Framed and hanging on a wall in our apartment are the wedding vows of my wife and I. I put the piece together (a four-frame piece, two slots being filled with pictures and the other two with our vows) as a Christmas present for my wife our first Christmas together, a little over a month after we were married (11.19.11). Seeing that today is our one-year wedding anniversary, I thought it would be appropriate and encouraging to share our wedding vows in a post.
As you will see, we decided to write our own vows (in a sense) by combining a modified set of traditional vows with Paul’s instructions in Ephesians 5:22-33. In Ephesians 5:22-33 Paul sets forth the beautiful, distinct, functional roles of the husband and wife in marriage, which, contrary to much contemporary thought, are nothing short of a blessing when lived out properly. Although neither of us is perfect and neither of us perfectly fulfills God’s intention perfectly in this regard (hence “Although I will often fail you…”), our prayer is to strive towards this model year after year.
As you read our vows, I would challenge you to truly dwell on the concept of a marriage vow. I say this because in our culture “vow” has lost its true meaning. It no longer means a solemn promise made before God but has come to mean a set of temporary, situational, and possibly impulsive words that one can be take back (recant). On the contrary, the vow “’til death do us part” ought to provide a determination and motivation to face whatever troubles a couple might encounter. Because, there is no “plan B,” a couple should genuinely strive to resolve any issues that emerge in “plan A,” so to say.
God’s design is perfect and I pray that “by God’s grace” He conforms Ann and I to His design more and more over the years. If success was based on our mere effort, we would surely fail (“May God help me”). Therefore, we thank God for His grace.
I hope the preceding and following serves to be an encouragement to you.
I Kirk, take you, Ann, to be my lawfully wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; for sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, to be faithful to you alone, ’til death do us part. Although I will often fail you, by God’s grace I promise to strive to love, nourish, and cherish you as Christ does the Church and gave Himself up for her. May God help me.
I Ann, take you, Kirk, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; for sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, to be faithful to you alone, ’til death do us part. Although I will often fail you, by God’s grace I promise to submit to you in everything as to the Lord, as the Church submits to Christ, and to respect you. May God help me.