When couples say their vows, I wonder if they are really thinking about the meaning of the words they are saying to each other. There are different variations that exist, but traditional wedding vows read like this, “I ______ take you _______ to be my husband / wife, to have and to hold, for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health. I will honor you and love you all the days of my life.”
Sometimes it seems that these words have more of a sentimental value than anything else. They add to the fuzzy feeling of the wedding day. Let’s face it, it’s also great to say, and have these words said to you. (After all, how often do you talk like this to your significant other??) Can make for a very emotional, intense moment. Lots of tissue needs to be on-hand! Even the most stoic couple has a hard time not crying at this point in the ceremony!
But what happens after the wedding day…..do these vows still matter?
- When you and your spouse are in the middle of a heated argument and all you can see is the color red….do the words for better and for worse come to mind?
- When one of you has lost your job, and you have to cut back on your spending or move to a smaller house or apartment…do the words for richer and for poorer come to mind?
- When sickness or illness effects you, and you have to care for the other on a regular basis…do the words in sickness and in health come to mind?
- When every possible thing that can go wrong, does go wrong….do the words, I will honor you and love you all the days of my life come to mind?
It is very easy to remember and recite your vows when all is going well. But it is during those difficult moments, when the sun is blocked by a dark, stormy cloud, when things seem bleak and hopeless, and when you feel the temptation to give up, that you need to remember the vows you recited to each other on you wedding day — for better and for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health. I will honor you and love you all the days of my life….