#3 – Sickness
Romance is hardly on the heart and mind of one experiencing the various effects of the flu. And as you can see – our area has been hard hit this year!
People react differently when facing sickness; Some are overly dramatic requiring constant attention. Some simply want to be left alone to suffer in a quiet room away from everyone. Some are apologetic seeing how their sickness is upsetting the normal routines of the family. But all are in need of one thing – healing!
A vineyard takes constant care and attention to produce a crop worth harvesting. But even the finest vines can face mildew, blight or bugs. When this happens the vine grower tends to the pestilence with utmost care. This is necessary to help the struggling vines survive.
It is the same with marriage. When one is sick, the spouse who is well is needed to pay full attention in helping them recover. It becomes the priority in an already full schedule. But it isn’t always easy to do. Our selfishness gets in the way. We grumble; we complain; we’re tired, or at the very least, we wish it weren’t this way. We recently read a blog post from the wife of a chronically sick husband. It was at the very least, insightful. She had this to share about observations she made of two other marriages who had inspired her:
Last year, a dear friend told me what her marriage was like in living with her chronically ill husband. He was sick for most of their 30 year plus marriage, but they remained deeply in love and the best of friends. Another friend is married to a really nice guy who has been ill for many years. He was recently hospitalized, but has since been released. She is now dealing with his uber-expensive medication, live-in help, and the machines he needs to make it through the day. You might think that they’d be stressed out or depressed, but they aren’t in the least. In fact, the last time I visited, he lovingly referred to his wife as his “life-saver.” They looked into each others eyes and shared a wonderfully romantic secret smile.
We have two friends who are facing prolonged health issues. One would think romance would be lacking, but it isn’t. In fact, they would both say they are more in love with each other now than ever. Why? Why is it that in the midst of trying health set backs, their love has grown stronger?
We believe there are two reasons:
- Gratefulness breeds affection. When confronted with the brevity of life, we realize what matters most is the love we have been given – both from the Lord and from our spouse. It is a gift, and gratefulness springs from a heart that realizes this truth.
- Both couples love God. They see their relationship in light of His love for them. He was willing to lay down His life for us, so is it really so difficult to lay down our schedules to help our spouse recover?
God is the only One who enables us to love and serve a sick spouse. He provides the strength and compassion needed, but there is a catch – we must ASK for it. The Bible says, “You do not have because you do not ask.” So often we enter our day without thought for our weaknesses. We need to realize this is greater than our ability to do on our own.
Caring for a sick loved one can be tiring, worrisome and fearful. Take all of these and give them to the Lord. He is mighty to save you from your fears. He will lift you up and help you serve with the strength He provides. And as you do, love for Him and your spouse will be kindled. Your spouse will appreciate the sincerity and the cycle of romance is nourished and replenished.
When the sickness relents, there is a renewed gratefulness for health. All the mundane routines are suddenly fresh and appreciated greatly. Romance is easy and date nights aren’t taken for granted. Both are fully engaged and committed to loving each other in sickness and in health!