What I Promised When I Said “I Do”
A few days ago, I had a young girl ask me if I ever get tired of my husband. I laughed and almost spewed coffee out of my mouth because OF COURSE I do.
She said she sees pictures of married couples that look like rainbows and butterflies all the time and it really intimidates her. It comforted her to know that my husband and I aren’t always staring longingly at each other over candlelight dinner or frolicking through the park. The reality of marriage calmed her anxious thoughts about the future. I could see the relief set in as she was assured she wasn’t the only human who isn’t perfect.
One thing I said to her that might not sound very romantic but holds so much truth is that sometimes I only stay in my marriage because I promised God I would.
There are days I’d rather just walk out. There are moments when I’m not really sure why on earth we decided to get married in the first place.
And so, I have to recall on the promises I made to God and the ones He made to me.
I vowed to God and to my husband to remain faithful in the hills and valleys of marriage. And God promised me that He would bless my marriage and help us glorify Him and spread His love if we remained committed to each other and Father God.
But this is precisely what can be so hard to remember when we get tired in marriage.
God’s message of marriage will not be what culture or friends tell us about marriage. This holy matrimony–you and your husband–your marriage, is not about you. It’s not about your husband, either. It’s about God.
God asked for husbands to love their wives like He loves the church and for wives to honor their husbands. God surely never said marriage would be a breeze.
“Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Ephesians 5:24-25 (NIV)
The relationship between Christ and the church is not always an easy one, but God always makes it a beautiful story, when He is at the center. There is so much grace, love, intimacy, and excitement — and that is a perfect picture of marriage.
On the best days, I know God is honoring us for keeping our promise to Him and each other. And on the worst days, I know God wants us to fight to keep those promises because that’s what He does for us as the Church.
How to keep your promise to God in your marriage:
- Submit to God. When we trust God and lay down our fears, our control, and our agenda, we are able to trust God’s leading of our husband. We are also able to trust our husband as the one carrying the spiritual responsibility of the household, which enables us to respect and honor our husbands. In essence, submitting to and honoring God postures our hearts for respecting our husband.
- Fight for your marriage. When things get hard, it is tempting to throw in the towel. Instead, lean into Jesus. Go to His Word to remember what He says about marriage and then put it into practice. Pray for your man, and if he is open and willing, pray with your man. Fight for your marriage by speaking life over him.
- Ask God how He wants to adjust your heart. Go to God in prayer to seek out areas where you can be a better bride to your husband and a better part of the Bride of Christ. The Bride of Christ is made up of all types of people with different gifts and talents all necessary to growing His Kingdom and spreading His love to people everywhere. But it’s easy to point out how our husbands can improve while ignoring what God wants to work out in our own hearts.
Wife Step: Revisit your vows. If you wrote them down, read back over them to recall the promises you made. If you didn’t write them out, take the opportunity to sit down now and write vows to God and to your husband.
Kaitlin is a newlywed striving to be a strong half of a Kingdom team with her hunk of a husband. She is a lover of words, good coffee, and exploring new cities. Her favorite places include airports, hotel rooms, and bookstores and she has yet to meet a stranger she doesn’t like. Kaitlin is addicted to shopping, yoga, and brunch and couldn’t make it a single day without her dream-supporting family and best friends. She hopes everyone who meets her sees Jesus in her eyes and feels a little lighter when they leave her presence. You can say hi to Kaitlin on social media at @kchaprogers on Instagram and Twitter, @kaitlinchappellrogers on Facebook, or on her website at kaitlinchappell.com!