To have and to hold from this day forward. For better or for worse. For richer or for poorer. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. From this day forward until death do us part.
I think we've done all the above. Some parts well. Some parts not so well. Both of us brought a big suitcase filled with our family background that we've unpacked through the years. Layer by layer. It brings with it smiles and tears.
Yet here we are thirty two years later still being molded as the new creations that Christ made us when we found Him during the early years of our marriage. Although we will often disappoint one another attempting to live out that common marriage Scripture verse found in First Corinthians chapter thirteen, we can trust that Jesus Christ does have all those characteristics. In a recent sermon, our pastor didn't have us put our name in the place of love, but the name of Jesus instead. So, verses four through eight looked like this: Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. Jesus does not envy, Jesus does not boast, Jesus is not proud. Jesus is not rude, Jesus is not self-seeking, Jesus is not easily angered, Jesus keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails.
And there's the key - Jesus never fails.
You can get through each part of the wedding vow if you know in your heart that Jesus never fails. He will always love you abundantly more than you can imagine (Ephesians 3:14-19) and nothing will separate you from that love (Romans 8:38-39). His perfect love for you allows you to cast out all fear (I John 4:18) as you travel through the layers of life with all its smiles and tears knowing HE will never disappoint.
God's love for you will never fail. And with His love comes His grace and peace. What more do you need to get through life and marriage?