Links in this Chain
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I have heard it said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We understand this adage to mean that a chain put under stress can only hold up to that stress until one of the links gives out. Whichever link it is that gives out first is the weakest link.
The other day I looked down to the ring finger on my left hand and thought about how the wedding band there represented a link in the chain of my marriage. My wife wears a ring on her hand that represents another link in that chain that ties her to me. Some of you are aware that I am in a study at the moment of the book of Philippians (and Jude) and there is something that the writers of both books use to open their respective letters.
..a bond-servant of Jesus Christ..
Some translations may use the word ‘slave’ instead of bond-servant. I have wondered about that. Is it that slavery brings too much negativity to a description of a relationship that we steer clear of using such language to describe it? When I looked down to my ring, this thought came to me: there are chains that represent a sense of belonging to – a sense of loving ownership. My wife’s ring and the ring on my finger represent a mutual belonging and ownership – I belong to her and she belongs to me. We are in chains to each other but here is the thing – that chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
The chain that exists between my wife and I must be forged in trust, respect, honor, care, and sacrifice all of which must be tempered in love. If either of us gives up on that understanding, our relationship will suffer. Hopefully our chains are strong enough to withstand the stresses that are put upon them. After twenty years, it may be tempting to believe that those links have been thoroughly tested and no longer need to be properly maintained. Taking things for granted has a way of exposing serious issues at the most difficult times.
I am reminded that it is important to celebrate cherish the bonds that bind me to my wife by the following video:
After watching it, I wondered how hard would it have been to make the decisions that the husband had to make. I wondered what went through each of their minds when they started putting together the picture of what the rest of their lives would look like.
But I was so encouraged by the demonstration of love that each held for the other. For better or worse became embodied by their relationship but more than that, it was transcended because they looked past the worst and instead chose to see the better.
As a man I have a question for other men out there, how do you celebrate the chains in your relationships?