Anyone who is married has repeated vows similar to this. But, on a wedding day, when dressed in our finest, and surrounded by friends and family in celebration, we don’t think about the “for worse”, “the poorer”, or “in sickness.” Those things seem very distant and foreign on a day as joyous as a wedding day.
If you have been married a while, you know that the worse, poorer, sick days inevitably come. Jobs are lost. Spouses are diagnosed with serious illnesses. Trials come. It’s just the nature of our fallen world.
As an empty nest mom, you pray that your grown offspring don’t have to experience those times. At least not for a while. You wish only the best for them. Blissful years.
About a year and a half into their marriage, my daughter and son in law were confronted with the meaning of in sickness and in health.
After spending a fun-filled weekend at home with family, they headed to New York City for a few days. It was my son-in-law’s first trip to the Big Apple. I got the text message that they had safely landed but a few hours later, we got the rest of the story. Once they landed, they went straight to the hospital by ambulance.
So, instead of seeing shows, eating delicious food and experiencing the sights and sounds of NYC, they spent half of their short vacation in Queens Memorial Hospital.
My first inclination as a mom was to get on a plane and fly up there to fix it, to make things better, to just hold my girl and tell her it was all going to be ok. It was not unlike the emotions I experienced when the tornados in Alabama were bearing down on both of my children in 2011. But, she’s an adult and my role is different now. I’m to pray and encourage her from the sidelines.
I also felt some guilt. As my daughter and her husband were going through their ordeal, my husband and I were at a lovely resort and spa. I would have gladly traded places with her.
Now they know. Marriage does include the worse, the poorer and the sickness. Plans are thwarted and new plans have to be made. I wish I could shield my grown kids from the disappointments in life but I can’t. What I can do is pray that the things they face with their spouses will make them stronger and better and even more committed to each other.
3 Not only this, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope: 5 and hope doesn’t disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.