"Your love is your own private possession, but marriage is more than something personal — it is a status, an office. Just as it is the crown, and not merely the will to rule, that makes the king, so it is marriage, and not merely your love for each other, that joins you together in the sight of God and man. As you gave the ring to one another and have now received it a second time from the hand of the pastor, so love comes from you, but marriage from above, from God. As high as God is above man, so high are the sanctity, the rights, and the promise of love. It is not your love that sustains the marriage, but from now on, the marriage that sustains your love."
A further reflection on Bonhoeffer's quote is in this Washington Post Op-Ed piece : “Marriage was a status we graduated into, and it was bigger than we were. It defined us, and not the other way around. Now we seem to be losing the institutional imperatives of marriage, leaving only the private relationship -- and that is increasingly likely to turn on such things as personal satisfaction.” (If its a match between Bonhoeffer and Bruce Willis, I choose Bonhoeffer.)
So, my question is this: Have the following words any power under God to save a marriage?
...to have and to hold
From this day forward,
For better or worse,
For richer or poorer,
In sickness and in health,
To love and to cherish,
Until we are parted by death.
This is my solemn vow and promise.”