Thursday, August 18, 2011

Marriage Vows

I've been thinking lately about marriage vows.  Not only because I have been to several weddings lately, and not just because Jim and I are going to celebrate 30 years together this Sunday, but also because two young couples that I know, that got married last summer, are already getting divorced. 

I will confess that the day after I got married, I looked at my wedding band and thought to myself "What in the world have I done?  This is for forever!"  But I also knew I wanted to be married to Jim.  It's true we had a whirlwind courtship, but I could think of nothing better than "happily ever after" with this man.  Fortunately, before the reality of the disillusionment of "happily ever after" hit, we saw a movie, that profoundly impacted my commitment to my marriage vows.  I wish I could tell you the name of the movie, but I can't.  Basically, it was the story of on old couple, looking back on all the good and mostly bad times in their marriage, and when asked what was the reason they were still together, they answered "We vowed a vow." 

As kids came, and moves were made, and degrees were earned, and jobs were started, and things got harder I came across another life line, this one by C.S. Lewis.
"Love is a deep unity, 
maintained by the will 
and deliberately strengthened by habit."  

I knew then that not only was marriage a vow to be kept, but it was work.  It takes maintaining and deliberate strengthening.  It takes working; by forgiving, by encouraging, by accepting, by giving, by loving, by correcting, by arguing, by taking time, by challenging, and by so much more.

Approaching our anniversary this weekend causes me to stop and reflect on the wonderfully challenging marriage Jim and I have had.  We've had our work cut out for ourselves with each other, but we are closer today than I ever thought possible.  Our deliberate maintaining has paid off.  And it has been possible only because we vowed a vow.  And meant it.


Bethany Keena said...

Thank you, mom for sharing. I always appreciate hearing the honest ups and downs of marriage...and especially my parents relationship. :) 30 years!! God is so good!

Susan Beth said...

I read this in the a.m., thought about it on and off all day. Makes me sad about the two marriages coming to an end. Profoundly sad. But very excited to wish you Happy Anniversary on Sunday. We aren't half way to where you are (late bloomers!), but plan to get there, and yes, in part because we made vows - not to each other, but compacts with God.

Andy Tuttlebee said...

Happy anniversary Keenas!
You guys are an inspiration - Eliza and i are half-way to catching up with you. We miss you and our occasional dinners. Hope the lord is blessing you both and your ministry. We love you all!