Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Beyond death

Hans wrote my wedding vow. And I wrote his.

I made Hans promise all sorts of things I wanted. My first draft included several mentions of death. I wanted him to promise to follow Christ unto death. Here was my logic: If I had to follow to this guy, I had to make sure I knew where he was going. Thankfully, he convinced me that we should look beyond death. Our hearts should be set on the forever.

He was right.

I remember feeling quite nauseous at the thought of writing another person's vow. I was uncomfortable with having that much power over another human being. Funny. Because, at the time, I had very little idea just how much power our marriage would have over our souls. This power is now mine to wield everyday of our lives together. I hold it with much fear and trembling.

So, as the meaning of these words continue to unfold in our lives, we place each other in the way of grace, before the throne of God.




His vow
By the mercy and grace of our Lord, the triune God, I take you to be my lawfully wedded wife.

By the grace of God, I shall seek after him, to love the Lord our God with my whole heart, mind, and strength. I shall submit to him, incline my desire to him, and follow where he should lead us, seeking after the fulfillment of our sure hope of the perfection of our faith. I shall follow the example that our Lord gave us, seeking to love you as Christ love his Church and gave himself for her. I will lead you in the path of righteousness, for his name's sake, that you may become the woman that God desires you to be.

I shall not leave you nor turn away from you. I will set you as a seal upon my heart and as a seal upon my arm. I take you to be mine, and I give myself to you.


My vow
By the mercy and grace of our Lord, the triune God, I take you to be my lawfully wedded husband.

By the grace of God, I shall seek after him, to love the Lord our God with my whole heart, mind, and strength. I shall submit to you as to the Lord, recognizing that the Lord has made you my head, as Christ is the head of his Church.

Entreat me not to leave you, or turn back from following you; for wherever you go, I will go; and wherever you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, and there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, if anything but death parts you and me.

I will stir up and awaken your love for me, and enjoy you as the husband God has provided to me. I take you to be mine, and I give myself to you.


5 comments:

estherliu said...

thank you for this.

Irene Sun said...

Thank YOU for reading, as always. =) It's good to re-read them and remind ourselves of our promises to one another. Retrospectively, however, I find that we were so focused on one another, that we thought very little about the children and neighbors we were called to serve.

estherliu said...

my dear abby here got married recently after attending an E Orthodox friend's wedding in which there were no vows. that friend said they dont make oaths/vows in that church bc of our incapacity to uphold them.

you sharing your vows makes me feel i was there (i mean, with all your other stories and words and the copy of the invitation too) in the same way that my bearing witness to abby and dicksons vows has continued to strengthen me in my days after their wedding. it's life together.

do you believe yourself capable of fulfilling your vows in the strength of your own feelings and will?

no.

then, in what confidence do you proceed to take these vows?

we trust in the strength and grace of Christ alone.

Irene Sun said...

I love this! Well said, dear friend.

We are not able to uphold these vows with our own strength. Then again, we are unable to do anything apart from the grace and strength of Christ. Patience, kindness, community, peace, joy, holiness, and all things beautiful and true and good -- none of these things are possible without Christ.

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