Living The Vows

To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness. –  excerpt from traditional Christian wedding vows

I am married. And I am a wife. But I am very young, in both my role and in my marriage. And though, no marriage is the same as the next one and we make the rules that work for the two of us, I am not too proud to continue to learn and get educated about what marriage is really about.

I mentioned briefly a while back that my mom in law has had some health challenges the latter part of this year. God is faithful and she is slowly recovering. But since I am mainly in a position of obervation, I have really gotten an education about the true meaing of marriage. When I stood up in front of 150 folks and in front of God and said my wedding vows, I meant them. But they were somewhat abstract, in the way simple words tend to be. But throughout this family crisis, I have had the distinct pleasure of seeing marriage vows in action.

My in laws have been married for 39 years. They have 4 children, of which my husband is the oldest.

To watch my father-in-law be there for his wife is truly inspiring. He greets my MIL with a kiss when he walks in the room, he sits for hours holding her hand, he cracks jokes trying to keep her upbeat, he encourages and pushes her with her physical therapy, and is constantly monitoring her and the care that the nurses give her. He’s constantly following up with the doctors and social workers. He sleeps in the pull out chair in her hospital room every night and I’m sure that’s not comfortable. Myron and his brothers had to MAKE him go home to recharge last week. Every action he takes is the epitome of love and respect for the woman he took as his bride so many years ago.

THAT my dear commenters, is a true example of living your wedding vows. Marriage is not always happy times, unicorns, glitter and rainbows. There are difficult times in a marriage, times when jobs are lost, money is tight and people get sick.

There is so much chatter on the internet and amongst people about relationships and what folks are and aren’t going to do when they get married,  what they should be doing to get a man or woman, what they bring to the relationship table, what they so-called deserve and how they aren’t going to be thirsty behind this dude or that chick.

But the fact remains until a crisis or trial happens to YOU, you don’t know how your significant other will react.

I hope you will have someone who will stand by you, when shit is good and when shit gets HARD. I hope that you will have someone who will wipe your eyes (or your ass) if necessary, because you can’t do it yourself. I hope you ignore what everyone says, and pick a man or a woman who does not just recite some vows, but actually exemplifies them. Myron and I have some damn fine examples in my in-laws.

I hope you are as lucky as we are.

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25 thoughts on “Living The Vows

  1. Pingback: Trial by Fire « No longer unemployed, no longer a bride…

  2. This is amazing. What a beautiful thing it is to have your in-laws marriage model so beautifully what marriage is meant to be. I am so inspired and encouraged by this. :)

  3. Absolutely beautiful, TIH!

    Prayers still for your MIL and family.

  4. Thoughtfully presented and beautifully said. BRAVO ! My own parents have been married for 50 years, and no truer words have been spoken. They have both had health scares during this time, and are a true example of what I hope to have in my lifetime should the need arise. May God continue to improve your MIL’s health and may you continue to inspire in your posts.

  5. I cried. The truth about living out your vows has gone forth. Just wish more people would get the message. I’ll continue to keep your family lifted in prayer.

  6. STANDING OVATION!!!

  7. SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Very well said Tiff. Although my mom is the only one living, my finance’ and I have my grandparents, his god-parents and many more to look up to. We see his god-mother take care of his god-father daily who is suffering with alzheimers and she would not have it any other way. Thank you for sharing your life with us. I really enjoyed reading this article.

  9. Wow. I will be sharing this with both married and single folks. So many people don’t take marriage seriously but then there are those who do and that is such a blessing to witness. None of us know the path our lives will take or whether we will be the caretaker or the one who needs the care. This is an on point reminder of what it really means to say those vows. Great blog !

  10. Beautiful post!

    My parents will be married 57 years February 2012. My fathers brothers are married right behind them in years. My parents have been blessed to be in great health. But when my Mom had surgery several years ago, I’m sure it was harder on me than on my Dad. He went to the hospital everyday and sat there all day. They started bringing him lunch too. As crazy as my parents are I know I would be blessed to have somebody walk this life with me for 57 years.

    I pray your MIL heals quickly.

  11. As a single woman who will be eventually looking to settle down, I definitely look to the elders for an example. I love to see elderly couples who still hold hands and help each other. I love to see old men who still open the doors for their wives.

    Keeping your family in my prayers!

  12. This right .. this right here .. I can write a damn book on this. See my parents have been married for 40 years this year. 18 years ago my dad had a massive stroke that left him unable to speak or walk ..and really he can’t do nothing for himself. I remember like yesterday the look in his eyes when the Dr. said he will never be the same again. I can tell he thought my mom was going to leave him and put him in a home. What he didn’t know is that my mom believed in her vows.. she believe in “for better or for worse.. and in sickness and in health.

    My mom cares for my dad like he is the king of the world…if he needs this or that she is right there for him. When he had to go to the hospital recently .. she never left his side. Like she always says .. he is my better half.. you don’t leave your better half.. we are in this together.

