Oh snap! Did you think I’d be blogging on my honeymoon? Nope! Instead, for this month, I’m handing my blog over to some wonderful, wise friends of mine for a mini-series on wedding vows (fitting, right?). I’ll be back after the series wraps up on in mid-July with…written-before-I-got-married stuff! 🙂 Until then, tune in for some wise words on what the vows we take on our wedding day actually mean!
First up is yours truly (written before the wedding!) with a reflection on the first of the ‘questions of intent’: Do you come here freely and without reservation?
Keep in mind that I’m writing this post only a few days (hours!) before my own wedding. Rather than writing this as though I’m already a married woman, you get my thoughts as they flow out and the hours until my own wedding dwindle down.
What exactly does it mean to come to the altar freely and without reservation? Well, on a practical and perhaps obvious level it means that no one has a gun to my head when I approach the altar. Coming to marriage freely means that no one has bribed me to be there, I’m not some contestant on a reality TV show in which I’ll get some sweet deal if I can convince this guy to marry me. Coming to the wedding altar freely means that apart from everything else – Anthony’s expectations, my family’s wishes, his family’s desires – I come freely and of my own volition to marry Anthony.
I can’t actually think of freely coming to marry Anthony without thinking of Christ who frees me from my sin. If it weren’t for that precious gift of freeing me of my own weakness, I don’t think I could ever marry Anthony. But God sent His son to die for our sins and free us in a more profound way than we had ever known before Christ’s death and resurrection. Because of His selfless and life-giving gift, I am free to come freely and marry Anthony.
Coming to marry Anthony without reservation is a related and yet totally different ball game all together. Coming to marry him without reservation means that I know him and that knowing him like I do, I still have no reservations about marrying him and joining our souls forever. ‘Without reservation’ doesn’t mean that I know every single thing about him because I don’t. At this point we haven’t lived together, haven’t woken up next to each other and experienced the other one’s morning breath, nor have we shared every single detail of our lives up to the point when we met. Though I don’t know everything about him, I trust what I know and I trust in the God who has brought us together. I trust that I know Anthony deeply and intimately. I trust that I can see his heart, understand what motivates him, know what makes him tick and want to marry him anyway. That doesn’t even necessarily mean that I’m marrying him despite his flaws, it simply means that I know him – strengths, weaknesses and everything in between – and am freely choosing to marry him without reservations in my heart.
Professing to marry someone without reservations doesn’t mean that I think our life together will be perfect. There’s a difference between the knowledge that the reality of marriage can be trying and deep reservations. I have no reservations about marrying Anthony – none whatsoever. I know that we will have difficult days, days where we may not always get along, days where we’ll drive each other nuts. Despite that, I come to marry him without reservation because I know and trust that who he is and our love is enough to overcome the little things that may make the everyday-ness of marriage difficult. So it is that I shall go (well, have gone by time you read this) to marry Anthony freely and without reservation.