A Kept Promise of Love
Discover the Secret to Longevity in Marriage
Wedding vows include a promise to love and cherish your spouse for better or worse, in sickness or health; in poverty or wealth, until death do you part. Both the bride and the groom make this commitment. The secret to longevity in marriage is to obey this vow. The primary reason marriages fail is because someone in the wedding party has broken this promise.
We are all without excuse because the wedding officiant includes this stern warning. “You should not enter into these vows lightly.” The ancient adage, love is blind, but marriage is an eye-opener, is true. Officiants also include these words of wisdom, “So not knowing what is before you; you take each other for better or worse.”
Over time the many possibilities of your new union will take shape into reality. We all get married “as is” (imperfect), not “as you want it to be” (perfect). Perfection comes in the moments, days, months, and years married couples spend together.
You enter marriage with two unmatching luggage sets (baggage); yours and theirs. It all gets unpacked over time. The baggage is different for every individual. When you make your wedding vows, you accept a suitcase of issues you are unaware of, and so does your spouse. Perhaps the officiant should have everyone repeat, “I carry major issues that you are not aware of yet.”
As baggage gets unpacked, love and commitment get tested.
This garbage can be painful for both of you. When revealed, previous sexual encounters, addictions, mental illness, abuse, anger issues, and gossip tendencies are challenging to work through. The actual list of possible baggage is much more extensive.
There is always a price to pay when you add luggage on your journey. The added cost is true in travel, and it is also true in marriage. You break your wedding vows when you renege on love by acting in an unloving way. An affair, chronic lying, drunkenness, abuse, and selfish over-spending are just a few dirty pieces of laundry that some people add after the ceremony. When this happens, they break the love vow.
You can work through added baggage with sincere remorse and repentance; however, it is complicated and challenging. Recommitment to the vow of loving and cherishing is needed. Without this happening, there is no hope of true reconciliation. You might stay together, but marital bliss? No way.
Love should be forgiving but not foolish. You can work through almost anything in a loving relationship. Fifty-plus years of two imperfect people in love, living together, and fully committed to each other, is proof marital bliss is alive and well in seasoned marriages of fifty years and more.
The author, People Pastor Bill Fix, and his wife Dottie celebrated their fifty-first wedding anniversary on April 10, 2022. On that same day, they added to their treasure chest of memories as they witnessed the baby dedication of their first great-grandchild.