Chappy's Corner "Until death do us part!
 Joe and Fred had golfed every Friday for the last 25 years. The course they played wasn’t’ far from the city cemetery and so on occasion there would be funeral processions going by while they golfed. On this particular Friday, as they approached the tee box, a funeral procession passed by and immediately Fred stopped, took off his cap and stood still while the whole procession went on by to the cemetery. After the last car passed by, Fred put his cap back on and went up to tee off. At that moment Joe said, “Fred that was very nice, but in all the years we have been here, I’ve never seen you do that!” To that Fred replied, “Well, come this next week I would have been married to her for 35 years!”

Skipping one’s wife’s funeral for a golf game is not the most romantic gesture but I suspect there are guys and some gals who might choose to do something different than attend a funeral. However, when a couple gets married they normally promise to be there “for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.” Those are the traditional vows at many weddings and this past Friday I had the joy of hearing my son make that promise to his new bride. I not only witnessed those vows, I also served as the minister for the ceremony. It was one of the most joyous times in my life as I saw my son receive a partner for life. And that is what marriage is: a lifetime commitment.

Sadly in our world many marriages don’t make it. Some blame finances, poor communication skills, immaturity, our society, and the list can go on and on…The end result is that many marriages end up in the divorce courts. While some try to blame one person over the other, I believe the problem is that all of us are basically selfish sinful people who tend to think of our own interests before others. Marriage is meant to be the exact opposite. Instead of thinking of one’s needs first, one needs to be thinking about the needs of one’s partner first. That’s not the way of the world, but it is God’s way!

My son and his bride choose as their wedding text these words from the bible “Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.’ Philippians 2: 3-4. Those words are good for all of us whether we are married or not. For the truth is these words reflect an attitude that can improve our work areas, our homes, our schools, our churches… when we put others first we are doing exactly what Jesus did for us. As Jesus said, “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many” Mark 10:45

We have a loving Savior who set aside his own glory to take on the role of a servant and gave His life for us. Jesus humbled himself and became a servant to save us from sin. In Christ we have forgiveness for all of our failures and as His forgiven people we have the power to forgive others, to serve others and to put others first as long as we live.

Just my thoughts from this SE Corner of South Dakota!

Chaplain (LTC) David Gunderson