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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?

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  1. May 18, 2010 at 4:19 am

    Tony,
    What a great message and a great end you gave it with the testimony of this couple. I agree that bonds need to be cherished rather than celebrated daily, and in a marriage we must always stay active and not grow where we ever take anyone for granted. Great post
    Jim

    • May 18, 2010 at 4:18 pm

      Jim,

      So easy to say and so hard to do – cherishing those bonds in every situation. I know I have been guilty a time or two of taking things for granted..and being human, I know that I will again. Of course, I also know that she is human (my wife) and she will fall into the same category. That is where those chains of belonging are so important because we both know that we can remind the other about our neglect and hope to see a positive response.

  2. May 18, 2010 at 7:35 am

    WOW Tony! You sure know how to start off a person’s day! (It is 3:30 Tuesday morning). What a decision this guy had to make. And to know that if she lived it would mean a total life change for all of them. Even after 37 years the challenge to make a good marriage is still there and actually never goes away. Thanks for the testimony and the challenge.

    • May 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm

      Bill.. don’t you know that 3:30am is for ending days not starting them 🙂

      I was blown away by the video which may be surprising seeing as how my wife and I have made many decisions for our daughter that others may place on a similar plane, but it is so different to think of making a decision like that for your spouse.

      I wondered if I would want her to make that decision for me. I wondered if I could make that decision for her. It is easy to sit comfortably away from the situation and answer, ‘yes’ but you just don’t know until you are in that situation what you would ultimately do. We do know this, that we know the One who would help us with wisdom and strength for those situations and there is comfort in that.

  3. May 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm

    Man, you know how to make a grown man cry. What a decision, what love. I am guilty of not showing love as much as I should. Thank you for sharing and reminding of the blessing I have in my wife and how I need to honor and love her. I too am challenged and will cherish my wife today!

    • May 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm

      Tom,

      We are blessed men when we have been entrusted with the care and honor of another living person whether that is through parenthood or marriage. I need these reminders as much as the next person because I am as guilty as any other man about wanting my needs met first. I was reminded by the video that both spouses must be willing to sacrifice for the other in order for both to thrive.

  4. May 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    Ok, I live in Texas, just a few hours from Dallas…HOW did I not hear about this???

    Anyway…

    Tears just fell as I realized the immensity of his decision. So beautiful and heart-wrenching. And the gracious nature of his wife! Wow…

    • May 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm

      I agree, Joy… it was an unbelievable situation to be put into. I was so encouraged to see how they both reacted to that decision. They are definitely going to face some struggles that are based on those decisions, but they have shown a hope and trust that encourages us to believe that they will weather those patches as well.

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