There are days when living out those wedding vows can be difficult. In richer and poorer? In good times and bad? So often when we make those vows, all dressed up, tears in our eyes, we focus on the good parts: richness, good times, health, and the like. We stand up there on the altar but we never quite know exactly how those vows will play out.
This past weekend, however, I saw my husband live them out so perfectly, so selflessly, that I’m sure I got the better end of this marriage deal. Saturday night, after putting our daughter to bed, I felt not quite right. I popped a couple of Tums and sat down to watch something on TV and relax with my husband. Before long, we concluded that we needed to completely throw out what we’d had for dinner that night.
Thankfully, Anthony has a stomach of iron (he also had less of dinner than I had). Even more than that, he didn’t blink when springing into action: in sickness and in health.
I was up nearly half the night with food poisoning. I could barely walk or talk enough to rouse him. I concluded that I’d rather be in labor – unmedicated – than get sick. Yet even in my misery, he cheered me on (in a supportive way, not in a “Yay! More to clean up!” kind of way). He didn’t complain or wince – at least not that I saw – he simply and humbly lived out those vows.
Most days I don’t give my husband enough credit for the things he does. Instead, I’m quick to point out the things he hasn’t done, or hasn’t done up to my standards (i.e. that’s now how you hang a towel up!). As I sat moaning about how I just wanted to be done with this and how exhausted I was, he didn’t throw it back in my face. He never once said, “that’s not how I’d do it” or “you didn’t get the laundry done yet”.
The next day, barely leaving our bed, I learned yet another important lesson of marriage: the vows have nothing to do with what has happened the day before. The vows we took nearly two years ago imprint themselves on our lives and our hearts each day as though it were the first day of our marriage. Did we bicker the day before? Were we blissed out married people the day before? Doesn’t matter. The vows matter. In sickness and in health. In good times and in bad. Always. Forever. The end.
So thanks, dear husband, for living out this marriage vocation with me, from food poisoning to joy, and for reminding me of the weight of the vows we took. I’m grateful to be living them out with you.