*settle in, put on “I Get To Love You*, and get ready to feel all the feels* Just me? Okay.
One of our first choices in wedding planning was to write our own vows. We wanted every part of our day to be uniquely ours and centered around Christ. Personalizing our vows was a big part of accomplishing that – down to heart shaped confetti resembling the miles we travelled when we were long distance (but that’s a DYI wedding post for another time?).
We had a few requirements for our vows.
They were to be covered in prayer.
They needed to be edited or at least read by a close family friend because we were not going to hear each other’s until the pressing moment (both my maid of honor and my pastor helped me to focus on what I really wanted to say and get rid of anything unnecessary).
Logistical things: we shared a word count so one person would not dote about their undying love for ten minutes while the other summed it up nice and tidy. Both of us are wordy individuals in our own right, so this wasn’t hard to even out.
I searched Scripture with the question, “What are the best gifts I can give to Zach as only his wife can?”
In addition, we wanted something light hearted and funny… because we could. And that’s us.
We started with a look to the past and present, but on the whole made our vows future-oriented which is something that has sadly been dismissed in modern times. Timothy Keller describes it in this way: “Weddings vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of a future love. A wedding should not be primarily a celebration of how loving you feel now – that can safely be assumed. Rather, in a wedding you stand up before God, your family, and all the main institutions of society, and you promise to be loving, faithful, and true to the other person in the future, regardless of undulating internal feelings or external circumstances.”
Marriage in light of all eternity…
FOR THE KINGDOM.
You are my best pal, my world, the woman beyond my dreams and my shopgirl. We have known each other for a long time and there hasn’t been a moment where you weren’t on my radar. From working at camp until now, you have always found a way to make me smile, even on my darkest days. You are the light in my life and you are the most incredible woman and your passion for Christ has brought me so near to you.
I promise to support you in all your endeavors. I promise to love you the way that Christ loves us. I promise to lead physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I promise to take care of you in every single way whether you are sick with the sniffles or diagnosed with something terminal, I will be by your side through it all.
I promise to be as devoted to you as the Gilmore Girls are devoted to junk food. I promise to make endless puns, sarcastic comments, and be goofy every day for the rest of our lives.
I will study with you, paint, dance, and obviously play Mario Kart with you.
Times may get touch and we may not like each other in certain moments but my love and devotion towards you will not waiver for you. You are my one and only. I promise to be the husband and father that you so deserve and I will continue to make time for you and you alone even in the midst of raising miniature Zach’s.
I am so ready to be the man that you rely on in every situation and have been waiting on being able to come home to you – and not driving a copious amount of hours just to see your smiling face. I promise to communicate with you on a whole new level, and call you just because I can.
Finally I promise to grow in love every day for you and in Christ I shall grow exponentially and will forever love you until one of us is taken from one another.
Zach, I’ve been praying for you since I was a little girl.
I have had this gift of watching the answer unfold in the form of a best pal becoming my forever love. I’ve had a front row seat to your patience and your gorgeous servant heart. Your stubborn love has changed me. When I have resisted to receive and shut you out, you have pursued me, reminded me of my unshakable identity, and proved that your heart is a safe place to land. I know the Father’s heart better because of the way you take care of me.
Today, I promise to be your teammate, to walk as coheir with you in this life. I vow to sacrificially agree with your God-given authority, and to faithfully and intentionally love you. I promise to call you up with respect and wisdom into who God says you are and calls you to be. I commit to train my eyes and my heart to seek after you only, to grow alongside you, and to chases the riches of the kingdom with you.
I will laugh at your Dad jokes and keep on kissing you at red lights. I will be your safe haven when you need me to embrace you in hardship, whisper a prayer in your need, or shout truth louder than your doubt.
I promise to expose my weaknesses in order to make God’s strength perfect. I commit my life, however broken, to be a picture to you of Christ’s unconditional, abounding love.
I make these promises not knowing where they will lead us, but knowing that the promises of God will uphold us in every sorrow, every joy, every sickness, and ultimately lead us to abundance.
Today, I fully receive your love. I entrust my heart to your leadership and affection. From this day on I choose to be your lover, your partner in mission, and your best friend until we arrive home to the Father.
Sealed with a holy kiss.
“Within this Christian vision for marriage, here’s what it means to fall in love. It is to look at another person and get a glimpse of the person God is creating, and to say, “I see who God is making you, and it excites me! I want to be part of that. I want to partner with you and God in the journey you are taking to His throne.” And when we get there, I will look at your magnificence and say, “I always knew you could be like this. I got glimpses of it on earth, but now look at you!” ” — Timothy Keller, The Meaning of Marriage
And here they sit at the foot of our bed. Our sacred space, that on any given day could use an actual or metaphorical dusting. In decades time the page edges won’t be as crisp but the contents will be tested and true. To remind us of what we’ve promised and what’s been promised to us. Of the people that God is molding. Whether we’ve messed up or cheered each other on, Christ reminds us of our vows and sustains us in the fulfillment of each one.