“I do.” When I think of marriage vows, my mind jumps to the words we said at the altar in my family church, before our pastor and 6 pews full of friends and family. It is in this sacred space that my husband and I made promises to be lived out every day for the rest of our lives.
However, these promises that are intended for a lifetime, are easily tucked in the sacred space of a church in a white dress and pressed tux, and then forgotten.
As a married couple, my husband and I have lived through life changing, monumental moments. We remember and smile about these special days that have shaped the future of our lives together– the day we said “I do,” the day Nathan was ordained, the moment when I told him I was 8 weeks pregnant and he said, “Whoa! that went fast!”, and the days we met our daughters for the first time. Yet as I sit in this very un-monumental moment, on a hand-me-down couch, clad in an old VBS T-shirt, I realize that although these monumental days are vibrant moments in the landscape of everyday life, the everyday life is necessary too.
In order for those big promises to filter into these ordinary days of marriage, I decided to write my everyday vows to my husband. It is not a one size fits all set of promises, but words that are silly and uniquely beautiful to us. Vows that flesh out what my commitment to my husband looks like in our ordinary lives together.
- I vow to make the coffee when I’m the first one up.
- I vow to leave a light on at night when you haven’t gotten home.
- I vow to end a conversation with a man if it feels flirtatious or inappropriate, even if it makes me feel good about myself.
- I vow to never threaten to end our marriage or take that lightly, even when I’m mad and want to hurl hurtful words at you.
- I vow to always speak positively about you to our children.
- I vow to do the grocery shopping and do my best to feed you.
- I vow to try to fold your shirts in the special way you like.
- I vow to tell you “I love you,” as often as you need to hear, even when I’m mad.
- I vow to keep your secrets and share my own secrets that I’m tempted to hide.
- I vow to never give up on us.
- I vow to say, “I’m sorry” and “I forgive you,” even if they don’t come easily.
- I vow to never leave the good words unsaid like, “I’m proud of you,” and “I appreciate you.”
- I vow to never stop singing out loud, telling silly jokes, and laughing with you.
- I vow to share the popcorn at the movies and give you more than your share of dessert when we split it at a restaurant.
- I vow to change the toilet paper when it is empty, and bring you a dry towel when you shout from the shower.
- I vow to be your morning hug and your goodnight kiss, your first hello, and your last goodbye.
Everyday marriage weaves two lives together. It is building the layers that support you when life gets heavy. Each small choice and sacrifice threads the fabric to withstand the long days and short years together. When we feel threadbare, everyday marriage offers a warm place to huddle into. I’m grateful for the occasions we mark as special, with a tux and a dress, but I love sinking into the everyday moments as a couple together.
What are your everyday vows? We’d love some inspiration!