In 1980 it was edgy to write your own vows.
Today, the pictures are faded, fashion has moved forward and time has left its mark on us all. These words – typed from an IBM Selectric Typewriter on simple white paper with ceremony instructions penned in the margins – were our proclamation to the world around us and the world unseen.
On our 32nd anniversary I dug out our wedding album. Turning the faded, brittle pages I found what I was looking for – the vows – glued in place. Revisiting them feels like returning to your grandmother’s house once you’re grown. These familiar words seemed larger at the time. I flipped a page looking for the rest.
Our vows were simple and to the point. Adequate. Strong on substance and short on eloquence.
If we had a redo, our words would be detailed and deep – describing how we would face every challenge ahead with undaunted courage. We’re more cautious now and know what it takes to build a marriage and life together. But two 20-yr-olds could only look ahead. Our future looked bright and pretty simple as we declared ~
I, Tim/Debi, following the guidance of my Lord, Jesus Christ, take you, Tim/Debi, to be my mate, my closest friend and my spiritual partner. I will pray for eyes to see your needs and ears to hear your spirit gently plea, as I give myself to build you up. So you and I will be as one, no longer to face trials apart from one another but to press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called us – Heavenward in Christ Jesus.
We wrote these words while on a picnic one Sunday afternoon early in our engagement. They seemed enough at the time. Enough to state our commitment and reliance. After the ceremony, my mom teased me about leaving out the words, ‘obey’, ’sickness and health’, and the big ones - ’man and wife’.
All these years later, with 19 immediate family members and counting, we begin our next 32 years together. May we never loose the simplicity of these words and the call to action they evoke. And may we remain forever ‘edgy’.
What were your wedding vows like? I’d love to hear.