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.
When we are shaken, frazzled, unnerved, we very quickly must decisively and with full measure act toward turning the frazzle into dazzle. What on earth am I talking about? I mean when life gets really messy, as mine has done these past two weeks and millions of times before that, we can be messy and give up that round and maybe even sit out the next or we can decide that no matter the mess, we’re going to put the elbow grease into it and make it shine and work for our good to get to glory. We all know from experience that at the end of messy trials and tests and distractions of life there is growth and joy and depth of character and Spirit and maturity. We know it in our heads, but in the middle of it, it is easy to forget what our heads know over the seeming needs of our hearts and bodies. And yet, thinking with our minds and Spirits rather than our emotions is exactly what we need to use to push us through. There has to be a purposeful conversation with your emotional self that wants to roll up in the fetal position and wait out the storm. We have to say, “Yes, you are important but we will have to feel those feelings later. Right now we have work to do” and get plowing through. So, keeping our lights on in the dark world instead of letting them be snuffed out with too many challenges or daunting tasks ahead will elevate you to a whole new dazzle! You will not just hold your little flickering light, no. You will glitter and shine like a freshly polished diamond knowing you have been tried and tested and stood for Christ against it all. We have a goal, and we have to keep our goal in mind and heart. Our goal is to make it, to please the Father and be found worthy of His free gift of salvation and go to be with Him forever in Heaven when this short life wraps up. If we concrete that goal in our minds during resting seasons, we can weather any storm. And we have One who stands and works with us. He, the brilliant and shining One wants us to dazzle also, to show the world what doing it right is, to give them examples of hitting your target and weathering your storm brilliantly. With God, we can absolutely do anything we set our minds to. Those are not words that float around the air without substance, not at all. That is a promise and knowledge with teeth. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. God absolutely and unequivocally means that literally. There isn’t a question mark there. Keep it in your mind as a fact and don’t put a question mark there just because it seems lime more than you can handle. You are never alone!!! God, All Powerful, Almighty, Perfection walks with you every step of the way through the immense power of His Holy Spirit who lives in every Christ follower. So when life gets messy and you are frazzled, just breathe for a moment and remember God’s u failing pro use and dig in for the impact and work on until the end of it arrives and you are dazzling! Woo boo!