Thursday, March 7, 2024

Marriage 201: WHEN I SAY "I DO"

The weekend marriage retreat is behind us and we have a few days at home before we are off and running again.

I think I'll take the next couple of Thursdays to finish my thoughts on marriage --- for better or worse. 😉

Whenever Bay and I share at a conference, like the one this past weekend, I find myself reflecting on our wedding day, looking back at the things I loved about the day, the things I might have changed, and some of the more memorable moments.

One of those came in the middle of our wedding vows, when Bay's dad (performing the ceremony) mixed up the first letter of our names and asked: "Do you Payard take Beggy..." 

It's a memory that still makes me smile, and I wonder if this was some kind of Freudian slip...did I seem rather desperate-like ("Beggy")?

As I look back, I think what babies we were when we got married. 

We really didn't have much good sense, and certainly no one sat down with us and gave us pre-marital counseling (was that even a thing back then???).

If you'd cornered us and asked how we planned to survive marriage for 50 years, I'm not quite sure what our answer might have been. 

Possibly we'd have turned to the "L" word, mentioned two weeks ago in blog #1...

Important for sure, but not the foundation on which to build a marriage.

Maybe we'd have responded with the good, old-fashioned, Sunday School answer: Jesus 

After all, Jesus is the answer to everything; and, while there is TRUTH to this statement, we each must have ownership in this God-ordained-institution for it to last.

That's why TRUST and a determination to eliminate RATS IN THE WALLS are so crucial; and, it is why we speak those vows to one another in the first place.

We PROMISE to love, honor, cherish above all others and and all matter what...

We, uncompromisingly, declare our faithfulness to one another from this day forward...

When we speak those vows, we're COMMITTING to life-long learning, loving, laughing and leaning on one another til death do us part...

But those vows are far more than a simple commitment; we are cutting a covenant that is spoken to one another before God - and a covenant is serious business. 

The thing is that when we say, "I do!" we are promising we will not stop doing the work it takes to woo, to treasure, to care for, and to fight for our spouse. 

Years ago, I had an AHA-MOMENT in the middle of Prince Charles and Princess Diana's wedding (yes, that was a VERY LONG TIME AGO). 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie, made the following remarks to the Royal Couple:

"Here is the stuff of which fairy tales are made, the Prince and Princess on their wedding day. But, fairy tales usually end at this point with the simple phrase, 'And they lived happily-ever-after.' This may be because fairy tales regard marriage as an anti-climax after the romance of courtship. THIS IS NOT THE CHRISTIAN VIEW (emphasis mine). Our faith sees the wedding day not as the place of arrival, but the place where the adventure begins."

There it is - those last six words tell the whole story and take the boring out of the mundane work of "doing the vows." 


We adopt this perspective:

Every morning when I wake, I will grab hands with my spouse, walk into the "wardrobe,"and enter Marriage-Narnia with a sense of awe and adventure.

Like all adventures, our relationship will have its ups and downs, its ins and outs, its joys and sorrows, gain and loss, wellness and sickness, easy and hard, life and death...

No adventure is all butterflies and roses, beauty and ease...

In Marriage-Narnia, we live abundantly, together, with the Lion of Judah, who may not be safe, but who is ALL GOODNESS.

When we adopt this attitude, this perspective, that marriage is an adventure, we're more apt to awaken each morning saying, "I Do" again and again, forever and ever, til death do us part.

And...not even a mispronunciation of names can dampen the spirit of enthusiasm or weaken the covenant. 


I'll choose adventure any day! Every day! Forever. 

1 comment:

  1. Our wedding day mix-up was similar, but it was my error. We memorized our vows, and Tim was so afraid of forgetting his, and we'd practiced them tons together, so I began, "I, Tim, take you, Bonnie...oops!" :)