I Do and I Don’t
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (1 Corinthians 13:11 ESV)
Always one to be different, rather than quoting the typical love verses from this chapter, I instead incorporated verse 11 into my personalized marriage vow. Having been a bit older and wiser than most doe-eyed brides, I knew this was truly the key to the love chapter. It’s not just I do but also I don’t. I do love you . . . and in doing so, I don’t want to live as a child anymore.
Because marriage is not child’s play. It’s not playing house. No, to be married to someone is to die to self. Yes, this Christian walk of ours means a whole lot of last-rights are necessary. We need to be crucified to Christ and die to ourselves in order to truly make Him Lord, and then once we marry any remnant of self that may still remain needs to bite the dust as well.
So yes, when it came time to write my vows, I realized that it wasn’t just about what love is but also what love isn’t. As much as I loved the happily ever after stories, the childish ways need to be put aside and the reality of true love sacrifice needs to come to be. The key is that both parties standing at the altar need to be grownups. They need to be both willing to cast-off childish things and put on their big-boy and big-girl pants and walk the talk; to do and to don’t.
So I promised to honour and to trust and to love my husband. And I didn’t expect anything from him that I was not willing to do myself . . . except perhaps mowing the lawn or starting the gas barbeque. Little did I know he would buy an electric grill and we would live in a condo . . .
Father, I thank You that You designed us to work in partnership in marriage. Help us then to cast off our own fleshly desires and ‘rights’ and to joyfully live out our love vows by laying down our lives daily for our spouse.