I thought I would pass out. Things began to get blurry and a trickle of sweat ran down my face. Our third minister had just said some nice things about us and we still had one to go. I lost count of the number of songs but it felt like a Kenny G and Michael Bolton concert. We were married in the 90’s.
It was time to recite our vows and I wasn’t sure I would be able to get the words out. My mouth was dry and my knees felt weak. I wish I could say it was because I was so in love with the girl holding my sweaty hands. It had more to do with our marathon ceremony. I’m sure we broke some sort of record.
I can’t remember our vows. They were probably traditional. Apparently they worked because Kristen is still around.
Wedding vows can be the most stressful part of the ceremony. Some couples choose to write their own. I’ve always thought that was a huge risk. Romantic, but risky. Remembering the ring is enough to overwhelm the average groom. Asking him to write and recite his own vows can be catastrophic.
Wedding vows are like a verbal contract and the internet is replete with vows gone viral…grooms passing out…brides tripping over their dress. Maybe it’s the fear of commitment. Or maybe we hold our breath hoping the air in our lungs will keep us upright.
Whatever it is, marriage ceremonies tend to get interesting at the vows.
One thing I’ve never seen is a couple reading or reciting a marriage vision statement. That’s usually how corporations, churches, and other organizations begin. They need a statement to keep them on track.
While a vision statement doesn’t sound romantic it can be an important factor in having a healthy marriage. Maybe this is why so many marriages get off course. They hit walls or tough times and lack a plan. A vision statement can get you pointed back in the right direction.
Here are three components to assist you in writing a vision statement for your marriage:
Identify three to five personal core values. You can discover your values by asking questions like…
What role does spirituality play in your marriage? How will you discipline your children? What family traditions are important to you? Are you committed to making your marriage last even if it involves marriage counseling?
Clarify your personal, couple, and family goals for one to five years. Your goals should be realistic and clear. Some goals might include becoming debt free, having a child, or children, within a certain amount of time, buying a home, dating once a week, etc.
If I were to ask you to describe your relationship today in one word, what would it be? What about one year from now? Who do you hope to be as a couple in ten or twenty years?
If a word, or words, doesn’t come to mind quickly it may be that you need to nurture your intimate knowledge of each other. Click here for more info on creating intimacy in marriage.
I recently began mountain biking. It’s much different than road cycling, which I’ve done for a few years now. To road cycle you pretty much get on and pedal. It’s rare that a tree leaps out of nowhere and attempts to dismount you. That happens often mountain biking.
There’s one hill on some local trails that I have trouble climbing. It’s steep and the gravel is loose. I’m learning that climbing a hill requires just the right amount of balance. Too much weight in the front and your back tire loses traction. Too much in the back and your front tire comes off the ground.
One of the most vital elements of a good climb is momentum. If you lose it, you will go down. And once lost, it’s difficult to regain.
Writing a vision statement for your marriage can help you maintain forward momentum. It doesn’t take a lot of time and can keep you moving in the right direction.
There are plenty of things that will try to knock your marriage off balance, but keep moving forward. Create momentum.
Thanks for reading. I know your time is valuable. If you found this post helpful please like or share it via the links above.
Meet Steve Andrus
Steven is the Marriage and Family Pastor at Woodlawn Church (woodlawnchurch.cc) in Columbia, MS and a National Certified Counselor by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
He is passionate about helping individuals, couples, and families rediscover hope through the counseling process. He obtained his Masters Degree in Marriage & Family Counseling from Mississippi College and continues his professional education by attending workshops and seminars on subjects such as trauma, parenting, couples therapy, grief, depression, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).
From 2006 to 2008 he and his family served as missionaries in West Africa. He makes regular trips overseas speaking on leadership, emotional health, and spiritual growth. His experiences overseas have provided him with a broad worldview and allows him to counsel with various cultures and nationalities.
Steven speaks on marriage and family issues weekly and is available for workshops, conferences, and seminars. He and his wife Kristen enjoy speaking at marriage retreats and offer a fun and informative format.
His office is located in Columbia, MS and he is also available for counseling nationally and internationally via Skype and FaceTime.
Steven lives with his wife Kristen and their two children in Columbia, MS.