As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I have the opportunity to be involved in a fair amount of pre-marital counseling with couples. I am always excited to see couples make this a priority in their relationship steps because it tells me that they are being intentional about protecting the commitment that they are making to one another. I am also privileged to occasionally perform wedding ceremonies for some of the couples with whom I counsel. One of these was just this past week. I am reminded as I perform these ceremonies of just how significant these vows of marriage are that the individuals share with one another. Below are just a few words about these commitments that I shared in this recent ceremony.
“By entering into the covenant of marriage today you are declaring your faith in each other. Your task now is to build on this faith. Infuse your loving partnership with the caring, trust, vulnerability, and kindness that are essential to a healthy marriage relationship.
In dedicating yourselves to these values you will create a marriage that is a source of joy, in which you may both grow in love and find fulfillment.
Know that you will be tested by the routine of daily life, by chance and circumstance, and by the full cycle of the seasons of life.
Know that together you must encounter life’s sorrow no less than its sweetness, its frustration along with its grace and ease, its disappointments along with its fulfillment.”
“And I want to encourage you concerning these vows. You both stand here looking pretty healthy, employed, and thinking things couldn’t be better. But in these vows you have said “for better or worse” because there will be times in life when it is the “worse.” “For richer or poorer” – there will be financially challenging times. And “in sickness and in health” because there will be sickness. Yet – when these times come, you have committed yourselves to love and cherish even when it is hard. Never forget this commitment.”
As you stood on your wedding day, you may have repeated similar vows with joy and excitement as you began your new life together. But I wonder – do you still share that same joy and hope for the future or have those dreams become tarnished? Perhaps today is a great time to remember – to remember your love for your spouse, to remember those vows of commitment, to remember the joy, the hope, and the future that you envisioned. Perhaps today is a perfect day to re-express those vows of optimistic, future-looking, love and hope with your spouse. Why not give it a try? The results just might surprise you!