Heather Marshall on June 9th, 2009

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. :)

June 10, 2006

June 10, 2006

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,

loving you,

honoring 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,

Heather :)

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. :)

Related posts:

  1. The Marriage Inventory
  2. Lost That Lovin’ Feeling?
  3. Beatitudes of a Christian Marriage - Part 1 of 4
  4. Beatitudes of a Christian Marriage - Part 2 of 4
  5. Your Challenge: A Complaint-Free Week!

10 Responses to “A Vow to Cherish”

  1. What wonderful vows!!! And Happy Anniversay! Michael and I just celebrated our 4th Anniversay on the 4th.

    Thanks for sharing your heart!

    -Ashley

    *I missed the LIVE episode yesterday…What was the announcement???

  2. Thanks Ashley! & Happy anniversary to you as well! :)

    The announcement was that http://NOfearYEAR.com is going into a new phase… where we want to publish YOUR stories… real people with real stories of either overcoming fear or giving in to fear.

    We set up a page on the website for submission of your testimony… if you or anyone else are interested, check it out at http://NOfearYEAR.com/fearless/testimonies

    ~Heather :)

  3. Congratulations on your 3rd anniversary! Anniversaries are definately great times to do a marital check-up so thanks for the check list (I might do my check-up 6 months early!!).

  4. Those are great vows. I wrote our ceremony as well; it had a lot of meaning for us. I wish mine had been more like yours, though. :-) Oh, by the way, I still need to update my blog about it, but the complaint-free week went REALLY well. I’ve not been so successful since then…but I’ll keep striving! LOL

  5. I’m so happy for the both of you! Congratulation on 3 years! :) Great post, such a good idea to stop and evaluate your relationship frequently. Beautiful vows :) Trevor and I wrote our own vows together as well, they mean so much to me, the whole experience was so awesome. Thanks for sharing yours!

  6. Hi Heather! Loved the post! Please put up Jason’s vows also; I’d like to know what’s “really cool”! :-) Thanks!

  7. Hey Mrs. Marshall.. i tried to email you earlier this week about the vows. i would like to get the grooms part if you can please email them to me!!!! thank you!!! <3 i hope all is well with your pregnancy and that you had a good 3 year anniversary!!

    thanks again,
    tammi

  8. how i wish we could sit down over a cup of tea and discuss further. we also have our vows (written ourselves, well, really written by our Lord through us) framed and by our beds. the hope is that we will see them and become so familiar with them. and be held accountable daily by them. just seeing the frame from afar get’s me. i have recently added to our goals/commitments for the year to read them to each other every month on the same date as we married (we married the 20th so, every month on the 20th). really want to purpose to do this. i feel so alone in my goals as a wife. i struggle so. in ways i didn’t expect too. and more and more (like you said) i see His wisdom in what he had me write for my vows. oy.

  9. on another note. we had comments and a request for a copy of our vows and we discussed it and came to the conclusion that vows are personal and while they can be used as a jumping off point, my vows aren’t meant for another person. yes, what i said in my vows applies to all couples. i truly believe that. i just think there is something to be said for the process of writing your own vows and instead of offering a copy of my vows, i freely share where i got the information in my vows, what sources i used. and what my focus was.

  10. hi! Heather..love ur blog…u have such a lovely family too..can i ‘borrow’ ur vows & dat of d groom?…am still single nw bt hoping 2 one day meet a wonderful,God-fearing young man…

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