For Better and Worse?

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” Genesis 2:24

Did you hear the one about the wedding ceremony of a young contract lawyer and his bride? When the minister got to the vows, he intoned, “Do you take this woman for better? For worse? For richer? For poorer? In sickness? And in health?” He was startled to hear the groom cautiously reply, “Yes. No. Yes.

No. No. And yes.” Of course, we’d all like to sign up for the better, richer, and healthier parts when we get married and forget all that other stuff. But that’s not the way marriage works because that’s not the way life works.

In another wedding ceremony, this one real, the bride and groom pledged to stay married as long as they continued to love each other. Let’s hope they both know good divorce attorneys, because they’re going to need them. Relationships based on feelings are necessarily ephemeral and transitory. The only real stability in marriage is produced by firm commitments that hold two people steady when emotions are fluctuating wildly. Without such determination, even the best relationship is destined to disintegrate.

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