‘Til Death Do Us Part

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” This verse from the second chapter of Genesis is the foundation for the institution of marriage. Let’s take a look at how seriously one friend of mine takes this.

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If you abide in Me and My word abides in you, then you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.

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Sheri de Grom is a writer friend from Arkansas. If you don’t know Sheri, check out her blog here. She is retired from a career that gave her a lot of insight into the ills of the workings of our government. She is also a loving wife who married for life.

I don’t know the details of Sheri’s story, but at some time in the past her husband was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and she has been through a nightmare of trials in dealing with hospitals, doctors, government red-tape, etc., in trying to get help for him. Read yesterday’s post THE WRONGS OF PSYCHIATRIC CARE – Part 1 of 2 for the details of her ordeal.

Rather than repeat what she’s already written, and written better than I could anyway, I want to talk about her as a person and an example of a loving, Godly wife. A football coach of mine used to say, “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” If so, Sheri certainly qualifies as tough.

She quotes statistics in her post that 75% to 90% of marriages involving a bipolar partner end in divorce. Having had very little experience with the disorder, I can only imagine some of the horrors involved, but that statistic is enough to convince me it must be pretty bad.

A different person from Sheri could have joined in the majority side of that statistic and walked away from her mate and her marriage. Her life would undoubtedly be much simpler and easier if she had. But Sheri’s not a different person.

Sheri understood the words of Jehovah in Genesis about cleaving. She heard the words in her marriage vows, “. . .in sickness and in health . . . ’til death do us part.” She knows that marriage is a covenant relationship between a man and a woman with God at the center to hold them together. And she does what it takes.

If you venture over to her site to read this post, you’ll see the love that motivates her. You’ll glimpse the tenacity with which she clings to her husband and pursues every avenue to try to get him the treatment he needs. You will infer from her writing that the man has suffered some dementia with his condition. I’m not sure whether or not he even knows her. But she knows him, and she knows her commitment to him.

I’ve never been put to the kind of test Sheri has dealt with for a number of years now. I don’t know how well I would fare with such a test. I sincerely hope I never have to find out. I’m pretty sure a lot of us would score much lower marks than Sheri.

If you want to see what ’til death do us part looks like, look at Sheri de Grom. It would be difficult to find a better example.

Who do you know who has had to fight this sort of battle? What battles have you had to fight on behalf of your spouse? We’d love to hear your story.

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For more information about David N. Walker, click the “About” tab above.

For more information about his books, click on “Books” above.

Contact him at dnwalkertx (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet him at @davidnwalkertx.

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About David N. Walker

David N. Walker is a Christian husband, father and grandfather, a grounded pilot and a near-scratch golfer who had to give up the game because of shoulder problems. A graduate of Duke University, he spent 42 years in the health insurance industry, during which time he traveled much of the United States. He started writing about 20 years ago and has been a member and leader in several writers' groups. Christianity 101: The Simplified Christian Life, the devotional Heaven Sent and the novella series, Fancy, are now available in paperback and in Kindle and Nook formats, as well as through Smashwords and Kobo. See information about both of these by clicking "Books" above.
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14 Responses to ‘Til Death Do Us Part

  1. David – I am humbled by your kind words. I debated with myself for months about posting the blog but decided if I was ‘going to be a true advocate’ I had to honestly put myself out there and fly the flag in front of my own house. Tom is one of the rare individuals who wasn’t diagnosed until he reached 40 years of age. He’d completed a brilliant career in the military, advancing faster than his peers. Tom and I married late in life and he was the single father of two daughters (ages 3 and 7). We’d only been married 18 months when we received his diagnoses but if I had it to do all over again, I’d still marry the same man. Part 2 will be posted Thu. Thanks again for your support and most of all, for your friendship.

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  2. I, too, am a big Sheri fan, David. I think it’s very difficult for marriages to work out, regardless of their issues, without God at the base. One of the songs sung at my wedding had a verse that said:
    “This sacred vow I make to you
    Does not contain an ‘if’
    Though I’m aware that trials lie ahead.
    I will love you and pray with you
    And through it all I will stay with you.
    Our home will be a refuge of
    Unconditional love.”
    I think the most perfect example of unconditional love we’ve been given comes from God the Father and the Son when Jesus died for us. In my relationship with my husband, learning to trust him enough to believe his love for me was unconditional…that was my challenge. Not that he’d ever done anything, but my parents’ divorce and my father’s lack of presence in my life made me a little tentative in that area because I don’t believe in divorce form me and knew I’d only marry once, so it was important I choose well. Fortunately, he’s patient and understood my fears enough to stick around and prove himself…even though he didn’t have to.
    Here’s Cherish The Treasure, the Steve Green song…in case you’d never heard it.

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  3. Lovely post, David. Sheri is indeed a most remarkable woman.

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  4. David, I saw your post today in my stream on FB, which as you know, doesn’t always show us everyone we follow. But as I read this, I thought, what an excellent example of selfless, Godly inspired love. My husband and I are in our 38th year. If it were not for bible principles, I couldn’t imagine with all the stresses that a couple face over a lifetime, that it could be achieved without Jehovah in our marriage. One of our favorite scriptures is found in Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. I’m sure that you are familiar with it, but it ends with these words, “And a threefold cord cannot quickly be torn in two.” That’s where we can always draw our strength from. Especially when we are dealing with unending trials, such as your dear friend. 🙂

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  5. Charity Kountz says:

    I couldn’t login on my phone so here is my comment.

    I know exactly what you mean here. Before I got married to my husband Ryan, I had no idea what being a wife was about. The battles I would wage for my family legally, financially, medically. The challenges I would face with battling my husband’s medical obstacles while being an advocate for him, leading him and our family through the challenges. But through it all, what gives me the strength to fight on is every time my husband wraps his arms around me and I am infused with that special love only he and I share. Combine that with the soothing hand of God. Then, in those moments “til death do us part” seems like it will never be long enough.

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  6. Barb Estinson says:

    Sharon, I am touched by your words about Dolores. What an outstanding person your sister is. David, I have not yet read Sheri’s post, but I will do so. I do know that bipolar illness can be devastating for the person who has it as well as all the family. Did you ever see or read Patty Duke’s account of her bipolar illness and the horrors it brought to her family? Thankfully, she was able to find effective treatment and continues to be a successful woman as well as actress. I’ve had some experience with bipolar illness via clients as well as with my granddaughters’ step mother … and I think you know some of the trauma involved there. Kudos to Sheri!

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  7. Sharon K. Walker says:

    My sister Dolores Shaw recently lost her husband Doug. For the last two years of his life, she devoted herself to caring for him and ensuring that he remained as healthy and happy as possible. That to me is what love is all about: wanting the best for your loved one and being willing to give of yourself to provide that “best.” Even though my sister is heartbroken over losing her husband, who was her best friend and companion, she has been able to say, with tears in her eyes, “I have no regrets.”

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