I Do


This summer I was encouraged to read Daughters of Sarah. One of the “wifely instruction” passages holds up Abraham’s wife, Sarah, as an example of obedience saying that she called her husband “Lord.” I had always just thought of this as the quaint wording of the King James Bible, but Ephesians 5:22 gives a similar admonition to submit to the husband “as unto the Lord.” It struck me that Sarah may have called her husband “Lord” because as she said ‘yes’ to Abraham, she was saying ‘yes’ to the Lord’s direction for her life.

Being the action/idea oriented type of person that I am, I thought I would give it a try. My current situation was trying to decide which activities the kids and I would enjoy this fall. There were too many opportunities and I couldn’t decide which to drop so I thought I would be a good wife, submit my list to Brian and let him take off one or two for me. Well, through circumstance and a few weeks of deliberation, all of the activities were crossed off except for one which required much effort and planning on my part. This was hard for me – I didn’t expect Brian to take that much control of my life. I remember once complaining at God that “Brian just didn’t understand, he didn’t know what I needed.” Then in the middle of my pity party, God interrupted and reminded me that He knew what I needed, He understood the stresses of my life and He might be behind the directives from my husband. Ah, yes – and so Amy obeyed, calling him Lord.

This started me thinking on the concept of saying “I Do.” So many couples repeat this on their wedding day, but slip into the habit of actually saying “I don’t do.” That’s where I was. While my mind said ‘I do’ in theory, my actions said “I don’t do” direction from my husband. I had struggled to say ‘I do’ to apartment living with four small children. I frequently said ‘I don’t’ to cheerfulness and gratefulness. Usually this wasn’t open refusal, just the simple act of not asking for Brian’s priority, pushing for something I wanted to do, or resenting the discomfort of a situation.

Often saying ‘I do’ is hard – even the marriage vows reflect that, having 50/50 good and bad things you promise to endure together. I had the privilege of watching both sets of grandparents say ‘I do’ to helping a spouse through several years of terminal illness. Both went beyond mere faithfulness as they cared for and loved someone who couldn’t always give back. And I know other couples that have endured both the better and worse side of attitudes, actions and circumstances. I have also been grieved by friends that, eventually said “I don’t” to their spouse and left. It would seem that they became ‘weary in well doing.’ After all, how much are we expected to endure? Aren’t we admonished to ‘faint not?’

This is where I considered how the ‘I do’ concept ties in with Christian living. Marriage is a picture of the relationship of the church to Christ. I want to say ‘I do’ to all the benefits of being united with such a one as Christ, but struggle with ‘I don’t do’ when faced with difficulty. What if the early church said “I don’t do lions.” What if Paul said “I don’t do travel?” What if Peter said “I don’t do writing?” What if Christ himself said “I don’t do crucifixion?” Maybe the difficult things, when surrendered in obedience to God, can produce better results than the good things. Missionaries who endured severe persecution testify how they came to know and understand Christ better. Maybe the endurance through difficulty long beyond what we would care to endure makes for a relationship way beyond what others could ever hope to know.

Today marks 7 years of being married to my first and only love. Due to the particular time of our life (building a house, parenting, my belly swollen 7 months pregnant) I don’t think we’ll be celebrating with a cruise or a weekend getaway. Instead we may spend the evening as companions on all fours, scraping the plywood in excited preparation for putting a new floor in the kitchen. As many army buddies would testify, the rigors of boot camp and the battle field may do more to create a bond than a quiet evening at Olive Garden. So if Brian asks if I find it in me to join him on the floor, I will answer “I Do.”

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3 responses to “I Do”

  1. Jackie Dickie

    As one who was there (with my son, RJ) on that beautiful day 7 years ago, I have greatly enjoyed watching your little family grow through the miracle of Internet blogs. You all are a great example of a family growing in The Lord. Amy, the words of this post are very wise and truthful. God bless you and yours as you continue on this journey with Him.

  2. Carol

    Very insightful for one so young, yet, when you are in tune with the Lord, His wisdom abounds.

  3. Lori

    Good thoughts. You also ended up getting one of the activities back too.

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