Saturday, March 12, 2011

My Wedding Vows

Today I am working from early morning to the middle of the night, so I am going to cheat a bit on my post.  Today I am going to publish my wedding vows.  I am not doing so to say that my vows are the best vows and you all should have or have had similar vows.  Robin and I decided to write our own vows so that they would be especially one to another. In that, the vows we spoke to one another were personal one to another and not necessarily the right vows for everyone.  I do believe that my vows are founded in God's word, as any marriage under God should be founded upon.  But, again, that is not why I am posting them.  You see, all of us who were married take vows before God and our friends and family to establish the foundation for our marriages.  We speak those vows, people hear those vows, and then soon after they fade from everyone's memory.  The vows I spoke last June 5 ring just as true today as they did when I spoke them and so I write this today for all of you who know me or will know me to make sure I am living up to what I promised my bride.  I spoke these vows publicly and so I expect my brothers and sisters in the Lord to hold me accountable to them.  My desire everyday is to be the husband God has for Robin.  Some days I am more successful than others, but I know that God is working on me during those not so successful times.  I also know that God uses our brothers and sisters to hold us all accountable.  So, without further delay, here are my wedding vows.

The Bible tells me to love you as Christ loved the church.  That command while few in words encompasses the entirety of God’s Word to define as it is the entirety of the Word of God that shows how God loves, cares for, protects, provides for, cherishes, and never forsakes His people.  

And while I can never meet those standards in my own I do know that God will work through me and in me to continue to grow me into that man to whom He is entrusting His daughter.   I believe I can do all things through Christ and it is that faith in Christ that will be the bedrock of my commitment to being that man for you.  And so my first vow is to always keep God at the center of our marriage and to hold onto Jesus as my first and greatest love and through that love I will love you as Christ loved the church. 

Whether it was a coin in a fish’s mouth or feeding fish and bread to thousands Jesus always provided for those whom he loved. I promise to provide for you and I make that promise not as a promise that I can provide for you with my own wealth and talents but a promise to seek God first in all things. Jesus tells us in Matthew's Gospel "Therefore do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'

For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."  I promise to always seek God first and let Him direct our paths and rest in the fact that God Himself will provide our needs. 

Jesus leads his church and his leadership was by example and it is his example that we follow in our lives.  With the help of God, I promise to be that example of Christlike leadership.   Jesus also never asks his church to do something he would not empower them to do and with that I promise to not take advantage of the gift of a helpmeet that God has provided me but to be a helper to you my helpmeet, never lording my leadership over you. 
Jesus sacrificed for his church.  In fact, Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for his church in that he sacrificed himself and suffered immeasurably taking our sin upon him so that we can have eternal life.  He gave of himself in order to provide what is best for his church.   I promise to sacrifice myself for you.  I have lived my life mostly for myself but on this day, I give up “I” for we and me for us, as this is no longer my life that I live for myself but our lives that we live together, seeking after God as God makes us 2 into 1 flesh.  

And finally Robin, Jesus will never leave or forsake his church.  Jesus promised in his Word “And Lo I am with you always, even until the end of the age”.  And so I, Benjamin take you Robin, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, in joy and sorrow, in good times and in bad,  to love and to cherish; from this day forward til death do us part.

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