In sickness and in health,
I am in constant admiration of those who care for the physical well-being of their spouse, especially in cases of long-term, serious, and terminal illness. I am so thankful that any health issues we have had have not been life-threatening. Not to be dramatic but with all sincerity, I think in marriage the health of something much more valuable is at risk: our souls.
I am responsible for getting my spouse to heaven, and he likewise. So, his spiritual well-being is in my care. When I promised to be faithful in sickness and in health, it means I signed up to not give up when he isn’t responding to the “cure” I think he needs. Often, my attempts to really care for a spiritual pain have the pathetic fervor of trying to pray away acne: petty, misguided, and really self-centered. First, prayer is not a vending machine, just as your marriage isn’t. It is always first a relationship. When you care more about the soul of your spouse then them being in the “right” spiritual health, you begin to see them as God sees them: a beloved member of His family, and someone to be cared for and given the sincerest care, no matter where they stand.
Am I caring for the well-being of his soul, or just waiting for him to fix things himself? Am I waiting for him to respond to my “cure” or “treatment” in the way I want? Am I really invested in this matter? These are ugly questions I don’t ask myself enough, often because I am not going to like the answer. It is not up to me to decide what is valuable care for his soul. It is my job to care for it unceasingly.
Last one (Part 4) is on it's way!