I get a glimpse of the function of this vow only now. Never too late. While feeding the pups, who are often my most effective teachers, I am reading Oswald Chambers’ devotional for today. It’s about getting alone with God. The line that grabbed my attention was this:
It is slow work – so slow that it takes God all of time and eternity to make a man or a woman conform to His purpose.
In marriage, til death do us part is as close as we can get to eternity on earth. Sometimes marriage makes eternity feel painfully close. With hindsight, those are the good bits! The better part is to reconcile ourselves to the fact that all our relationships are designed to lead us back to His arms. Thus, there’s no real advantage in running from one marriage to another. Prayerfully, I’m holding at marriage # 2.
It’s our choice whether we take the high or low road. All we really have to do is submit. It’s another name for love and apparently can be expressed in so many ways that it has confused couples from time immemorial.
The good news is submitting to one another has nothing to do with power over another person. Loving in the way Paul details in Ephesians 5:22-33 is not about power over another person. It’s about prioritizing another’s well-being as intentionally as Jesus selflessly sacrificed himself for our salvation, step by step. It’s about realizing, re-cog-nizing if you will, as often as necessary, that the well-being of one is inseparable from the well-being of another.
Happily, I’m learning loving this way is not as difficult as I used to think.