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.
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.
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.