For Better or For Worse…

When newlyweds are young and in love and wrapped in the whirlwind of excitement that comes with a wedding celebration, how seriously do we stop and contemplate what it means to love, honor and cherish our spouse for better or for worse? For better is the easy part, but how do we handle seasons of “for worse”?

Married folk, have you been in a “for worse” situation where you had to love, honor and cherish your spouse when the conditions made it extremely difficult to do so?  How did you handle it? Did you care for and serve your spouse with grace and compassion? How did you handle it when your own “self” cried out louder than the needs of your spouse?

My husband has a bad infection in his foot that has caused him a great deal of pain for the past 10 days.  At first I happily carried on, doting over him and ensuring he had everything within reaching distance while I was away so that he didnt have to get on his feet for anything.  However, after about 5 days of this and seeing no improvement, my “flesh” creeped in and this awful selfish person took over my body and my mouth.  I grew impatient and frustrated with the situation, but it came across as being frustrated with my husband — which I was NOT at all frustrated with him.  But it sounded that way. And it felt that way to him.  And I felt terrible for causing him to feel that way on top of the pain he was in.

The truth is, no matter how great of a marriage we have, there will inevitably be times where selfishness will threaten to take over, especially when we are called to love, honor and cherish in seasons of “for worse.”

In times like these I simply cannot fathom how anyone can do that successfully without the power of God enabling them to do so.

Agree or Disagree?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Additionally, I think that, as wives, we have a huge opportunity to really minister to our husbands’ need for respect in how we handle and respond to our men during seasons of “for worse.” It certainly isn’t easy, especially if the season of “for worse” is far longer than your patience can bare.  But thats where we have to rely on God to enable us to stay true to our vows and minister during these seasons of “for worse” while showing our men that they still have our respect, despite their circumstances.

As for my own selfishness, God helped me shut it down by showing me ways that I could go above and beyond in serving my husband in this season of “for worse.” This whole foot infection came in the midst of several major home improvement projects that left our small little one bedroom in complete disarray.  I will be the first to admit that I am terrible at organization, but somehow God helped me to make major headway on getting the place organized.  So thats what I did, and somewhere between “self” and “service” I discovered that going above and beyond what is required of me in seasons of “for worse” made a huge impact on my attitude and my heart as I served.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. Sharon Cohen says:

    I’m visiting from the “Completing Him Challenge” and your post has struck many nerves for me. I married a permanently disabled man so the whole respect the one you serve would appear to be my lesson. I was just reminded this morning, in my reading, that I not forget Who I am serving when I serve my husband. All the scriptures about being cheerful giver came rushing into my head! You can imagine. I am grateful that we are not called to be perfect in our marriages and that God allows us ample opportunity to do it His way – if we don’t give up.

    Please drop by my blog. My entire blog is about this topic – Ephesians 5:33b – And the wife should respect her husband. There is much to learn from those few words.

    1. AnnieLaurie says:

      Hi Sharon, thank you for sharing your perspective. When I was writing this, I did not even think of spouses who are called to care for a mate with disabilities. Your heart and your spirit as reflected in your comment is inspiring to me. I will enjoy checking out your blog. Thank you

  2. Prudence says:


    Yes, most definitely. It usually involves 5 AM when I get up to get his lunch and breakfast together for him before he leaves for work. My flesh starts yelling inside my head that I’m tired, why am I doing this he’s an adult. It is the enemies way to get in and disturb the submission I long to have towards my husband. Not that my husband expects these things of me, but it is my way of serving him. And when my flesh isn’t yelling at me, I love doing it for him.

    1. AnnieLaurie says:

      Hey PrudyChick! Thanks for weighing in on this issue 🙂 I always appreciate the encouragement to stay the course even in the small things 🙂 However, I do wish I had a volume control from my “flesh”

  3. Meg says:

    Love your honesty! Thank you for your inspiring post Annie Laurie!

  4. Great post! I had written something on this from a little different perspective (I never posted it…) but…It was the same idea of thinking about the vows that are made and the commitment that people attending the wedding make. As viewers are we making a commitment to help these couples when it gets to the “worst” part of “for better or worse?”

    I think people need the grace of God as you said, and I also think that we as friends need to commit to challenging people in a loving but firm way when “selfishness” takes over. Even when we want to empathize with a friend who is struggling, are we doing so in a manner that will encourage them to stay strong and be a contributor to it getting “better” or focusing on the hard part of marriage and complaining or blaming the spouse for it getting to “worse.”

    Just some thoughts that were triggered from your post…(-:

    1. AnnieLaurie says:

      Thanks for commenting Joy! I appreciate your perspective relative to wedding attendees and attendants… I have been in 20 (yes 20) weddings and I have seen several end in divorce. Each time Ive wondered what I could have/should have done to uphold my commitment to the couple but have never really known what to say or how to do that. I would love to have more resources relative to that topic.

  5. Great post, thank you. I am a newly wed and really want to learn early on all I can about my role and responsibilities as a wife. I will be following. Thank you!

    1. AnnieLaurie says:

      Thanks k80! 🙂 Please let me know if you have any questions! Check out the story I have on here called why our marriage works 🙂 That has some good resources for couples just starting out!

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