I went to a wedding the other day. I don’t know the couple that well, but I used to be the groom’s youth leader and he asked me to come. It was a small ceremony. Very intimate. Very nice.

I went to the wedding by myself and I found that I missed my wife very badly. I saw the bride come through the doors of the chapel and suddenly I went back in time over 11 years to one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. My wife was stunning as her father escorted her down the isle. She glowed like I had never seen before. I cried when I saw her. She was beauty in all its splendor.

The minister asked who would give the bride. Again, I was taken back, standing at the alter. My father-in-law gave her to me and then whispered in my ear that I had his full blessing. Words that still are precious to me.

They stood in front of family and friends and pledged their lives to each other. Standing there eleven years ago I had no idea how precious and true those vows we spoke to each other were. The vows we spoke to each other are as follows:

I take you to be my wedded wife / to have and to hold from this day forward / for better or worse / for richer or poorer / in sickness and in health / in the happiness that may brighten our days / in the sadness that my darken our days / to love and cherish till death do us part

With this ring / I pledge my life to you as your husband. May my strength by your protection / May my character be your pride / May I so love that you will find in me / the haven for which your heart truly long / I will endeavor to love you as Christ loves me / in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

With this ring / I pledge my life to you as your wife / I will receive your love as you have pledged / and endeavor to return to you the same kind of love / At all times and under all circumstances / I will love you constantly / Only death will break the pledge which I give to you today / In this spirit I give my love to you.

When we were first married we were full of dreams (still are) and we were certain that nothing bad was going to happen. Here we are 11 years later. I am more in love with her today that ever before. Life has battered us at times. We have had opportunities to grow apart over the years, but we have never taken them. Nor will we. We have held on to each other for better and for worse. We have lived through times of plenty and times where we didn’t have much. We have lived through sickness and been healthy again. We have walked loved ones to the grave. We have welcomed new life into our family. I cherish her. I know she feels the same. It hasn’t been easy, but the most worthwhile things rarely are. She is my bride. I am proud to be her husband.

So, I pray for this couple that they have a long and happy marriage. We never know what the years will hold, but it is so much better to walk along together.

I love you Marixa.

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