This date has been filled with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows for Mike and I. From vacationing in Puerto Rico in 2013 where we conceived Charlie, to a hospital room after losing a baby that I didn’t know I was carrying in 2015. From enjoying a joyful 3-month-old Charlie in 2014 to me being almost 7 months pregnant with Olivia in 2016 and praying that my body would stay strong and carry her to term. Then in 2017 we were “celebrating” our 5th wedding anniversary in Puerto Rico when we got stuck there when Hurricane Maria (a category 5 storm) hit.
The date carries the highest joys and the deepest hurts. Our circumstances have changed throughout the years, but one thing has not changed. We found the one our hearts love, and have been by each other’s side through it all.
This post was originally written for a blog series my church did to read through the Bible in a year. I was assigned a portion of scripture to write about from Song of Solomon. My student study Bible describes this book as “hot and heavy” and “not G rated”. These are a collection of romantic poems between a woman and a man. And as I read these few chapters I definitely could NOT relate to lines like “follow the trail of my flock, and graze your young goats by the shepherd’s tents.” But instead I was reminded of our wedding vows especially as it pertains to this date.
Love is not always “hot and heavy”
I want to share with you Mike’s wedding vows to me, in hopes that you will reflect on your own vows that you spoke. I ask that you consider how you can better live those vows no matter how long you have been married. If you are not married, I would encourage you to take this time to pray about the husband or wife that you want to be in the future.
When God used the word “covenant” to proclaim His promise to us, His unconditional promise to humanity. As I stand before God, and our family and friends I want to share my covenant to you:
I promise to love you with all my heart as I love God.
I promise to do my best to lead you.
I promise to make you smile and laugh when you are sad.
I promise to pick you up when you fall.
I promise to put you first before myself.
I promise to love, honor, and cherish you forever.
I promise to always stand by your side through the good times and the bad.
I promise to be faithful and loving.
I promise to give you all my heart.
I I promise to be your partner and best friend.
This is my covenant to you.
I can tell you story after story of how Mike has lived up to these vows (although He is not perfect). But the one time that sticks out the most was when I was in the hospital after I had the miscarriage. September 19th at about 3 am I finally got a room, after being in the ER since late afternoon, to get “some rest” and “sleep”. They needed to monitor me in case they had to operate. I was hooked up to machines, I was weak, and I was heartbroken. I remember the nurse told Mike at the hospital that he didn’t have to sleep on the uncomfortable pullout chair bed, but that he could go home and come back in the morning. His response caught the nurse off guard. When I married her, I vowed I would never leave her, so I am not leaving.
What is love?
Love isn’t always “hot and heavy”. The truth is that life can be hard. But having someone to walk alongside you during the good days and the bad days is a gift from God.
Now I want you to ask yourself some hard questions. Be honest:
Are you living honorably to your husband or wife?
If you are single are you living a life that is honorable to your future spouse? The truth.
In what ways are you “coming up short” in living out your marriage vows? Be honest.
What do I need to give up in order to lead a more honorable life as a husband or a wife? The hard stuff friends.
What will you do to be the person that you vowed to be before God on your wedding day? I want you to consider the hard stuff. The thing that you don’t want to do. Maybe it is being intimate even though you are tired all the time. Maybe it is being faithful to your wife, and leaving the person you are having an affair with. It could be saying more encouraging words on a regular basis (this is hard sometimes). Or maybe it is turning off the tv more often to have deeper quality time.
If I am honest there are some days when I feel like my husband doesn’t deserve to be loved. Then I remember that I don’t deserve love either. That is a hard truth, but one that changes everything. This is sacrifice. And Jesus made the ultimate act of sacrifice when He paid our ransom by dying on a cross, when we didn’t deserve it. That changes everything, including how I love my husband, and how my husband loves me.