The day we get married we make some promises to our spouses, in the form of our wedding vows. We promise that through a myriad of circumstances we will love them through it all and ultimately never leave them. If the studies are true, only about 50% of us keep those promises.
I’m certain we all have good intentions. We want to honor those promises. We want to love our spouses like the days we were dating and courting. But somewhere along the lines those promises are forgotten, or at least aren’t at the top of our minds.
How wedding vows are just like unfulfilled New Year’s resolutions
It’s kind of like the New Year’s resolutions and goals many of us set. We were planning to run that mini-marathon. We were planning to pay off that debt. We were planning to start that new business.
However, the further January 1st looked in our rear view mirror, the less we thought about it. The less we thought it, the less action we took. Until for some of us, no action was taken at all and we’d all but given up.
Goals (or vows) out of sight = out of mind (and heart)
I’ve learned that one of the biggest struggles for me in achieving my goals, or keeping my promises to my wife, is to keep them in focus, by regularly visiting them. If I write goals on January 1st, and don’t look at them again, it’s unlikely I’ll take the action needed to complete them.
The same for my marriage. If I set goals, make promises, say my wedding vows to my wife on our wedding day, now almost 14 years ago, but I never say them again, or I never read them again, then I can only hope I honor them. I’d much rather be intentional about it, especially something as important as my marriage.
I don’t even know my own wedding vows
I’m assuming my wife and I said the traditional wedding vows, but because I have not looked at them or said them since our wedding day I don’t even remember! I feel terrible about that. And that’s why I wrote new wedding vows that I plan to read to myself and say to my wife over and over again.
These wedding vows aren’t just random thoughts, but they are things I’ve learned through conversation and observation of those who have lasting and fulfilling marriages. If you want a marriage that lasts and is fulfilling, then it makes since to learn from those who are living that out.
My new annual wedding vows
Here are 7 wedding vows you should make to your spouse every year:
- I keep Christ as the center and foundation of our marriage. Marriage is supposed to be built to last. If I want to build something that lasts, I need to build it on the best foundation possible. In my experience the best and most reliable foundation is a relationship with Jesus Christ.
- I commit to loving, respecting, and serving you every day of our marriage. Marriage is about commitment. Without a commitment you have no marriage. I’ve learned that I must make my commitment over and over again
- I study you and our marriage continually, and love discovering new things about us. Becoming a lifelong learner of your spouse will keep your marriage from being stale and boring. It will also allow you to connect with your spouse in amazing ways.
- I never give up on you or our marriage, and persevere through all we encounter. Marriage is hard. Marriage is work. Marriage is not always great! Yes, yes, and yes! But you committed, and if you quit when it gets tough you’ll miss out on the amazing you hoped for.
- I do not let problems fester, instead I quickly restore any broken pieces of our marriage. Your feelings will get hurt. You will hurt your spouses’ feelings. You will have problems. But determine to push through those problems together, no matter what they are.
- I choose joy and intentionally search for and find the good in you and our marriage. You will find what you are looking for. Your spouse will become who you say they are. If that is the case, then choose joy, look for the good, and set your mind on things that will make you smile.
- I consistently connect with other couples and use our marriage as an example of a lasting and fulfilling marriage. Marriage is not a battle you want to go at alone. All of us need help and the benefit of being in relationship with other couples. Be sure to use what you learn from others, to share with those in similar seasons, and to pour into those who don’t know what they’re in for.
Like the couples who are living this out through consistent practice, when you consistently make these vows to your spouse and put them into practice, your marriage will not be the same. You can and will have a lasting and fulfilling marriage.
[reminder]Will you join me by making these promises to your spouse every year? If so …[/reminder]