It's true when people tell you that marriage is work and it certainly is.
Communicaiton is incredibly important, selflessness should be greater than being selfish and serving your spouse is greater than being served.
I haven't been the best at any of these things and more that could be listed, but I'm working on it and I know Kristi is too.
In this post, I want to share our vows that Kristi and I wrote for each other. We haven't kept these perfectly, but we certainly are trying.
Our main focus is and always will be, to keep Christ at the center of our marriage and family.
Here are the vows we shared to each other, a year ago, today -
Kurt, I love you. Not just because of whom you are and what God has done in and through you, but because of whom I am when I am with you. On this day, I am not signing a contract but happily giving myself to you in this covenant of marriage that is God ordained.
I promise to seek Christ and allow Him to be in the center of our marriage. I promise to trust God no matter what surrounds us and let Him be our guide, be in control and to build me and our home.
I promise to trust you as the headship of our home. I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you and to be a goofball like you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle.
I promise to be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry. I promise to be a loving, caring and faithful wife to you, so that together we may grow in the likeness of Christ and that our home may be a praise to him.
I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to keep myself open and honest to you, to let you know about fears, feelings, secrets and dreams that I may have.
I vow to honor you, cherish you, to serve you, to pray for you daily, even when my flesh doesn't want to, and to always hold you in highest regard.
I promise that when you fail, to give you mercy and grace just as the Lord gives to us. I promise to give you the best of myself and when I fail that you too would give me mercy and grace.
I promise to submit to you as unto the Lord. I promise to respect you as your own person and to realize that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own.
I promise to support you in your goals, allow you to be who you are and not look to change you and to remember that we are not wrong just different. These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life.
Over the last six months of our engagement, others have identified me, as if I were your husband. That no longer satisfies me, because I want to be your husband.
I am nervous and scared and I am not ashamed to admit that, but there has not been a time, where the Holy Spirit of God has reminded me to be anxious for nothing and that God’s perfect love casts out all fear.
I wish to make it known that I recognize first God's calling and authority over my life, which is exercised from His loving heart. I also want to acknowledge that He has blessed me and entrusted to me your life as a free gift that I have not earned. In recognition of these things, Kristi, I purpose to love you with His love, to provide for your needs through His enablement and to lead you as He leads me. I promise to guide and protect you as Christ does his church, as long as we both shall live.
I will pray for you everyday of our marriage, remembering you before God’s throne of grace, thanking Him for the love and the exceeding joy you have brought to my life.
When I fall short of your expectations, either by my actions or by my words, I humbly ask that you would forgive me.
I will protect the integrity of the name you will take on and begin identifying with today, by continuing to live in obedience to God’s Word, so that we may live above any reproach.
Through all of the uncertainties and trials of the present and future, I promise to be faithful to you and love you with all of my heart, with all of my soul, with all of my mind and with all of my strength, as I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I will never leave you, nor forsake you, as long as He gives us life together, regardless of the circumstances in our future.
Kristi, as I stand before Almighty God, our families and our friends, I willfully and with a deep love for you, enter this covenant of marriage without hesitation, without any reservation, or consideration of evasion.
My commitment to you as your husband and one day as the father of our children is this covenant I shall keep with you, all the days of my life.
You are my beloved and I am yours.
As a gift to me, because Kristi knows how much I love studying Hebrew while in seminary and she had the following inscribed on the inside of my wedding band, אני אוהבת אותך (ani ohevet otcha), which is said from the wife to her husband, I love you.
Honey, אני אוהב אותך (ani ohev otach), I love you.