I was having a conversation with my boss’s boss the other day and we both agreed that the one thing that we definitely try to communicate about marriage is that it is WORK! Yeah I believe in the love, and agree with ensuring a connection with the other person, and I’ll even buy the idea of
Love at First Sight… no I won’t…but that’s besides the point. What I will say is I firmly believe in the institution of marriage when both individuals involved are willing to commitment to the every day work that is essential to making your marriage last. It’s funny, but as I think about this diligence in working, I’m not so sure that I have ever heard this in wedding vows… Particularly the generic ones. So the following is the most common and traditional wedding vows ever to be recited and some questions I have about them…not saying their wrong, but just wondering if they really say anything about the life changing investment each individual is about to make…let’s take a look.
I (insert name here) take you (insert name here) to be my wife/husband– the one word, which is used at times in other traditional vows, that I like in this portion of the vows that is omitted here is lawfully…because as far as it goes in the united states, if your marriage ain’t legally binding, it ain’t a marriage. I also like the idea of the take you, take me concept because it implies that both parties are choosing the other to be more than just their #boo-thang, #mayne *thug life voice*, or some other non committal pet name. I actually think this line is most useful.
Unfortunately that’s not the only part of that first line:
To have and to hold from this day Forward- so are we assuming that this is the first day of actual commitment from both sides. I can hear all the woman now; “we commit before the ring is even given.” to that I say
bullshit I mean yeah right. As I get back on track, to have and to hold from this day forward….do you plan on doing anything else other than having or holding? What does the “have” even mean?
For Better or for Worse– what if they start off at their worse and their better just isn’t good enough. And then better or worse from what? The days prior to this day when you are choosing to have them and hold them? Oh, yeah…this is supposed to imply through better and worse days together…? I mean what happens when the better gets worse, and then the worse never gets better….then what?
For richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health– most marriages that end in divorce, usually cite financial woes as the culprit. More than infidelity and infinitely more than irreconcilable differences , not having your money situation right, where both are on the same page, will be hazardous to your marital bliss. But let’s be honest. Most people are able to overlook a bunch of faults if they are living the life of luxury. How many people however, are sticking it on on those #LastTwoDollars, especially if you have options. And it’s extremely easy to hang in there when everyone is healthy, but if a severe illness creeps up into the picture…. Are you really willing to commit to a life of taking care of someone who can’t do it for you in return? Or you have plans on having kids and you realize a person can’t. Can you really, love and cherish, from this day forward, until death do you part?
These vows, in principle, hint to the notion that marriage is a deep commitment that requires something more than superficial words, one that should not be entered into lightly but they never actually say it with CONVICTION. The issues presented in these vows are vague and void of specific structure; leaving a lot to interpretation. Individuals need to know what the better or worse would be before they get to this day forward. There needs to be an understanding and agreement on how money should and will be managed. There needs to be a commitment to love and cherish daily, so that when your significant other is on your last nerve…. You can remind your self or the reason why you choose to love and cherish them in the first place. Work….it’s an everyday commitment. There are peaks and valleys, but in every marital situation there should be two people who are in it together…..until death. Once you lose sight of those things, divorce court is right around the corner.
Now for all you church goers…there is another traditional vow that i have heard often that i probably need to break down in great detail in another post…#BunchOfLies in that one. Until then i leave you with the following : Are you a person who wants to be married one day? Are you ready?