Vow, n. A solemn promise made to God; an act by which one consecrates or devotes himself, absolutely or conditionally, wholly or in part, for a longer or shorter time, to some act, service, or condition. (Dictionary.com)
Tomorrow is my 3 year wedding anniversary. Wow… How fast time has flown by, yet…. it seems like we’ve been married for forever! I think that that’s a good sign, though.
Three years ago, as I prepared for the wedding, I thought it would be neat if Jason and I wrote our own vows. I’m not a huge fan of all things traditional (hence the non-traditional look to the wedding party’s attire!), wedding vows included.
Unfortunately, Jason didn’t seem as enamored with that idea, so I set off in search of the “perfect” wedding vows for both of us: Non-traditional, meaningful, and powerful. By piecing several examples of vows together, I came up with vows that I loved (he liked ‘em too). Here are my vows to him:
Jason, I love you,
& I know that this love is from God.
It is my prayer and desire that you will find in me
the helpmeet God designed especially for you,
to ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you.
I promise to live first unto God and then unto you,
caring for you,
and ever seeking to please you.
Therefore, throughout life, no matter what may lie ahead of us, whether sickness or health, poverty or prosperity, in good times and in bad, I pledge to you my life as a
Submissive & Faithful Wife.
So, now that they’re hanging on my wall, sandwiched between enlarged wedding photos in beautiful frames…. I wonder, “Am I still keeping my vows?” Sure, I know I’ve been faithful… but what about the other things?
Am I being a true helpmeet? Do I strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage him? Or do I criticize, tear down, hinder, and badger him? Am I lazy, or do I truly work to help him?
Do I put God first, and Jason second? Or do I put myself first, even before God? Unfortunately, I think my selfishness often puts me before everyone else… My prayer is that even with a baby on the way, though, I will continue to keep my priorities straight: God, then husband, then children.
Do I love my husband? I mean really love him - God’s way. 1 Corinthians 13 gives us God’s definition and God’s standard of love. It’s patient, kind, selfless. It’s not envious, not rude, not easily angered, and doesn’t hold a grudge. Love always protects, trusts, hopes, and perseveres. Do I truly love my husband? I know that there are areas in there that I certainly need to work on!
Do I honor and submit to my husband? If I look at the definition of the word “honor,” can I say that I’m keeping up that end of my vows?
Honor, v. To regard or treat with honor, esteem, or respect; to revere; to treat with deference and submission. (Dictionary.com)
Do I care for my husband and seek to please him? Do I see that his needs are met… as well as his desires? Do I truly value his opinion and do things for him because they would please him? (That’s love by the way, not subservience… just in case people “accuse” me of being stuck in a 1950’s mindset… not that it would be the first time!)
What was I thinking writing these vows?! LOL!! I know that God directed me to write them this way to hold me accountable for years to come. After all, this marriage vow is for LIFE. I’m going to take the above definition of a vow, and put it into marriage terms:
Vow, n. A solemn promise made to God; an act by which one consecrates or devotes herself, absolutely and wholly, for a lifetime, to one man in marriage. (Dictionary.com & TheStrivingWife.com)
A vow is not something to take lightly or to throw out on a whim. It’s the reason why I spent hours writing mine a little over three years ago! These vows were spoken before God… and I will strive every day to keep these vows!!
How about you? What did YOUR vows say? Most likely they had similar aspects to mine… so feel free to ask yourself these same questions to evaluate your own marriage:
- Am I being a true helpmeet?
- Do I put God first, and my husband second?
- Do I love my husband, God’s way?
- Do I honor and submit to my husband?
- Do I care for my husband and seek to please him?
- Am I keeping my vows to my husband?
Let each anniversary that passes be a reminder to you to evaluate your marriage, change what needs to be changed, and grow closer to both your wonderful husband and your wonderful Savior.
Keep on Striving,
PS - If you’re engaged (or even single) and want to use my vows in YOUR wedding, let me know! Leave a comment or send me an email (heather @ thestrivingwife .com) and I’ll be sure to send you the groom’s version, too, which is really cool.