The Vows

I know that it is only through the grace and love of Jesus that I can make these vows to you. So I commit to you that I will always pursue you through His eyes.
I vow to love you when it is easy, but especially when it is difficult.
I vow to celebrate and cherish you and to pursue us as a couple before I pursue myself.
I commit to working through and processing the impossible things that life drops before us.
I vow to give my heart to you and only you.
I promise to take swing lessons with you!
I vow to hear you and your needs, your desires, and your dreams.
I vow to challenge us to pursue lives that continuously reflect the love of Jesus.
I vow to pursue God and His direction for our lives.
I vow to identify and work on things in my life that might keep me from an intimate relationship with you or things that might hinder our pursuit of God.
I vow to hold your anxieties, fears, and doubts in the arms of our marriage.
I vow to buy you flowers for no special occasion.
I vow to treat you with respect and honor.
I vow to laugh with you, sing off-key with you, boogie with you, cry with you, celebrate with you, make babies with you, walk in the park with you, nap with you, make decisions with you, tickle you, travel with you, and share my entire life with youÂ… till death do us part!

I commit myself first to Jesus Christ, and it is through faith in His goodness and love that I commit myself secondly to you.
I will freely share my heart, my thoughts, and my body with you. I will not hold back any part of myself from you.
I will listen to you – even when I am not feeling heard.
I will laugh and play with you; I will dance with you in the kitchen and kiss you in the rain. I promise to always keep you guessing!
I will journey, explore, and adventure alongside you – even when the path seems uncertain and the outcome is unknown.
I will honor you with my actions and my words; when I speak to you or about you to others.
I will stay with you and be faithful through the best and worst that life may have to offer us.
I will encourage you when you are discouraged.
I will challenge you to become the man God designed you to become.
I will be patient with you.
I vow to look beyond your individual needs or my individual needs – instead, I will focus on what our relationship will benefit from. I will not take a fighting stance with you or defend myself against you – instead, I will trust that you are fighting for me and our relationship!
I will show you in small ways that I love you – I won’t wait for a fight to show you how much I care.
I will learn to assume the best of you – rejoicing in the truth of who you are and refusing to assume the worst of you.
I will hold you, squeeze you, and smile at you . . . I will be your partner and your
friend . . . until death do us part!

WOW! Looking back, through clear eyes . . . as a wife, not a fiance . . . not a bride-to-be . . . these vows take on such a different meaning. They have such heftier implications and responsibilities. The funny thing about these vows is that we promised things we are not capable of. And funnier, things we had never even attempted to do before . . . things we didn't even know if we are capable of doing. And we are educated, intuitive people. . . so had we read these vows objectively . . . had they been somebody elses wedding vows . . . I think we would have both said - "WOW! That is a big commitment. Are you ready to promise those things? Do you even understand what you are committing to?"

But maybe that is the funny thing God does when you fall in love. You loose some objectivity. You become overcome with emotion and excitement about the future. And you are capable of making promises that God knows you won't be able to keep . . . at least not all of them . . . all of the time.

I mean, "I will assume the best of you . . . " This from the girl who has been suspicious of everyone, her entire life? In general, I assume the worst about most things most of the time and now I have committed to always assuming the best of the one person who will have total access to me . . . the one person who is most capable of fully loving me . . . the one person most capable of fully devastating me? I am going to always assume the best of him? Wow, I don't even assume that the barista at Starbucks has my best intentions in mind - how did I think I would be able to do this with Herb?

Loss of objectivity. Stary eyes. God clouds our judgment, I think, for a little while . . . so that we won't be scared off of marriage. Because if we really knew the implications of trying to fully love another human being . . . I don't think we would ever make the commitment. Because we just are not capable.

That is the point of marriage, I think. Or one of the points . . . to learn how to love. I mean, really love. Not love, in the sense of infactuation and attraction and finding the other person undeniably charming and hilarious . . . Love in the sense of sacrifice. Comprimise. Honoring. Seriving. Going to the grocery store after you are already in your pajamas because your spouse needs cough medicine. And doing it with a kind heart. Giving the other person a break, even when they have been a bonehead.

Real love. It really has very very little to do with your feelings for the other person. Has little to do with how cute or funny or charming they are. It has to do with you. And your heart. And your willingness to get over yourself for another person. It doesn't even have much to do with feelings. It is more about action and perspective.

SO, a year later, I look back at these vows. And I value them. They are funny though. Kind of like going down to my mom's basement and pulling out the big plastic tubs full of finger paintings from kindergarten and three sentence paragrpahes from 3rd grade. They are sweet. Kind of funny. Because you know more now than you did then.

But the beauty is in the process . . . in the learning. You must finger paint before you can create the Sistene Chapel.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home