Those typical marriage vows.

11 Feb

My husband and I do not celebrate Valentine’s Day.  I’m a total hopeless romantic and my love language is gifts…. so it’s hard for me to pass up on a holiday so engulfed in the idea of BOTH of those… however; Hallmark holidays are expensive! The mark up on cards, chocolates, and flowers is simply out of control.  I think my husband finds it a little obnoxious to have these forced romantic holidays where men are expected to make big, grand gestures and often the pressure is something they can’t live up to – which just makes them feel and look like a failure.  I totally get that too.

Last year, I offered up this challenge for wives, not necessarily to be “a Valentine’s gift” but because it is never the wrong time to let your husband know how much you respect him.  And I think when wives have a project they are working on for their kids or husband, they tend to more focused and better engaged in their family and marriage.

I spent some time looking back at my archives the last couple days to see what these last two years have looked like, and it was so good for my soul to be reminded of challenges I haven’t conquered, and also ones that I have!

More than anything as I grow in my understanding of who I am as a woman of God, and what my Biblical roles really are in marriage, I am constantly reminded that those “typical marriage vows” most of us recite to each other, as well as ones we write ourselves are really just words we say.  We just can’t possibly know what it’s like to love someone more than ourselves for a lifetime during circumstantial changes, the storms of life, the pressure from the world, the challenges of raising children and on and on and on.  Not to mention, we don’t even know what we’re really saying.  (I explain in this post that “in sickness and health” has absolutely nothing to do with physical sickness!)

On our tenth anniversary, (August 10th, 2012) my husband and I renewed our vows – and wrote brand new ones that we’d actually lived and understood!

Here is what our new promise looked like to each other: (I am having serious copy/paste issues so if this gets posted funny, my apologies!)

I will reserve the best of myself for you at the beginning, middle and end of each day, allowing no one else to fill your role as my best friend.

I promise to be faithful to you with my thoughts, words, and actions always.

I vow to give myself only to you physically and emotionally without exception.

I will honor you above all others and always listen to your input and respect your feelings.

I promise to forgive quickly and will not allow a wall to be built between us of past mistakes.

I vow to be honest, no matter how hard telling the truth may be.

I will believe the best in you and concentrate on all your talents, gifts and strengths.

I will come along side you in your weakness and hold you in prayer before the Lord as we work on it together.

I will support and defend you not only publicly, but also privately.

I vow to work on speaking your love language to you daily.

I will remember that change requires patience and practice.

And I faithfully commit to following the truth that love is a verb, and I choose to love you, all the days of my life.


Practical Application:

My Valentine’s challenge to you this year is to make a date (even if it’s on the couch at 9:00 at night once the kids are in bed) to write some new vows with your spouse.

You’ll be amazed what you come up with, and how it changes everything to actually recall those times when you both lived them — even when it was hard.


4 Responses to “Those typical marriage vows.”

  1. howsyourlovelife February 11, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Your vows are beautiful! Way better than roses…

    • Kayla Gulick February 11, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      Thank you! I cherished every moment of writing them. And the memories of how we’ve learned to love each other, beyond the feelings.

  2. Elizabeth February 12, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    What a great idea! And how true that we so little understand what our vows will truly mean in day-to-day life. I applaud you for not allowing our commercial culture to dictate celebrating Valentine’s Day with expensive gifts. When my husband brings me a wildflower from the field and puts it in a candleholder on the kitchen counter for me to see when I walk in the door, it means so much more than a dozen roses because it’s a spontaneous and exceptional expression of love. And that, to me, is far better than the expected.

    • Kayla Gulick February 12, 2014 at 10:20 am #

      I agree Elizabeth. Sometimes “events” are hallow because it’s expected and everyone in the world is doing it at the same time. But the surprise gesture that says “I think about you every day, and this reminded me of you” is priceless!!!

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