I ________ take thee, ________ to be my wedded wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish til death do us part, according to God’s Holy Ordinance, and thereto I give thee my pledge.
That’s quite a vow when you really take the time to realize what it is saying! This is way more than a fuzzy, feel good kind of love that hopes to make it for several years at the most. This is a pledge of love that was written for couple to proclaim in front of God, family, and friends, a love to last a lifetime.
Our family was blessed by a wonderful example of this with Mark’s grandma and grandpa Dubbeld. Grandma was quite young when they married, but the vows they took proved their commitment for a lifetime journey.
They were blessed with twelve children – and you know the road had its twists and turns, but whatever came, they met it – together.
Dating their grandson, he and I took a trip. Up to the state of Michigan to meet Grandma and Grandpa Dubbeld. By this time, Grandpa had undergone surgery for cancer in his throat, and talked through a little machine. But they had weathered this storm — together. Learning to understand him was difficult for me. But Grandma could. The smile’s they shared back and forth — and easy going chuckles were some of the very first evidences I saw of a deep and lasting love.
Grandma had a specialty from her many hours in the kitchen — home-made bread. Grandpa AND the family benefited from this wonderful dough mixed with love. We enjoyed it — together.
They read the Bible every day — taking turns reading — together. They loved to play Scrabble — together. In the “early retirement” years they took many “breakfast dates” right to the “Golden Arches” — together.
The years went by, and every time we visited them they showed their deep commitment for one another — and for the Lord. They changed, they got older, but the glimmer in their eyes for one another never faded. They were always — together.
Grandma loved any kind of flower, but Grandpa had a favorite — he especially liked yellow roses. They had some in their nicely kept yard, at the house beside the railroad tracks. He enjoyed them immensely as they sat on the porch — simply being together — watching the trains go by.
Then, the “golden years” began to fade and nursing home days came calling. Now they were both in the same nursing home — same room — together. Grandma became bedridden, but Grandpa’s love for her was deep. He would get out of his bed and sit in his wheelchair all day, beside her bed and hold her hand — they were together.
Grandma secretly called in one of her daughters. She had a request. Not for herself, but for the man she so dearly loved. She wanted her daughter to go to their yard and cut some of his yellow roses and bring them to him.
Her “love of a lifetime” was still her lifetime love . . .
Her selfless act of love from the bed of a nursing home inspires my heart today. They both new the secret of a love that lasts. They meant the vow gave to each other – and it held. True love takes commitment . . . Pass it on!
Janene A. Dubbeld/FGG
“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13