day arrives, and the bride and groom have moved to that part of the ceremony where the vows are exchanged. When it came to the time for the groom to recite his vows, the minister looks at the young man in the eye and says, “Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?”
The groom gulped, looked around, and said in a tiny voice, “Yes.” The groom leaned toward the minister and hissed, “I thought we had a deal.” The minister put the $100 into his hand and whispered back, “She made me a much better offer.”
I chuckled reading this joke but it is also a reflection of the concerns of most Christian couples walking down the aisle today. We asked ourselves if we can truly keep to the promise and that the union will stick till death do us part?
This was reported in the Christian Post: “According to a study released by the Barna Group, of Ventura, California, born-again Christians are just as likely to get divorced as adults who are not born-again Christians.
The study found that 35% of married born-again Christians have been divorced at least once; the same percentage as among married adults who are unbelievers, indicating there is little difference between believers and the unsaved when it comes to divorce.”
The reason cited is, “few Christians accept the notion that divorce is a sin” if there is no adultery committed.
You may not agree with this statement and neither do I. However, we also know of people who understand perfectly that “God hates divorce” yet they chose to do so because their marriage is “beyond recovery”.
Is it an issue with the lack of “the fear of the Lord”? By whose benchmark does one decides that the marriage is “beyond recovery”? Or should we try to get along and not mention the word “divorce”, would that make things better? Is this the Christian Marriage that God has intended for us?
In my last posting, I mentioned the kind of man Derek is. I married an honorable man, a man that fears God and one that I know will do right by God and will likely do right by me. Nonetheless, as I walked down the aisle, I also find myself asking the “what if” question. You see, I knew then and I still know now that I married an honourable man, not a PERFECT one.
So, what can I do so that I will not be a part of the statistics reported above?
The Two Shall Become One Flesh
Ephesians 5: 25~33 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
When you are two, you can be divided but when you are one flesh, division is not possible unless in death (“till death do us part”).
Hence from the start of my marriage, I have purposed that I will be of one flesh with my husband.
But how can two different individual become “one flesh”? What does it mean to be “one flesh”?
In my next few articles, I will explore what we can do to become “one flesh” with our husbands.
However, I want to discuss about this “great mystery” that Paul talked about in Ephesians 5:32.
The Great Mystery
We are called to be disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. Disciples are called so because they follow their disciplers not only in words but in deeds. Of all the things that Christ did that impacted this world, the greatest would have to be that He “left” His Father and “cleaved” to His Church (whom He calls His bride) through His death.
Through His death, He began the process of becoming “one flesh” by being the Head of the Church and looked at the Church as His body and loved the Church as Himself.
Whenever a man leaves his father and mother and cleaves to his wife, the whole work of redemption is repeated.
The Church is strong and powerful only because Christ and the Church are one. Apart from Him, it is all religion. Jesus is adamant that He will see the Church through till He presents Her before the Father. In the same way, every marriage that works strengthens this “joining together” of Christ and the Church.
John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
When the Church and Christ are joined intensively together, there is a power that will be evident in the Church and that power will overflow to every part of the body and every member and of course every marriage!
Just as Christ abides in the Church and the Church in Him, let us also learn to abide with our husbands through and in Him and become One Flesh!
You and I have a great role to play to keep the Church strong by keeping our marriages strong.
Love, Susan Dunn