Microtips for Marriage #2: Keep your vows (in your brain)

tips for healthy relationships, marriage tips, marriage vows, ideas for remembering marriage vows, Christian parenting, feminist parentingToday is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrr!

That means it is also our wedding anniversary. Huzzah!

Here are the words we used to make our marriage four years ago:

Will you take T, in marriage, to be your wife?
Will you love her, comfort her, honour and protect her,
And forsaking all others,
be faithful to her as long as you both shall live?

I, M, take you, T
to have and to hold
from this day forward;
for better, for worse,
for richer, for poorer,
in sickness and in health,
to love and to cherish,
till death us do part.

I give you this ring
as a symbol of my faithfulness;
Wear it and remember my promise:
With my body I honour you,
all that I am I give to you,
and all that I have I share with you,
within the love of God.

The microtip for today is for those who have made promises – public or otherwise. Keep those promises (I guess that’s a macrotip), and keep the words of them alive in your relationship.

Get out your wedding service notes and remember what you said to each other. Frame the words of your vows and put them on your bedroom wall. Repeat them to each other occasionally. Write them in the front of your diary or as a screensaver or wallpaper on your phone.

Words have power – that’s why we bother with them. You probably put a lot of thought into the words you spoke at your wedding or in other moments of commitment. Don’t let all that work go to waste! Use the power of the carefully-chosen words, made stronger by the importance of the day they were spoken, to strengthen your commitment to each other and your appreciation of all the ways you are daily fulfilling your vows.

And when it comes to that macro-tip (keep your vows – actually, you know, keep them), it’s easier to do if the content of your promise is in your brain, at the front somewhere, rather than in a dusty photo album at the back of the grey matter somewhere.

So keep your vows. Keep them in your brain. And have fun going through your wedding paraphernalia together, should you have any in a box somewhere.

If you’d like to tell us in the comments below what words you have used to commit to your partner, it would be a brilliant thread! Or if you have any other random microtips for good relationships – of any sort – please pop them in the comments below. Thanks!

This is the second in an occasional series on little things that can make important relationships better. Check out part one here and part three here.

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5 comments on “Microtips for Marriage #2: Keep your vows (in your brain)”

  1. ch3man Reply

    It may be tied up inside the promise to “honour” but the one word that isn’t used in the marriage service is “trust”. In the 40 years of my own marriage I have spent a lot of time away from home on business or I have had evenings out without my wife but with friends. Never once have I been asked the questions, “Where have you been?” and “What have you been up to?” and similarly I have never felt it necessary to ask those questions of my wife and I love her all the more for that. Were we just lucky to have found each other in the first place?

  2. Anna G Reply

    A good reminder 🙂 Our vows were short and sweet.

    A, do you love and trust M, and want to live with him, sharing everything?

    Will you stand by him no matter what happens, respecting his individuality, understanding his needs, accepting his changes and enjoying his love until death parts you?

    I give you this ring as a sign and symbol of my love.

    We married in April 2010 we didn’t choose to use the word honour but did include trust. I hope in 40 years time we will be able to look back having not questioned each other about where we’ve been and what we’ve been doing. I agree that trust is a very important part of a successful relationship.

  3. Andy Reply

    I like the idea of being reminded continually of the promises you made before God and people at your wedding day. we didn’t amend the standard wedding vows. our thinking was that people far smarter than us had framed these vows carefully, and our best amateur editing couldn’t improve on it, even though we wanted to include “obey” (as sydney anglicans have introduced as an option recently).

    at our church, when you enter into membership you promise certain things. The details escape me, but i reckon my attitude towards our local church would improve out of sight if i looked at it as a body i committed to, and to love it as christ loves it. to not speak ill of it, just as i wouldn’t dream of speaking ill of my wife to others. Gym membership probably has more commitment associated with it than membership with a particular congregation, and that’s a pity.

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