    And I totally agree with what kitadiva said

    “I want a love like that and I want to love like that. Doing my best to choose well as I’m out here dating.”

    Keeping your family in my prayers

  13. Yes, the marriage vows are pretty tight. In just a few words, it covers pretty much everything that can — and will — go wrong. I hope all turns out well with your in-laws.

  14. Brilliant post, especially seeing that every single place you look they have 360 flimsy way to make a marriage work but nothing succint as this post.

  15. beautiful, honest & raw post.. thank you for sharing!!! keeping your MIL in prayer..

  16. When the idea of marriage vows comes up I go back to Marvin Gaye’s spoken part on “When Did Yo Stop Loving Me When Did I Stop Loving You.”

    “You know, when you say your marriage vows, they’re supposed to be for real. I mean…
    if you think back about what you really said, you know, about, honor and loving and
    obeying till death do us part and all. But it shouldn’t be that way, it should…it
    should, it shouldn’t be lies because it turns out to be lies. If you don’t honor what
    you said, you lie to God. The words should be changed.”

  17. ALLLLL this you said. I think the biggest disappointment I have ever had was finding out my husband was the “cut and run when times get tough” type. I got married to STAY married. That meant that we had to cleave on to each other TIGHTER when ish got hard, work that much more to get back to the good. I was ready and prepared to do that. He wasn’t. What a shame.

    But, it’s a lesson for me, and I will choose better next time.

  18. This is truly a beautiful and moving blog post. I cried a bit when I read this, for I too have seen this kind of love in action. My parents are married 38 years strong. They too have gone through some trying times financial, health etc. I have watched them go through health issues etc. It was truly hard but beautiful to watch that kind of love and concern in action. We too had to make my dad go home when my mom became ill and went to the hospital. He slept for 5 hours in their bad and when he woke up demanded we bring him back to the hospital asap.

    I pray that every married person on this blog and everyone seeking a partner has and shares love like the one you explain in your post. I also hope that the singles who read your post will remember this as they date and look for something deeper than what a person can do for them with acquiring material things.

    I want a love like that and I want to love like that. Doing my best to choose well as I get back out here dating.

  19. Great post TIH! Folks recite the vows and smile for the cameras, but what next? My DH and I know first hand about the “in sickness and in health”. It’s not easy, but our love, bond, respect and commitment keep us united.

  20. Beautiful post. Dealing with each other during illness and hospital stays is trying. It’s doubtful that you’ll never play nursemaid to your spouse (and vice-versa) for the duration of your marriage. You have to do what needs to be done.

    And the same goes for other trials. You have to know when to jump in and when to fall back and give each other space.

    Marriage is always a continuing learning experience because people continue to evolve. You have to be flexible and roll with the punches.

  21. Tiffany Tiffany Tiffany!!! First let me say this was a beautiful posts! And I’m not exaggerating when I say I had to fight back the tears!

    I WISH you could have been with me Friday night as I sat in utter amazement at the question, “Women, in what ways does/should your spouse/SO/boo show you that he loves you?”, and how some of the answers the married heffas threw out landed right smack dab in the world of materialism! As a matter of fact I’m glad you weren’t there as we were at the church! Anyway, I literally stopped them and asked the guy to REPEAT the question because surely they misunderstood what he was asking. Of course I got a few eye rolls, including from his wife, but ask me if I gave a (you know what)! I was like really???

    When my uncle (my dad’s brother) was sick, his wife of over 40+ years “wiped his eyes and his ass” and stayed by his side until his very last day. Mind you this man was unfaithful to her through the whole entire marriage! I don’t know how she managed to stay, but she did. And until the very end she stayed true to her vows! My uncle didn’t deserve her love or devotion. I know God has a special place in heaven for her!

    I definitely plan to make sure me and my future husband discuss and understand those vows before we take them. But like you said, “the fact remains until a crisis or trial happens to YOU, you don’t know how your significant other will react”. That is why we need to keep God first and put our trust in Him!

  22. This is truth. This is the best piece of advice my great-grandmother gave me before she died: “marry a man that loves you enough to carry you from room to room, wipe your behind when you’re sick, and hold you when you vomit. Then you know that he’ll love you enough to laugh in good times, and bring the romance when needed.” To me. that advice goes faaaaaaaaaar beyond the “have sex, make a sandwich” crap that floats around the internet.

    My prayers are with y’all.

  23. Beautiful and honest.

    My parents have been married 35 years and when my dad was in his accident a few years back it was something else to watch my mom. He couldnt even wipe his own behind or use the restroom alone. It was a LONG period of time before he could even walk again.

    She taught me a lot during that time on how to truly be a wife. When Tony got sick last year I experienced it first hand.

    Keeping you all in my prayers.

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