How to keep your marriage commitment fresh when the couple at the altar says "I do"
Posted in , Jun 12, 2015
My wife, the lovely Robin, and I recently celebrated our 38th wedding anniversary. While our marriage hasn’t been without a struggle here or there (all my fault; that's my story and I'm sticking to it), our love has survived and thrived through all the changes and challenges of those years.
When I am asked (which happens often) how Robin has managed to stay married to me all these years—besides her being supernaturally patient and forgiving—I often respond with a single word: “Prayer.”
It sounds pious, I know. But it’s true. She prays, I pray, we pray together. We pray often not only for each other but also for our marriage. And one of the ways we do that is by renewing our vows.
On our 35th anniversary, we renewed our vows behind a waterfall in Great Smoky Mountain National Park. That was fun and wonderful. But we do much the same thing at every wedding we attend.
Most years, we attend (and sometimes officiate at) numerous weddings—especially during the summer months. We ooh and ahh over the beautiful bride and handsome groom. We tear up during musical selections and unity ceremonies.
But the most meaningful and purposeful moments for us is when the couple exchanges vows. At that moment in a wedding, I will invariably reach out for my beloved’s hand (if we’re not already holding hands, which is often the case).
As the minister intones, “repeat after me,” I will give my wife’s hand a squeeze, a signal we both understand. Because, whether the couple exchange traditional or original vows, we spend those moments not only exulting with them but also renewing our vows and praying for God’s continued blessing on our marriage.
It adds a deeper dimension to an already-special occasion. It reminds us of that whirlwind day many years ago when we said “I do.” And, with every year that goes by and every wedding we attend, it keeps our commitment, gratitude and wonder even fresher than the bride’s bouquet.