As I was sitting beside my husband’s hospital bed in the VA ER, a very old, extremely frail man was wheeled into the hall across from our room. He was bundled up in blankets, and looked like he was 5 foot 4 inches and 90 pounds….maybe. He had a bushy, wiry white beard, and atop his head was the well-known black Veteran’s hat. His voice was weak and shaky as the nurse began to question him about his condition. He had fallen and broke a few ribs, then developed pneumonia and was hospitalized. He checked himself out of his local hospital against the advice of the doctors, and now was back, barely hanging onto the shallow breaths he was forcing in and out of his frail body. The nurse asked him when he served, and he replied, “I fought in World War II ma’am.” Jake and I just looked at each other, marveling at the fact that a real life WWII Veteran was right across the hall from us. Due to this fact, he must have been in his late 90’s. The nurse questioned him about other things, and asked who he lived with. He replied, “With my wife of course!” She went on to ask who took care of him and his wife and he went on to say, “Well…we take care of each other, just like we always have.” This statement, made Jake and I grab hands and give a thoughtful squeeze as we marveled at the fact that he and his wife were still happily married and taking care of each other. He went on to say that they had 10 children together, and drifted off to sleep, tired of the questioning.
I couldn’t help but dwell on the commitment between the two people. Their love survived a terrible war, rebuilding after the war, children, jobs, hardships, and new eras. This is what God intended for marriage, and I am so thankful that we have examples such as this couple to show us that marriage can, and will last if we only commit ourselves to the other. When my husband went overseas, the number of soldiers deployed was around 600 men and women. Of the 600, a little over HALF of these peoples marriages ended during the deployment. It was a sad, sad reality. I honestly had no idea the divorce rate was so high. There were several divorces after the deployment as well because of the difficulties that arise after the soldiers return home.
Jake and I saw other Veteran’s and their wives during our stay; the husband and wife sitting in the waiting room, and the wife half asleep as the husband rattled off his medical report to her. The wife wiping drool off of the corner of her half-crippled husband in the wheelchair waiting in the hall, and the young couple walking hand-in-hand while the husband waddled because of the leg brace attached to him. I thank you Veterans for the commitment you made to your spouses and the determination to see that commitment through, in sickness and in health, in good times, and in bad; during times of peace, and in times of war.
May we all strive to cling to each other as described in Matthew 19:5 and engrave upon our hearts the passage in Ephesians 5:22-27 which reads, “Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.
Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”
Let us as married couples study this scripture together and discuss its true meaning. As a woman, I have been placed in the protection of my husband, who is being guided by his love for the Father to be the best protector and provider he can be because of his devotion to Christ, and to our marriage. As a man, understand that we women submit to your loving care and protection to please our Father and to show complete trust in the fact that you are our provider and our shelter. We respect you and love you because of our love for Christ, and for the man he has set over us as a shield. May God continue to bless our marriages, as we continue to make Him our guide.
“His banner over me was love.” Song Of Solomon 2:4