“I will”

I wrote this post yesterday which was my actual anniversary.

“However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” (Eph. 5:33 NIV)

Today is my wedding anniversary. It’s been eighteen years since I said “I do”. Although I think I remember our response being “I will”. It has been easy to be married to my husband because he’s the calm one. He’s the steady one. He’s the forgiving, merciful and joyful one. Honestly, I got the better end of the deal. Today, I was thinking about the promises we made to each other on our wedding day.

I don’t know who wrote the traditional wedding vows. Whoever wrote them must have been married for a while because the vows are a picture of what happens in life. As you stand together to be married, the preacher asks, “Do you (name) take (name) to be your lawfully wedded husband (wife) for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health until death alone parts you?” There it is! All of the challenges you will face are stated in that little sentence. There are joyous times and times of struggle. There are times when money flows easier than others. And there are times you must deal with sickness. All of these occasions will cause stress. All of these situations can break a marriage. And so, on your wedding day, not knowing what the future holds, you promise that regardless of circumstances, you will honor, respect and love the person standing before you. Wow! That’s a big promise.

I thought about those vows this morning. They were spoken on the first day of our marriage and lived out in the years that have followed. We have definitely had our ups and have enjoyed ever one of them. We have also had our downs which have been stressful. But each struggle has given way to better times once again. Eighteen years ago, I would not have dreamed we would be where we are right now in our marriage. We have both matured in Christ. We have learned hard lessons. And we have loved each other through them all.

I am thankful God hasn’t given up on me. Neither has my husband. God is still writing our story. It may not be perfect. But still, it is our story, ordained by God to be lived out by us. If I had to do it all over again, there would be no hesitation. I would stand before the preacher as he read those vows again and declare, “I will”.

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