I must admit that I had my occasional doubts back in 1989 about whether I was ready to commit to marriage. Prior to our wedding, I hadn’t been in church but a couple of times in the 1980’s, and it is probably fair to say that I didn’t have much business coming before God and vowing to love you, honor and cherish you. I knew very little of the trials and tribulations that were to come our way.
However, God has a plan and it’s his own plan and quite often it is not the plan we might anticipate. And, by the grace of God, his plan for us was that we would be together, forever. The early years of our marriage were simpler, yet much more uncertain in many ways. Over the last 25 years you and I have believed in each other, and in God, and that love and faith is at the cornerstone of everything we do.
There have been moments in the last few weeks and months that I questioned why were renewing our vows and I have wondered what others think of our decision to do so. After all, most people don’t do what we are doing now and as we learned in the scripture that Uncle Mark read, love is never boastful or arrogant. But, as our 25th wedding anniversary is upon us, I am happy and thankful that we are taking the opportunity to publicly renew our vows in the presence of our loved ones, our family and our friends whom we are blessed to have in our lives. For we are doing so not for boastful or arrogant reasons, but out of love for each other, in celebration of our coming years together, and to renew our marriage covenant with God, each other, our family and our friends.
As you know, and as most of you all know, my father died when I was a very young boy and so I was raised in a household void of the example of a loving marital relationship and, in a sense, without real knowledge of how to be, and what it takes, to be a husband and father. And, of course, you lived in a single parent household for much of your childhood as well, and so we have lived, laughed, loved and grown together.
And so, today, I, Mark, promise as I did 25 years ago, to love, honor and cherish you all the rest of my days, in good times and in bad, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, with the help of God. Only today, I do so with a much clearer and more certain understanding of who you are, who I am, and who we are as a couple. I do so with a faith in God that helps us and sustains each of us separately, together as a union and as parents to Beau, Teale and Gwenn. I love you.