Someone, several years ago, asked me this:
“Ross, will you take Sally to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her, and, forsaking all others, be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?”
to which I answered a loud and resounding and heartfelt, “I WILL”.
A few minutes later I said these words:
I, Ross, take you, Sally, to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward; for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part; according to God’s holy law. In the presence of God I make this vow.”
And, to my continual amazement, Sally, of course, also said “I will” and made the vows. An act for which I shall be forever thankful.
I repeated them after our vicar, but I HAD memorised them and I’m glad I did, because I still remember them and it’s good to remember them occasionally becayse those promises are the foundation of my marriage.
Yes, I took those vows in a church and yes I believe I did them “in the presence of God, who is judge of all and knows all the secrets of our hearts”. But even without God, those are big promises to make that have consequences for the rest of ones life.
Yesterday was St Valentine’s Day and, while we don’t ever do much for it, it’s good to remember and to celebrate.
I think the most difficult part of the vows is the “honour and protect” bit. It’s easy to slip into making throwaway, jokey comments about “the wife” – especially in a male-dominated office. But it seems awkward and counter-cultural to praise your wife/girlfriend/partner in public.
So, yes, maybe this is a soppy post, but I write it unashamedly.
We’re going through big changes right now, changes which are mostly better for me than for Sally, but she’s been unceasingly patient, encouraging and committed. She’s served me as I’ve worked – not just as I’ve been doing a job-and-a-half for the last few months, but for the duration of our marriage. She helps me through my doubts and joins with me in my excitement.
I couldn’t be making my career move without her. Today, I celebrate my wife Sally, whom I love greatly.