Wednesday, 5 October 2011
De-Coding our Wedding Vows
So I was reminded by a good friend the other night that mine and Chris's wedding vows were a little... hard to understand perhaps. They were deeply rooted in our Christian faith, both biblical, and personal, and probably sounded like a load of hooey to most of the people in the room.
We knew going in that there would be a lot of raised eyebrows from family and friends that aren't well versed in "Christianese" as we jokingly call it. You see, there are a lot of words and phrases that church go-ers tend to use that are used no where else. It's kind of a bad habit, to be honest, because really, how are we supposed to explain our faith to non-believers if we scare them off by talking about how the blood of the lamb will cover all their sins?? Creeeeepy.
Back to the vows.
*Sidenote: We wrote our own vows to each other, which were.. perfect. Cute, Sappy, Funny (He promised to make me nachos for the rest of my life! Score!) We read these vows to each other for the first time during our ceremony. The only part we wrote together is the aformentioned biblical portion, which was at the end of each of our "freestyle" portions.
"Chris, I vow to always put my relationship with God before our own. I will serve you as the church serves Christ. I promise to be a helper to you, and to submit to your leadership over our household. I promise to do all this for the rest of my days"
Obviously some of that kind of leaps off the screen right? Be a helper? Submit??? Put my relationship with God before my relationship with my husband???
Now let me be clear. This is not me abiding by tradition, and religion and seemingly oppressive ways of the past, but instead this is me looking at society and how our views of marriage have become so distorted and saying no to that.
Look at the statistics - 33% of first marriages fail. No wonder so many people are jaded on the idea of marriage. The odds are not good. So where do we find our hope? Well, for Chris and I, it is found in Jesus. With Him at the very centre of our relationship, we are stronger. I'm not saying that there is no hope for you without God in your marriage, but this is it for us. No question, hands down, we would be nothing without Him.
So if I would be nothing without God, and place all my hope and trust in Him, then developing my relationship with Him is... pretty important, right? Put quite simply, I cannot be the wife that Chris deserves unless I am the woman that God has called me to be. So yes- I put my relationship with God before my relationship with Chris, because if I don't I could quite easily allow Chris to become the one I worship. That my friends, is not a road to a happy marriage.
Next: "I will serve you as the church serves Christ" Well this one is quite simple. In the bible, the church (and by this I do not mean a building, but instead the community of believers) is referred to as Jesus's bride. Jesus died for the church. Gave everything when we deserved nothing. This is why we serve Jesus in the way we do - trying to bless and bring glory to Him.
Whhooops! Got a little Christianese on ya, didn't I? Long story short- to vow to serve Chris the way the church serves Christ just means that I know he would die for me, and I will try to treat him in a way that honours that every single day.
Now the helper and the submitting bit- it's purely biblical. Good stuff too. Basically this means that I trust Chris completely. I don't mean "Yes honey, I believe that she's just a friend" kind of trust, but instead I trust that Chris is the man of God that I deserve. I trust that he will always lead our family towards God, and that each decision he makes has that in mind. If I can believe that and trust in that completely, then submitting to his leadership is an easy thing to do.
See, it's all based in love- both for each other and for God. I know it's not everybody's jam, but it works pretty well for Chris and I.