What a mouth full! What does it mean to love, honor and cherish? Do those vows even matter anymore in an age of selfishly doing whatever we want and to heck with the rest? Does it matter to be faithful to our commitments to our spouse? To our Lord? I may be unrealistic, but I like to think it does. I like to think vows made, covenant promises made are worth every effort you can commit into their keeping. But what does love, honor and cherish look like practically? Let’s explore those one at a time. Love is an easy one for women for the most part and harder for men often because of how we’re cut. However, this seems to be changing with the younger ones coming up. Love should mean to consider the other person and their well being and feelings and concerns before you consider and act for yours. It is the essence of unselfishness and goodness to another person. In fact, it is considering the other person as more important than yourself. This is why when they ask you to do something and you would rather do something else, you do it anyway. It is sacrificial by design. Cherish is a matter of value. It goes right alongside love because you are declaring that person is valuable to you, even more valuable than your own comfort. Cherish is to hold someone dear, precious to you. Cherish is treasuring that person’s soul as valuable and precious. Honor is a horse of a different color. To vow to honor someone is to vow to treat the person with dignity, value, worth and importance. Honor is akin to respect but much more active of a reverence. It is to say that you will do nothing that purposefully brings shame to the person or devalues them. It is saying that although I want to do or say something, I will check myself first and see if it would hurt the other person’s feelings or make them embarrassed or ashamed. If it would, you refrain from doing or saying that. All of these active love forms combine to be a pretty amazing and Biblical spouse. Consequently, it is the same vow God makes with the church, us. And if you are lacking any of these in your married relationship, rest assured that God loves and cares for you in these way. You can not control another human being and they will probably do whatever they want at least some of the time and in some marriages most of the time, but you are still responsible to maintain your covenant vows you made. Who knows, maybe it will be catchy.
Most people know my Dad as a farmer, and he was. Some know him as a machine repairman for Whirlpool, and he was. Some know him as “Pudge”, and he was. Some knew him as a Marine, and he was. Some knew him as a great tenor singer and church song leader, and he was. Others knew him as Sunday School teacher and church deacon, and he was. However, I had the privilege of knowing him as Daddy, and he is. Still with us for a while longer, I see him in his state of less and cannot see the physical degeneration. I see the man he was and I thank God I had a Daddy that loved me unconditionally and that I could respect and admire unequivocally for his faithfulness to my Mom and us and integrity of spirit and soul. He is and has always been the strongest man I know and was always willing to do for anyone who needs it. Generous to a fault, he gave even when we had little until we had more and still he gave. He lived his life as I knew him in truth and dignity and respect for his parents and care for his wife and us. Tender to animals and in his heart, he felt much more than he showed when others hurt. If anyone harmed us in any way, he was a bear towards the offenders and defended us no questions asked. Many moves, he was there helping me move. If my car was making weird noises, he knew what was wrong by me making the sound and knew what I should be paying for the repair. He wouldn’t let me drive until I had learned from him and proved that I could change a tire and change my oil and fan belt. He made sure that we took a family vacation together every year, no matter what. A true patriot, Independence Day was celebrated right up there with Christmas and Easter, but all three were celebrated to the hilt! And the man could cook! I still have my Daddy today but we are not sure for how much longer but I just want ted to celebrate this great man that I love and respect so much! I think we should tell people before they are gone because it can happen any time. I love you, Daddy!!!