Our Wedding Vows...“To Love and to Cherish”and why they're so much more than just words

In this day and age, we are flooded with words. Social media, television, and phones have crowded our thoughts with hundreds of thousands of words floating around daily! I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty easy for me to just bypass someone’s updated status, multitask while talking on the phone or be absentminded during conversations because of my long list of to-do’s I’m thinking about.

Which totally makes sense! We have A LOT on our plate and life is BUSY!

But in a lot of ways that kind of stinks right?? Our generation has subconsciously been trading in meaningful relationships and commitments for temporary pleasures and fast paced schedules.

I think because we are so bombarded with words, they can loose their meaning. We say we “love” our spouse, our kids, the shirt we just bought and our coffee drinks. We say that movie, concert, clothing sale and God are “awesome”… and we say we pray for someone without taking a moment to stop and actually pray. (Gut check for myself on that last one!)

And commitments are seemingly a thing of the past! People are leaving their church because they don’t like the style of worship, quitting their diets because it’s too hard and bailing out on promises they made because “something came up”.

But again…. that kind of stinks right?

What if we always did what we said we were going to do?

What if “for better or for worse” didn’t mean “when it’s all good” and what if “til death do us part” didn’t mean “til I get tired of you then I’m done”?

My bible teacher in high school rocked my world when he told me the truth that love is not a feeling, but it’s a choice. MIND BLOWN! But for real… what?! That is NOT what we preach in this society. Everything is about how we feel and doing what makes us feel the best about ourselves! So if I feel like I don’t want to do something, then I shouldn’t do it because it will make me unhappy. But what if there was a different way?

What if even in the hardest of struggles in our marriages, we remembered our covenant to each other? What if we remembered that our words had meaning and impact and that they were OUR CHOICE to say them? What if we CHOSE to love him/her even when we don’t feel like it?

I get to attend a lot of weddings because of my job and I get to hear a lot of couples making pretty serious promises to one another! It’s such a beautiful thing!! Vows usually are the thing that gets me each time at a wedding. Sometimes I have to desperately hold back tears so I can still take the pictures haha… but it is beautiful to me. The selfless act of loving someone through good times and bad for the rest of your life is not something to take lightly! I pray for each person that does to be able to put aside the norms of today’s day and age and fully take in the words and the weightiness and joy that they possess!

I would say that from the beginning of Tannan and I’s relationship we’ve been pretty intentional. He basically asked my parents for my hand in marriage when he asked them if we could start dating! Ha!

So when the time came for us to pick out our wedding vows, it was a BIG decision because we wanted them to mean something. Do we write our own, keep it traditional or use some of the options our professor (who married us and did our marriage counseling) gave us?

As we were reading through the binder of different options, I started reading each one aloud to see how it sounded… and then one brought me to tears and I knew it was the one! We can’t take credit at all for them because we didn’t write them, but they hold such a special place in our hearts now!

A couple years back I got a frame that has three 5×7 picture slots in it. I put Tannan and I’s wedding photo in the middle and then I printed his wedding vows to me on the left and my wedding vows to him on the right. There have been a couple times in our marriage that we have held that frame and recited those to each other again (sometimes through tears) to remember what we promised to one another. We made a choice that day in front of all our family and friends to commit ourselves to one another and, even though some days are harder than others, we intend to fight for those words and for each other!

Whether traditional, personally written, or a little outside the box, every vow is so special and meaningful and I encourage you to keep those words close to your heart!

I would LOVE to hear anybody else’s vows that they have and what they mean to them! If you would be willing to share below in the comments!

 
Tannan and I’s vows to one another… just in case you wanted to see 😉

To Tannan: 

“Tannan, it is with sincere fear of God in my heart that I make these solemn wedding vows to you toady before these witnesses:

Tannan, I love you because Christ first loved me. He has given me a new life and I want to share this life with you. As a woman who desires to do God’s will in everything, I have looked forward to this day for many years – the day on which I give myself and all my affections to the man of God whom I respect more than any other man on this earth and trust without reservation. Tannan, I believe that you are the man God has especially prepared for me and that He has led us together. You are God’s very special gift to me. Before God and our family, Tannan, I solemnly promise to love you and to submit to you as my husband, as the Church is to love Christ and submit herself to Him in everything. That means I promise to do all I can to support you and honor you as my spiritual leader. I will seek to constantly pray for you and your endeavors that God will enable you to be all He wants you to be. Tannan, I promise that my love and affections will be exclusively aimed toward you and not shared with any other man on the face of the earth. With God’s help I will constantly seek to meet your emotional needs with kindness and deepest respect. Tannan, I want you to know that I am promising that I will never desert you, nor will I ever divorce you. I promise to be faithful to you in sickness and in health, in times of trial and in times of rejoicing, when we have much and when we have little – until our Lord Returns or for as long as we both shall live.”

To Arielle: 

“Arielle, it is with sincere fear of God in my heart that I make these solemn wedding vows to you toady before these witnesses:

Arielle, I love you because Christ first loved me. I realize my need for a helper and I know beyond any doubt that God has made you to be the woman best suited for me. I respect you as a woman of God and trust you without reservation. I believe that God has led us to meet, to grow together and bring us to this special day. I believe that you are God’s wonderful gift to me. With God’s help, and desiring to do His will in everything, I promise to love you as Christ loves His Bride, the Church. Arielle, that means I am not only ready to die for you if that is needed, it also means that of all the women on this earth you will be the exclusive love of my life. I promise to provide spiritual leadership for you, keeping you and your wellbeing constantly in my prayers. I will especially pray for and seek to make it possible for you to become all God wants you to become. I promise to provide for your needs of food, clothing and shelter. With God’s help I will always seek to meet your emotional needs, showing you kindness and deepest respect. Arielle, I want you to know that I am promising that I will never desert you, nor will I ever divorce you. I promise to be faithful to you in sickness and in health, in times of trial and in times of rejoicing, when we have much and when we have little – until our Lord Returns or for as long as we both shall live.”

 

  • Renee Mellott said:

    This is so beautiful and I so appreciate you sharing this with us all.... I love the idea of framing it!!