This week, I’ll be celebrating 26 years of marriage. Yes, it seems surreal. No, I really can’t believe it.
I remember being 26 years old because it was the year my son was born ~ an amazingly proud and difficult year. I pinned Navy wings on my husbands chest with a 7 month pregnant belly between us. We made a move across the state and landed in a brand new apartment that was so refreshing after old military housing. I decorated in sea-foam green and peach ~ it was 1990 🙂
I gave birth to this little golden boy (he had jaundice) and his 3 year old sister loved on him like a mini version of myself. Later that year, I watched my husband board a plane to go fight a war while holding a sleeping 6 month old in one arm and a newly turned 4 year old clutching my free hand. I remember being 26 years old and could not even fathom what it would be like to be married as long as I had been breathing. Yet, here we are. Soon to be married 26 years. Surreal and unbelievable.
For several years, I’ve discussed renewing our vows… off and on with never any real course of action. Do you call a caterer and get invitations? Do you get a ships captain and make a reservation at Bern’s for dinner? I don’t know how it all works so I did a little research. It seems there aren’t any “right” answers. There are grandiose ceremonies to intimate sacraments ~ European trips of celebration to simple dinners with family. A common theme did seem to be prevalent, though, from my limited research.
Those that chose to renew their vows weren’t erasing the first ones. Instead, couples are celebrating the trials, tribulations and blessings of remaining together. Instead of standing at the altar or on the beach or in the courthouse as a blushing bride and eager groom, they know what it is to be married 10, 15 or 26 years. They have felt the meaning of partnership and the reality of loving one person above all others.
I stood in a church without meaning to me 26 years ago and repeated words as asked. I wore the gown and smiled in the photos. I cut the wedding cake and I wore the garter.
I had no idea what lie before me then but knowing what I know today, the words would be more revered than recited. The promises would be more precious because of the history and story of our lives together. I’m not altogether sure I believed that God instituted marriage when I was 20. I do now.
I also know God wasn’t at the head of our table 26 years ago. The biblically ideal marriage involves an acknowledgment of God and His word at the beginning and throughout the marriage but that was missing. It wouldn’t be now.
So I’m wondering aloud, then, why anyone would oppose people renewing their vows or recommitting their lives to one another? What are your thoughts? Have you? Would you?