One year ago today, we stood before our family and read our commitment to each for life; below are my vows for life. I thank the Lord daily for you and our life together. I love you beautiful! Happy anniversary!
The Book of Proverbs ends with a tribute to a wise choice in a wife from the wisest man who ever lived. Solomon writes,
10 Who can find a truly excellent woman? One who is superior in all that she is and all that she does? Her worth far exceeds that of rubies and expensive jewelry.11 She inspires trust, and her husband’s heart is safe with her, and because of her, he has every good thing. 12 Every day of her life she does what is best for him, never anything harmful or hurtful. 13…16 She has a plan. She considers some land and buys it; then with her earnings, she plants a vineyard.17 She wraps herself in strength, carries herself with confidence, and works hard, strengthening her arms for the task at hand. 18 She tastes success and knows it is good, and under lamplight she works deep into the night. 19…20 She reaches out to the poor and extends mercy to those in need.…22 She makes her own bed linens and clothes herself in purple and fine cloth...23…24…25 Clothed in strength and dignity, with nothing to fear, she smiles when she thinks about the future. 26 She conducts her conversations with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is ever her concern. 27 She directs the activities of her household, and never does she indulge in laziness. 28 Her children rise up and bless her. Her husband, too, joins in the praise, saying: 29 “There are some—indeed many—women who do well in every way, but of all of them only you are truly excellent.” 30 Charm can be deceptive and physical beauty will not last, but a woman who reveres the Eternal should be praised above all others. 31 Celebrate all she has achieved. Let all her accomplishments publicly praise her.
Solomon knew what a Godly woman looked like…and I see that in YOU. His journey to this epiphany was one not everyone understood. His journey was not always ideal. Yet, in the end God’s abundant grace was present when he didn’t deserve it.
In Romans 8: 29 Paul writes, “He repurposes bad decisions and squalid choices. Little by little a new image emerges. “He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son.” Grace is God loving, God stooping, God coming to the rescue, God giving himself generously and through Jesus Christ.
In the New Testament grace means God’s love in action towards men who merited the exact opposite. Grace means God moving heaven and earth enough to reach down and save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves. Grace means sending his only Son to bend a knee and die on the cross so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and spend eternity with him. Grace is God providing a bride when I didn’t deserve it and didn’t expect it who is perfect for me. Sustaining grace promises not the absence of struggle but the presence of God. I vow to choose you through any struggle. His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect in my weakness. I vow to choose you in my strength and in my weakness. Grace is not blind. But grace chooses to see God’s forgiveness even more. It refuses to let hurt poison the heart. Where grace is lacking, bitterness abounds. Where grace abounds, forgiveness grows. I vow to choose forgiveness. Second only to my own salvation, you are the greatest display of God’s grace in my life. In you, I have learned to trust God’s hold on me more than my hold on God. His faithfulness does not depend on mine. I vow to choose faithfulness to God and faithfulness to you and to lead our home in a Godly manner and love and nurture you. To accept grace is to accept the vow to give it.
From this day forward I vow to extend grace and accept grace for the rest of our lives. I vow to choose your eyes, your kiss, your smile, your lips…I want it all. I vow to choose your strength, your weakness, your health, your sickness…I want it all. I vow to choose your heart, your soul, when you’re young, when you’re old…I want it all. The journey that we’re on will never end. No matter where it leads, I see you here with me. I see our future in your eyes. I see God’s grace in you: my teammate for life. You are the fulfillment of God’s promise to me for a partner and teammate for life. Before you, I don’t believe I truly understood the weight of this commitment and all I have found in you without walking the long, difficult road leading me to this point. I am no longer defined by my failures but refined by them. I’m renewed. I’m restored and I vow to choose you and choose us…Forever.
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