For Better Or Worse
"...for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, ..."
I had the honor of being a part of the wedding of Nate and Amanda Albert this weekend. Good times. I always enjoy talking with the groom before weddings. They are usually worried about what to do. I remind them that when the bride comes down the aisle, no one looks at the groom.
Until the vows.
Then people pay very close attention to how the groom promises to live this life of love he is promising his bride. I always have, and I was reminded this weekend that other people do too.
The people that gather at weddings generally have some stake, some connection to either the bride or the groom, and want to know that the one they love will be loved "...for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in heath...", in other words - all the time. So we take vows before God and in front of witnesses that we will do just that.
Nate and Amanda did.
It's Tuesday now, and the newlyweds have been married three whole days. Wonder how many of the "or" provisions they have experienced? :)
You know, every person who decides to pledge their troth to Jesus has to learn how to love for better or worse too. The Holy Spirit places people within groups of other Christ followers called churches. Every one you meet there is a sinner who owes their place in the kingdom to Jesus' love, not anything that they did. And they will sin again, and sometimes hurt others. What then? It's easy to love people when they are lovely, but what about the times when they aren't?
And as we live, worship, grow and serve together, we live out our "vows" (to Jesus) by the way we love each other. Scripture records a few prescriptions that will help.
34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. 35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples."John 13:34–35
12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
10 Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
16 Live in harmony with each other. Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don't think you know it all! Romans 12:16
8 Owe nothing to anyone—except for your obligation to love one another. If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill the requirements of God's law. Romans 13:8
19 So then, let us aim for harmony in the church and try to build each other up.
5 May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Romans 15:5
7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory. Romans 15: 7
13 For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
2 Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.Galatians 6:2
2 Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love.Ephesians 4:2
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.Ephesians 5:32
13 Make allowance for each other's faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.1 Thessalonians 3:13
This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
God has placed you in relationship with your brothers and sisters in Christ. That's no accident. So go back to basics - make sure we fulfill our vows to love one another.
For better, or worse.
The whole world is watching.