More Than Just Words: Until Death Pauses Our Life

“Until Death Do Us Part”

I heard a pastor friend say once that he’d “much rather do funerals than weddings”.  His reason is that funerals celebrate better than anything else the life of someone and, for the Christian, to speak of the reward of heaven for a life lived well.

On the other hand, to him weddings  have so much glitz and glamour to them.  So much so that most people don’t remember the ceremony let alone the pastor’s message.  I guess to him there is too much idealism and optimism in the way of the truth of what’s in store.  But in death, a reality hits you that is stronger than any force I’ve ever experienced.

Death makes you think.  Death makes you reconsider.  Death makes you sober up.  Death makes you look in the mirror and face the stark realties of life.

Death can cause a grown man to cry and families’ oceans apart reunite.  I’ve seen funerals be the moment a mother and son reconcile and grandkids see their grandparents for the first time.

But the death of a spouse is a one of the most crushing things I’ve ever experienced.  Especially when it happens too early by our human standards.  However, a marriage that is able to see it through all the way to death is one of the most staggering examples of God’s hand at work I’ve ever seen.

This is the reality that until “death do us part” screams for when you promise it to your spouse.  It means that you promise to be with them to the very end of this life.  It might mean hospital beds, nursing homes, car crashes, or heart attacks, but it means to the very end.

However, for the Christian, this good-bye is really only like pushing the pause button on our time with our spouse.  As a Christ follower the best days, months, years, eternity is yet to come.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Don’t kid yourself.  There is more than this life.  Eternity is real.

On the other side of all the pain and garbage we have gone through, that stuff will not even register in our memory after about 7 seconds in the presence of Christ.

But don’t get ahead of yourself.  Cherish and enjoy the gifts that God has given us on this side of Heaven and the most important of them being your spouse.  Realize that saying “until death do we part” is a gift that we are given by the other person that literally lasts a lifetime.

Another pastor I follow says that one of his goals in life is to be able to live long enough to preach his wife’s funeral.  He says it would be one of the greatest honors to be able to have said he care for and celebrated her well all the way to the very end.  I want to be that kind of husband…that kind of man…that kind of Christ follower.

Be the kind of people that want that for each other too.  Love each other so well that not even thought of death can keep you from breaking the vows you promised each other.

 

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