“To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
It’s been my thought this week that wedding vows are slightly vague. People don’t mind reciting them at the alter, but I don’t think anyone really thinks about what they’re promising.
How many people think about these vows before marriage? How many think of them when they want a divorce?
What if the vows were more specific? Would you still be willing to make them?
For better: When things are going smoothly and we both feel loved and appreciated, I promise to cherish those times and not take them for granted.
For worse: When we can’t do anything but fight and hurt each other to the point where we don’t even know if we can stand one another, I promise to do what it takes to repair us.
For richer: When we don’t have to worry about paying the bills and keeping food on the table, I promise to appreciate your hard work.
For poorer: When you’ve lost your job are are unable to find one for months; and we have to worry about how we’re going to pay bills or feed the family, I won’t blame you for our hardship or turn against you.
In sickness: When you’re diagnosed with a painful or incurable disease, I promise to take care of you for months or years at a time if I have to; or when you’re mentally unstable or depressed I promise I won’t leave you to destroy yourself.
In health: I promise to take care of myself physically and mentally for both our benefits; and to also fulfill your sexual and emotional needs to create intimacy and a stronger bond between us.
To love: I’ve made a conscious decision to treat you with respect and give you what you need, even if we’re not getting along or you’re not fulfilling all my needs in return. I understand love is an action, not just that romantic high we had when we first met.
To cherish: To honor you and appreciate you even if you don’t treat me well all the time. I understand how sacred and beautiful marriage is and I promise not to take it for granted.
Till death do us part: No exceptions.
What do your vows mean to you? Did you simply recite them, or did you mean them? Meditate on the weight each line holds. In there lies your goal in marriage.