Monday, October 15, 2007

Marriage and Community

Promising oneself to another person eternally and unconditionally is an inherently difficult vow to keep, even under the best circumstances. Sharing a home and a bed for for a lifetime –no matter how appealing at first– is an extraordinarily difficult task.

I was 21 when I was first a groomsman in Bob Weiger's wedding. To me it was mostly just an enjoyable experience being up front with my friends. The day of the wedding Bob (far wiser than myself at that age) explained that we do the weddings with these witnesses and friends standing around the couple because life is difficult and these people will help them keep their vows. At that time I had assumed that love and dedication could somehow survive in a vacuum.

Now that I am bound to a wife myself I see how difficult it can be. Even thought I love and respect this woman so much, there are days when weariness and irritation are all that can be seen. Without the support of those who love us I wouldn't be certain that we would last the distance

Recently a couple very dear to me dissolved their marriage. I still remember standing beside them at the celebration that was their wedding watching them making promises that seemed so easy at the time. But time can disembowel the best of intentions, and after a while all of us who had stood around them weren't around much and sometimes it hurt so badly that walking away seemed like the best for everyone. I was off studying medicine in a different state when they needed me. Now returning to Georgia too late, I can only help as much as possible as they rebuild their lives more alone than before.

Without encouragement from a community that also makes promises to the marriage, this most fundamental of human relationships, is often pushed to the breaking point.

I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when you needed me.

1 comment:

Bobw said...

I barely remember saying that stuff, but we've all proved it true over the years. we certainly need the love of Jesus and the support of a community. I'm a little sad that we're not really part of eachother's community any more, but take comfort that God has placed us in places where we belong.