Do not renew your vows

 

my upside right lifeHISTORY

Am I the only one? My eyes sparkled as I walked down the aisle, unaware anyone existed in the sanctuary except my man. Maybe I am the only one willing to admit I had no idea what I was getting into when I agreed to do this for life. Neither did he. My thirty-first wedding anniversary was yesterday. Don’t say  it! Yes, I was very, very young when I married. The veil covering my face also hid the difficulties our commitment would eventually entail. All that mattered at the time was being head-over-heels in love with the curly headed football player I spotted in the hallway in my sophomore year. His thumb was in a cast the first time we met. I hurried past him in my cheerleader uniform, on the verge of getting demerits for not having my spirit signs hung in the hall. The rest, as they say, is history. A lot of history.

Genesis 2:24, “This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.” HCSB

MYSTERY

We never should have made it. I could list the reasons, but trust me. I guess statistically most don’t make it anymore. Perhaps that is one of the reasons society is now redefining marriage. God ordained marriage and He intended for it to be a beautiful, tangible portrait of the relationship between Christ and the church-loving, sacrificial, protective and redemptive. A great, profound mystery. No, my marriage does not look like that. I daresay, none do. But thirty-five years after that hallway meeting, I am still head-over-heels in love with that curly headed football player.

Mark 10:9, “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” KJV

I TAKE THEE TO BE MY LAWFUL…

Although I tend to be pretty corny, I have never had any desire to renew my vows.  However, I have heard of some pretty special ceremonies if that’s your thing. We said the traditional vows:

For better, for worse

For richer, for poorer

In sickness and in health

Only we never envisioned how poor, how much worse and how sick.

We began our journey poor. We lived in a trailer park and once dug six dollars in change from the couch cushions to eat at Taco Bell. Been there, survived that.

No matter what kind of relationship you think someone else has, better and worse are inevitable. Been there, survived that.

Now we are in the sickness and health phase. I never saw it coming. I exercised, ate like a health food nut and I have exceptionally good genes. I envisioned myself remaining healthy and active until a ripe old age.

Job 17:11-12, “My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day.” NIV

TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH

Myasthenia gravis derailed my vision of our future, but thankfully it did not derail my marriage. Seventy-five percent of marriages end in divorce if one has a chronic illness. So much for vows. I won’t lie, it’s tough sometimes, really tough. I am sure he would agree. Poverty makes you want to quit, worse makes you want to leave, but sickness? Often it is the final nail in the coffin. Exiting my teens as I said my vows, I thought only of the rich, the better and the healthy and of course that curly headed football player. We were clueless, but committed. I guess that is precisely why its called a vow.

Does it take more than love for marriage to last? #1Cor13 Click To Tweet

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 ,”Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others. Isn’t always ‘me first,’ doesn’t fly off the handle, doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trusts God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end.” MSG

It is a good thing I do not want a ceremony to renew my vows, my husband would give me that look if I suggested it. It is far better that he honors the vows he made all those years ago. As Christians let us make marriage in His image, according to His plan. Then maybe, just maybe, the world will want what we have. Hopefully, our kids will too.

Do not renew your vows, fulfill them.

HOW MANY TIMES?

Under conviction for my faltering walk with Christ, I have often recommitted to follow Him and love Him above all. It’s time for me to quit renewing my vows to the One and Only who is faithful when I am faithless. Instead, I want to fulfill my vows to love Him with all of my heart, with all of my mind and with all of my soul.

2 Timothy 2:13, “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” NLT

What’s not to love?

 

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  1. I love this. Rusty & I also celebrated our 31st Anniversary this past April. Rusty graduated from Bryant 81′. When we were seniors I went to a Bryant Track Meet to see him race the 100 yd dash. He still has the record for the 100 yd dash 35 yrs after the fact. We started dating after I graduated then married in 84′. He is so sweet to me, listens when I need to talk & has the strongest shoulders to cry on. He is not only my rock but my very best friend. Lupus keeps knocking me down but Rusty is always there to pick me up..

  2. Congrats on 31 years, and thanks for sharing some of your ups and downs over the years. A while back, Jenny and I were in our “for poorer” phase. I was a little panicked as we tried to pay rent. Jenny just smiled and said, “I feel like every couple goes though this at some point. Were just doing what all couples do.” Thanks for normalizing both the fun and challenging stages of marriage. Love this post!

  3. I love this, changed my mind on the renewal thing…will continue to fulfill them thank you for sharing your heart!

  4. Happy Anniversary. You have no idea how many times I am looking for help from the dictionary to read this one. As a foreigner, I cannot fully understand this sentence”The first time we met his thumb was in a cast and I hurried past him because I was on the verge of getting demerits for not having my spirit signs hung in the hall.” But I do understand “the phases”. It is common for a marrige to have ups and downs no although I still think I should have married around my early 30s instead of my early 20s.

  5. This is really beautiful. I don’t know how many people go into marriage and not only expect to make vows but that it is something that it takes real work to fulfill them. We are quick to jump in and out of things, even relationships. Thank you for encouraging us with your lasting love and commitment to your vows. Have a great week. Visiting from #liveFreeThursday

  6. Congratulations on 31! We just celebrated 31 this past February. We had a Silver reception at year 25. We felt that it was worth celebrating since many couples don’t make it to that milestone. People asked if we were going to renew our vows. My answer was that the first ones were still working well and we didn’t want to mess with them! 😉