A NOTE: Please read my post about our ceremony and view a video by clicking here.
My son-in-law, an ordained Wesleyan pastor, led the service in our backyard last night where we renewed our wedding vows. It was GREAT. His words were right with the focus right where it should be. I invite you to read what he shared.
Well, here you are, again. Not only is this the third time you have said “I do” to each other, but this is your second 30th wedding anniversary celebration. Who would have thought? You guys have made it. Against all odds, you made it! This is certainly a marriage and occasion worth celebrating multiple times.
! In reality your friends and family are not at all surprised by this day. Wes, if this were a council meeting, we would call this day to a vote and unanimously vote “aye.” Gladys, if we were your third graders, weʼd all throw our hands up and scream the answer is yes to question “Are you excited for the Thorps?”
! This day is a culmination of a life already lived together and represents your commitment to each other. Today is not about legal or religious implications, this day is about a man and woman saying, “I still choose you and I want my friends and my family to share in it.”
! This day is about Krista and Justin, too. Itʼs their day to see their parents say, “regardless of what life may continue to throw at our family, we are going to walk through it together.” They get to see their parents choose each other. Love is about that choice. We all wish it was solely about feeling, but we know that many days we choose to love our spouse because to do anything but that, would forsake the one we love the most.
! Life does not always allow us to choose our circumstances, but love allows us to choose the way we respond. Today is about that choice. The choice to publicly declare that you are the one that I want to continue to tread through life with. You are the one that I want to come home to, you are the one I want to watch 24 with, you are the one I want to eat Bocca Burgers with, you are the one I want to travel the world with, you are still the one I choose.
Paul said it this way to the church in Rome: “For I long to visit you so that I can impart to you the faith that will help your church grow strong in the Lord. Then, too, I need your help, for I want not only to share my faith with you but to be encouraged by yours: Each of us will be a blessing to the other.”
! Itʼs not by chance that God uses the illustration of marriage in so many ways to describe his relationship with us. God knows that the language of matrimony is one that we can understand. Following after Christ comes from a daily decision to be obedient and do the things that please Him. God in return loves us as a husband loves his wife. God chose us! In spite of our shortcomings and in spite of our disobedience, he loves us. Itʼs that pursuit of us that keeps his people close to him and increases our faith.
! Marriage reflects quite clearly the grace of Christ as well. There are times where we simply cannot do it on our own. It is then that the grace of our spouse picks up our
pieces and restores us to carry on. Marriage is a refining period where we realize our flaws and we are loved in spite of those flaws. That is the message of the grace of Christ, right. Even while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
! Let me charge you both to remember, that your future happiness is to be found in mutual consideration, patience, kindness, confidence, and affection. Wes, it is your duty to continue to love Gladys as yourself, provide tender leadership, and protect her from danger. Gladys, it is your duty to continue to treat Wes with respect, support him, and create a healthy, happy home. It is the duty of each of you to find the greatest joy in the company of the other; to remember that in both interest and affection, you are to be one and undivided.
With that in mind, I ask you to take these vows, thus signifying your commitment to each other:
Wes, I ask you: ! Will you have Gladys to be your wedded wife to live together in the holy estate of marriage? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; forsaking all others, keep yourself only for her, so long as you both shall live? ! I Will
Gladys: ! Will you have Wes to be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of marriage? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others, keep yourself only for him, so long as you both shall live?
! I Will
! Because Wes and Gladys have desired each other in marriage, and have witnessed this before God and our gathering, affirming their acceptance of the responsibilities of such a union, and have pledged their love and faith to each other, sealing their vows in the giving and receiving of rings, I do proclaim that they are still husband and wife in the sight of God and man. Let all people here and everywhere recognize and respect this holy union, now and forever.
The Kiss ! I now pronounce you, again, man and wife. Kiss her