vows

photo by patricia espedal

photo by patricia espedal

there are words said at weddings.  they’re more important than the after-party and certainly more beautiful than the flowers.

these were our words — our promises — to one another on our wedding day:

Joe: Do you Brooke take Tim, to be your husband, to have and to hold, to love and to cherish, in sickness and in health, being faithful to him alone as your only love, giving him the first and best of your heart til death do you part?

Brooke: I do.

and…

I, Brooke, take you, Tim, to be my husband, secure in the knowledge that you will be my constant friend, my faithful partner in life, and my one true love.

On this day, I affirm to you in the presence of God and these witnesses my sacred promise to stay by your side as your faithful wife in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, in poverty and in riches, through the difficult and the easy.

I promise to love you without reservation, trust and honor you, comfort you in times of distress, call forth the best in you, laugh with you and cry with you, pursue unity with you in all things, grow with you in mind and spirit, always be open and honest with you, and cherish you for as long as we both live.

As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep. So help me God.

Entreat me not to leave you, or to return from following after you, for where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. And where you die, I will die and there I will be buried. May the Lord do with me and more if anything but death parts you from me.

and…

I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow to you. I humbly give you my hand and my heart as a sanctuary of warmth and peace, and pledge my faith and love to you. And with all that I am and all that I have, I honor you, in the Name of our Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

i pray, by the grace of God, to grow up into them. already, i can see that satan is hell bent against their fulfillment and my own flesh is often an uncooperative partner. but we have the mark of Grace on us, and that is no small thing.

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