Redo your “I do’s” (Part 1 of 2)
As a firm romantic, I believe wedding anniversaries, especially big ones, should be big deals in the lives of a married couple. Cruises are a top choice for couples celebrating a milestone anniversary. Other vacation destinations can be planned, too. Not to take away from the travel industry because getaways are necessary and wonderful, but have you thought about renewing your vows as a sign of your love?
Hold on. I’m not drumming up business by asking you to give me a call as a pastor to officiate your retying the knot, but I do ask you to consider reasons why you should renew your vows.
First, if you’re like any couple I know, you’ve had a bump or rocky patch somewhere along the way. Maybe it was between the two of you. Marriage is not easy.
Then again, maybe an outside stressor really laid a toll on both of you, and you’ve survived. Now what?
Each day you live your life as a married person, you’re choosing to be in the relationship. Maybe this is a no-brainer to you. Of course, you’re married to your honeybun. You can’t do the same thing twice.
But that’s not always the case. Through whatever difficulty you’ve endured—or are enduring as you read this—you are still together. In an age where divorce rates remain so high, three cheers to the two of you! (And in an age where fewer and fewer couples marry but live together instead, hallelujah there, too.) If you’ve made it through years of marriage and the messes life can bring to one of you—let alone two of you—and you still choose partnership, I commend you.
So, back to the question that may have snuck by you the first time you read it here. Now what?
I suggest you renew your vows. Whether it’s a big splash or a backyard down low, to say to each other (and to the world) that your love is worth noting, cherishing and celebrating may be the best gift you can give each other and those who love you.
Let me talk about three very different couples now. The first couple experienced infidelity. When the unfaithfulness was resolved, and this was NOT an easy journey, they came to a pastor they trusted and admired and knew that moving forward meant a realignment, a rededication, and their wedding renewal was what brought wholeness—and holiness—back to them.
The second couple had such a go of it that for awhile they lived apart. For a time, cohabitation was not wise. After living apart, they did reunite. They didn’t retie their vows, however. They were not divorced; they didn’t need to remarry or renew; but did they miss a chance to officially recommit? Was that healing complete?
The third couple struggles in their marriage. Calling it quits has been an option. They currently are—and certainly have been—in tough places. Renewing their vows would be the last thing they’d think of doing.
To couples where married life is painful not ideal, I invite you to realign. Romance is never dead. The love that brought you together is not gone, though it may seem to be. Yes, some couples need to divorce. Do so with blessings not bitterness. Others need to realize the intent of those wedding vows, and if you didn’t marry under God in a Christian ceremony the first time—or you didn’t hear in your heart God being present in your marriage the first time—yes, it may be time to renew your vows because God is love and love and marriage are not just nice together, they are necessary.