Renew Your Vows and Your Marriage
by Carey Casey
Men, are you taking your wife for granted? Let me take care of that nonsense right now. I have buddies whose brides died of cancer. A while back I received a call from my friend Billy about his wife, whom he has loved since they met back in college. He said, “Carey, she’s sick. She’s really in trouble.” And he broke down and cried.
Men who have lost their wives would give anything to go back and do things just a little better. Maybe they’d change their priorities, or make better use of the time they do have. Men who have been through a divorce often have similar feelings.
Sometimes you hear about couples renewing their marriage vows, and I think that’s a useful idea whether it’s a formal ceremony or just an inner recommitment “from this day forward, ‘til death do us part.”
And what about that line, “in sickness and in health”? I don’t think the bride and groom fully appreciate what they’re saying. What if the marriage ceremony actually listed some of the possible challenges, sicknesses and tragedies? What if one of the spouses will get cancer, be paralyzed, or have mental problems? Maybe they’ll have a miscarriage or two. Tragedy almost always takes us by surprise. And suddenly we’ve forgotten the vows made many years ago, or we never realized what the vows mean in the first place.
I think about these kinds of challenges, and I thank God for my bride, Melanie. She’s such a blessing to me, and I try to serve her in small ways every day —getting her something from the kitchen, or washing the dishes, or carrying dirty clothes down the stairs, or just making the bed. You could probably list a hundred ways to serve your bride — from arranging a second honeymoon to just putting down the toilet seat. It all adds up.
Let me confess, when I invest in Melanie, I’m getting something in return. She’s an extension of me wherever I go. She gives me great feedback and encouragement on all the things I do. She makes me a better dad. She loves me through my brokenness and weaknesses. And that makes me love her even more.
Dad, even if it doesn’t always feel like it, your marriage is a great gift from God. I hope you’ll renew your commitment to those vows you made to your bride.
Carey Casey is CEO of the National Center for Fathering.