“I Jane Doe do take you John Doe to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, or the Lord comes for His own, and hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”
These must be the most common vows in the universe. How beautifully crafted they are. How musical they sound in my ears. How poetic the author must have been. How deep the words are. What joy they invoke in the crowd that goes wild with cheer. How truly perfect these vows are.
A common perception in the universe is that these vows are only meant for the two lovely people standing at the altar that moment. This has always been my thought all the while. As i attend one wedding after the other, i look forward to see the ‘heart’ the couple will pour into these vows, with others having to stop and shed a tear as a gesture that they mean every word of it. I just love watching people proclaim their love for each other. It is one of the most moving things in this world. There must be something in my eye because a tear always runs down my cheek as i smile with joy for them.
What no one ever told me is that these vows were not only meant for the couple that say them. I felt cheated when i discovered this truth recently. The vow so commonly mentioned in the world came to play right in front of my eyes.I was confronted with the question of for better or worse on that day. At first i was startled as i shook my head vigorously.”No! No!”This cannot be happening to me, i swear i have never gone down the aisle in my life, why am i being put to this test prematurely? A new reality was being formed before me and i could not do anything other than answer the stated question.
Who knew these vows are also mentioned by family and friends to ones they prophesy their love and friendship for? A father, a mother, a sister, a brother, a best friend. The only difference as i came to harshly learn is that it’s an answer given by heart and never made grandly before a well dressed crowd. See i had never been put to strict proof of these vows before and on that day i pondered silently on these vows.
We all, rather most of us love our family and friends beyond words or so we say. What however happens when this undying love comes under test? Do you stay or do you leave? Do you give up or fight on? Do you continue loving them or stop when they become unlovable? Do you hold them up or do you let go? Do you walk away or do you stay? Do you walk with them through the fire or do you prefer to wait they get out of it? What do you do when you are faced with the vow, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till you see the sunshine in the morning? Each and every one of us will have their answer to this.
Broken friendships and homes are not uncommon when the tough times take the wheel. Just a little bit of trouble is all we need and we will get to see the truth of the love,friends and family proclaim. This is because most of us have always preferred to take the easy way out. Why not take the hard road and uphold your vows? I will tell you, the day it started raining at home, i looked at my beloved blood go through the most gruesome stages of life and i must admit at first I was just plain confused at what was happening and didn’t want any part of it.
The rain, storms and the hard rock are never fun to walk on, i am alright where i am, thank you. I did not like the change as it irritated me. The transition was stranger to me and i did not know how to handle it. The drama was never ending, goodness give me a break for crying out loud i said. My whiny list was pretty long trust me. It is in the midst of my complaints, that the remark for better, for worse became candid in my mind. I stopped my complaints and reflected on its meaning. Just before i could finish, the words ‘will i stop loving you when you become unlovable?’ were displayed before me.
I could not believe how truly selfish i was. I thought of what our Lord Jesus goes through every day with us and yet, not in a single day did He ever say enough is enough nor did He leave when the times got tough. In this moment He asked me to look at the situation from His view. All i saw was a love filled father who had identified the problem and had set out to make it right for her as He held her through the storm. It was not easy it was never meant to be but despite that He was keeping His promise. He said soon it shall be well.
I looked at my beloved a second time. I could see more clearly now with my selfishness out of my way. This time instead of unnumbered grievances, i looked at her with sadness for what she was going through. I felt ashamed for being selfish and not being strong enough for her when she needed me, us most. The journey before all of us was not going to be easy but i was sure what my answer was to the vows. Yes, from the depths of my heart.
Yes i will be there when you are your best self and when you are your worst self. Yes i will rejoice with you in your wealth and hold you down when you are broke. Yes i will be happy for you when you are of sound health and be there when you need me to wipe your wounds on your sick bed. Yes, i will love you even when you become unlovable till all the nights in your life turn to mornings. This is my solemn vow before you and God who will give me the strength when it gets toughest to uphold these vows. So help me God.