By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
One of the vows commonly found in Western weddings is the promise to love through the good times and the bad. Marriage is a promise before God to stay with someone until death. We recognize that we will grow old and that we will change. We comprehend some of those changes may draw us closer together, while other changes may push us further apart. We understand there may be unforeseen events that can challenge that commitment, but it is our responsibility to exhaust all options available. We are but an obedient child to the standard our Father has set on what love is.
Romans 5:8 (ESV): But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
To make a long term relationship work requires a commitment that few achieve. To make a relationship work, we must give the most of ourselves when our spouse deserves it the least. Christ made it clear, loving and treating others well when they are loving and treating you well is not saying much.
Luke 6:32-34 (NIV): "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full.”
Understanding how difficult this can be, we must constantly remind ourselves of the perspective we are to have. Loving our spouse (or anyone) through the “bad times” is much easier when we have a humble heart. The wages of all sin is death, and while we may personally believe some actions are “more bad” than others, our love can cover a multitude of sin (1 Peter 4:8). We only need to be willing to forgive and show mercy to our loved ones, as God forgave and showed mercy to us (Matthew 6:14-15). And while it may not always be easy, there is nothing more difficult than being judged without mercy because we didn’t show mercy to our loved ones.
James 2:12-13 (ESV): So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty. For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.