On June 19th, 2010, I vowed in the sight of God, Brian, and witnesses “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, honor, and obey, till death do us part, and hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.” Pretty serious stuff! Well trust me I’ve had plenty of opportunities to keep those vows, and I’ve also failed those vows plenty of times.
We’ve only been married 3 years, but in those 3 years we’ve had a taste of what marriage is like. We’ve gone through the worse. The times where I was a pistol to live with. Poor Brian has had to put up with a contemptuous wife at times (me failing my wedding vows). There was the time Brian had chronic hiccups. He couldn’t stop hiccuping for days on end, and he could barely eat. Not one of our better moments. Or the days where all we did was fight. We’ve definitely seen the worse times (maybe not the worst, though). We’ve also seen the better times. Those days when we can spend the whole day just enjoying each other’s company. The alone time we enjoy. Small trips we’ve taken to Williamsburg, VA., Gatlinburg, TN., and Charleston, SC. The walks we take, the nights we stay up late talking about things, and the crazy things we’ve done. Yeah, we’ve experienced some “better” moments.
When we first got married we quickly learned what the “for poorer” meant. In fact, I broke my hand less then 2 months after we got married. And we had no idea how we would pay for it. Thankfully, I broke it at a church youth function so the church’s insurance covered it. That blew my job prospects for a few months. We were dipping into the last of our savings when I finally got a job. Or what about the time we moved from South Carolina to Pennsylvania. We lived off our savings for 3 months before God provided me with a job (Brian was working at the church at the time, but his paycheck didn’t cover all of our expenses). God has definitely been good to us. We’ve also had our richer moments (richer by our standards). When we could pay the bills, put some money into savings, and still cover little extras. God provided for Brian to be able to build a new computer as his old one just about failed.
We’ve also gone through the sickness and health. We’re both pretty healthy right now, but we’ve had our moments of sickness. I broke my hand, sprained my ankle, and had a few colds. Brian experienced the chronic hiccups and he’s gotten numerous colds.
Then there’s been the chances to show that we love each other. We’ve had chances to show our love for each other with gifts, cards, notes, actions, etc. . . Brian’s surprised me with candy, Oreos, Ever After soundtrack, National Treasure, and flowers. He’s done the dishes because I’m tired, got up early to finish Sunday School lessons so he can spend time with me, cooked supper so I can have a break, and watched chick flicks with me just because I like them. I’ve had opportunities to show him my love by packing him lunch to take to work, sending him texts, getting him Fastbreak bars, getting things ready for Wednesday night kids group (so he didn’t have to worry about it), and going hiking with him. I’ve also failed to show him love countless times. I’ve said things that I regretted later, I’ve stomped around the house when I was mad, I’ve done things that he doesn’t like me to do, and I’ve let him know when I wasn’t happy. It’s easy to show Brian love when I feel loving towards him. But it’s hard to show him love when I don’t feel loving towards him. But love isn’t just a feeling, it’s a choice. When I made those vows to love him, I didn’t just vow to love him when he was loveable or when I felt loving. Instead, I vowed to love him “till death do us part” and beyond. So showing him love when I only feel loving is wrong. I’m supposed to show love even when I don’t feel loving (a lesson that I’m still struggling to learn).
The part about honoring isn’t always easy. I haven’t always respected and honored my husband as I vowed I would. There have been times where I’ve made disparaging comments about his ideas or plan. Or the times I’ve pointed out that I think he’s just wrong about something.
Then there’s the opportunities I’ve had to obey. This like other parts of my vows is a hit a miss area. Sometimes, I’m the loving, submissive wife. Other times, I’m an unloving, disobedient wife. Submission is easy when Brian asks me to do things that I want to or I enjoy doing, but it’s really hard when he asks me to do something that I don’t want to do. It’s hard bringing myself under his authority when I don’t like what he likes. I’ve obeyed complaining the whole time more times then I’d like to admit. I’m still working on being the submissive wife that God has called me to be.
The fact of the matter is I haven’t kept my vows as I vowed that I would. But I am blessed to have a forgiving husband, and a forgiving God. The last 3 years of my life haven’t been easy, but they have been the best 3 years of my life. Marriage isn’t supposed to be easy. I firmly believe that God created marriage as a stimulus for spiritual growth (growth that I desperately need). God also created marriage for companionship. Brian is the best companion I could ever ask for. He is a loving and patient husband, a good provider, a humble man, and my best friend. I couldn’t ask for a better husband. God blessed me 3 years ago by giving me Brian for my husband, and He has blessed me every day since. Our marriage hasn’t always been beautiful, but what can you expect of two sinners living together? But God is working to create something beautiful out of our marriage.
Thank you, Brian McBrayer for marrying me and blessing me daily with your love and godly leadership. Happy Anniversary, sweetheart!