That’s real sweet and all, but you’re naive.
Marriage is crazy hard. Eventually, your spouse will wound you deeply, you will lose the will to invest in your relationship, or you will come to the realization that marriage is more work than you signed up for.
When this season comes, the line between giving up and pressing forward will be drawn by your community. If your community caters to your ego and feeds your “woe is me” attitude, the line will be easy to cross. If you aren’t plugged into a local church, doing life with a group of Christians, the line will be easier to cross. If, however, you surround your marriage with a community of Christians who are for you, the line will be much harder to cross.
The presence of Christian community is so important that I ask those attending weddings I perform to make vows to the couple being married. After the couple’s marriage vows, the audience stands. Then I ask them two questions.
- ________ (couple being married) have asked for your prayers and support as they begin marriage together. Do you pledge to pray for them as they work on building a deep and abiding love?
- ________ (couple being married) will need determination and patience to cultivate their love for one another. Do you pledge to support them in every way as they build a Christ-centered marriage?
After each question, the audience responds with “We will.” It’s powerful to see the crowd looking at the couple, vowing to pray for and support them.
For too long, marriage vows have focused on emotional, romantic love and not practical, solid pillars. You probably won’t hear these marriage vows at any wedding you attend. But they’re essential for building a marriage that lasts.
Six years of marriage taught me one thing. Marriage is the most difficult, rewarding, painful, joyous journey you will embark on. And when the storms of life come, a few well-structured, emotional sentences won’t do you any good. You need something more practical. More realistic. You need guardrails to keep you from running off the road.
To my wife: I love you so much. Thank you for challenging me to become a better man, husband, father and follower of Jesus. I love every day with you. I love every moment with you.
It’s your turn. What are some practical marriage vows you wish you would have said on your wedding day? Leave a comment below.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!