This weekend Ben and I were attendants in the wedding of my best friend from college. We had a great time! It was a beautiful weekend with a meaningful ceremony, full of symbols and promises for the kind of marriage they will build. I am so proud of their relationship and blessed that we get to walk alongside of them.
Typically, weddings bring tears to my eyes in two places. The first is when the bride is escorted down the aisle toward the love of her life as he watches proudly as his radiant new wife is presented to him.
The second place my eyes well up comes during the vows. And this wedding was no exception. It’s not just sweet sentiments that makes the vows special. It’s what the promises will mean to every couple as the years pass, becoming richer as they stand the test of time. As you read the traditional vows, let the meaning take hold of you again:
To have and to hold,
from this day forward,
for better or worse,
for richer or poorer,
in sickness and in health,
until death do us part.
When our friends verbalized these promises in front of their guests, it reminded me of the same promises I publicly made to Ben. We don’t like to think about difficult things at a beautiful wedding, but the truth is that life is full of moments that are “in sickness” and “worse” and “poorer”. Wedding vows are a deep promise made for all of life’s moments from this day forward.
The promise communicates so much:
I take you no matter what our lives become.
I will be yours forever, even if I don’t feel like it.
When things get ugly, I’m not going anywhere.
I will do all I can to make your life more meaningful because you chose to partner with me.
Our marriage will be a richly made blend of the good and bad, both tears and joy.
Spend some time remembering your vows and what you and your spouse have gone through since your wedding day. When we look back on the struggles that have brought us together, it makes us so thankful that we can rely on (and fulfill) that promise every day of our marraige.