Once the wedding is over and the guests have gone, we’re left alone with our spouse to live out what we’ve just promised. This is when most of us realize how selfish and arrogant we are and how difficult it really is to love our spouses “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’till death do us part”.
It takes more than a whimsical “forever after” idea for a marriage to do more than survive; but thrive. A marriage only flourishes if we obey God’s command to love one another with a holy and sacrificial love that puts Christ first and our spouses second.
“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves…Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord…Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her, that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word…However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
~Philippians 2:3; Eph 5:22, 24-26, 33
Most of us know how to handle ourselves when our spouse gets sick with short-lived illness, but what do you do when your spouse is struck with health troubles that last for months, years or a lifetime? Do you ask God “Why is this happening to me?”, do you feverishly look to medical professionals to “fix” your spouse’s problem, do you leave your spouse emotionally and/or physically to deal with this trial alone or do you look to God, your heavenly Father for comfort, peace and direction?
“For God alone; O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him. He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and glory; my mighty Rock, my Refuge is God. Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us.”
Today, if you’re struggling to live what you promised because your spouse has suffered serious health issues that has invaded your happiness, be wise and use the medical professionals God put around you to help, but with the realization that no matter how wise or knowledgeable they are, they are not God—they are not sovereign.
Remain in prayer and in God’s word to find true strength, peace and comfort in the midst of your trial. And intentionally seek to show your spouse that they’re not a burden, but a blessing from God who’s provided you with daily opportunities to be conformed more and more into the image of Christ. And there’s nothing better than that!