Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Fine Print in Marriage

"In sickness and in health..." Those are the words tucked away neatly somewhere in the middle of familiar wedding vows. They are what we might call the "fine print"; the part that does not draw much attention; the part few people notice until some time later in life.
Just such a time recently came to pass under our roof and the roof of another preacher's family for whom we've been praying. In our case, my wife underwent surgery and I've had any resemblance to a normal life put on hold while I nurse her back to health. As those of you who've been through such a time as this can attest, I've done things for my wife that defy description - at least nothing I care to describe in this blog. It is, after all, a family-friendly blog. After the upteenth episode of emptying (I shall delicately call) "the bucket," my wife declared I had gone "beyond the call of duty."
Wrong. It was exactly the call of duty. It's in the fine print. I've done much more than empty "the bucket," but I'm not going there, and no, you don't want to know. It's the fine print.
The other preacher and his wife read the fine print too. In her case, it meant watching the life slowly ebb from her husband until he went into the presence of the Lord. No one ever marries for the fine print. But it's the fine print that gets to you.
In many respects, those vows in the middle - the fine print - may be the most important of all. Those who have lived through their vows with a loved one to the end know more than anyone else that love is spelled out in the fine print. It's the point where true love shines forth; where love is not displayed in the finery of the ceremony, but shines forth in its deepest beauty.
After all, the fine print is where we live.

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