I don’t love the woman I married in 2006. Take a deep breath. Read that sentence again. Now pause and think about it for a few moments before you read further.
When I married Laura in 2006 we were poor college students. I had a job at Staples making a bit more than minimum wage. Laura was a student worker at our university. With an exchange of vows and rings two people and two lives were joined into one and we started out on an adventure together.
It’s now 2017. The two people who stood nervously across from each other on the platform of a Baptist church in Oklahoma City are not the same people. Sure, you can trace a line from where we are today to that stage but the experiences we have shared together, both good and bad, have made us very different than we were in 2006.
But wouldn’t you know that’s the beauty and wisdom of the traditional wedding vows? If you take them seriously and endeavor to work to apply them day in and day out they help to provide a foundation of learning and growing in love together. So my wife is not the same person I married in 2006 and I’m not the same person that she married. It would be foolish for us to try to recapture some fleeting moment that took place on a chilly January afternoon. Instead, each day together we live out our vows to each other in loving and being committed to the person standing there right now.
Life has changed us. We are different people now. But the beauty of marriage is that we get to continuously learn how to love each other over and over again for better, worse, in sickness, in health, forsaking all others, until death do we part.