I do… but only if you do.

Wow. Less than two months until Lee Anne and I stand in front of our community (family and friends) and say some words.

Do these words really matter? Does it matter what we vow before God?

Only if marriage means something truly permanent. We are saying words that seal us into something that is designed to last a whole lifetime. But how can it last the span of a life when people change, life happens and sometimes things just don’t work out the way you planned?

This goes to the very core of what marriage is. Is marriage a bargain? Or is marriage a total life surrender?

IF marriage is a bargain than certain things come into play. One of the first things is who should I marry? Well, a good bargain shopper will tell you to find the best product (in the best condition) for the lowest price available. This works if you are looking for a dinning room table or television set but think about this for a moment… when looking for a spouse I am going to search for someone with the best body, mind and personality that won’t require me to offer the same. How many old rich men can swing this one? Who else falls into this category? The other fun part is that the moment you find someone who’s body and mind are “perfect” just imagine what 10 years of not having to impress anyone will do. And personality? Just wait until life gives you lemons… a big fight, car wreck, job layoff, failed business, lost child… the list could go on (and it might take just one) before this wonderful person cracks. So given these things the best you can hope for is a shot in the dark.

What happens when everything is falling apart? Will your “I do” hold up when the other person seems to always be saying “I won’t”?

What IF love is a whole life surrender? What IF you start with love as an action and warm emotions as a possible outcome?  When you start with love as a total loss of your personal self interest then nothing changes when life does. You are already serving and losing your life for your spouse’s well being. Marriage is a commitment to stay loving and serving regardless of your emotions and level of life enjoyment.

“I do” means “I choose you everyday even if it means I am miserable without end (or until death do us part).”

This is hard for any young couple (like us) to embrace. Our culture says each of us is the center of the universe. Youth are especially targeted to be completely self-absorbed – the opposite of what is needed to walk into a marriage that requires complete SELFLESSNESS. So we are learning, slowly, to choose this kind of love and walk into marriage this way. Many days we get overwhelmed, it’s like swimming up a waterfall. BUT the good news is Jesus doesn’t ask us to succeed, all He asks is that we give up and let Him take over.

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