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Monday, August 6, 2012

Renewal of Vows Wedding Ceremony - Ephesians 5:31-32

One of the most beautiful events in life are weddings. There is something special when two people uphold the biblical covenant of marriage at weddings. I have been a best man several times, apart of many groups of groomsmen, and attended numerous weddings over the last seven years including my own brother's wedding. All of my friends are in their twenties, so it is statistically and sociologically the appropriate time when adults get married. Therefore, I think it is perfectly fine to state the past seven years have been a giant wedding marathon!

Every wedding I have been to has helped me see the theological unity that is displayed through the mystery of Christ and the church, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church" (Eph. 5:31-32). The more I have focused on this biblical parallel, noting that Christian marriage should reflect and imitate, has increased a marital joy and theological awareness in my own marriage. I can rightly understand my role and relationship as a husband, and the same can be said about my awesome wife, when we both reflect and imitate this parallel. Since we try our best to always stay centered on this concept in our marriage, we have effectively been able to counsel couples how to have a better marriage by reflecting and imitating the relationship between Christ and the church in their roles and relationships as husband and wife.

This week in Las Vegas, NV, my wife and I got to be apart of something very special. It was a renewal of vows wedding ceremony for a couple we counseled at Harvest. My wife and I counseled this couple for almost half of a year. Over four months of biblical counseling as a couple (counseling began with them separated as individuals), the couple that was on the brink of separation renewed their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and reconciled their marriage. One year later, they invited me to do a renewal of vows wedding ceremony for them due to the fact we were there for them and helped restore their marriage. This was such a glorious honor!

I was excited to do their ceremony for them. After it was over, it was evident the entire ceremony glorified God. They had personal vows which reflected the biblical covenant of marriage they desire to have in Christ. In the audience, there was many tears of joy to see this couple renew their vows. Below are their vows they renewed:

Do you promise to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love, comfort, honor, and support each other in sickness and in health; and forsaking all other relationships to remain loyal only to one another as long as you both shall live?

We Do.

Do you promise to renew the vows which you made when you were first united in marriage?

We Do.

Do you promise to keep the vows and covenant which you made at your wedding?

We Do.

Do you promise to cultivate your love for each other by discipline, understanding, trust, compassion, thoughtfulness, and patience with mutual consideration?

We Do.

Do you promise to endeavor to create a Christian environment in your home and help each other to live Godly lives in Christian service?

We Do.

And will everyone present today promise to keep Jarin and Veronica accountable to these promises they are pleading to one another, ensuring the renewal of their marriage covenant to remain Christ-centered, faithful, and filled with love and joy, until death along shall part them.

Answer “WE WILL.”

"I, JARIN, take you, VERONICA, to be my wedded wife in Christ. With deepest joy I renew my marriage covenant to you in Christ. As is Christ to the church, so I will be to you a loving and faithful husband. I promise to demonstrate my headship over you even as Christ does over me, knowing that His Lordship is one of the holiest desires for my life. I promise you my deepest love, my fullest devotion, and my kindest care. I promise I will live first unto God, and then unto you. I promise that I will lead our marriage and family into a life of faith and hope grounded in the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. With faithful obedience to the authority of the Word of God, and my unceasing desire to be with you forever as my best friend, I pledge to you my life as a loving and faithful husband in Christ."

"I, VERONICA, take you, JARIN, to be my wedded husband in Christ. With deepest joy I renew my marriage covenant to you in Christ. As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord. As is the church in her relationship to Christ, so I will be to you. I promise I will live first unto God, and then unto you. I promise to love you, obey you, respect you, honor you, care for you, and ever seeking to please you while raising our family in the ways of the Lord. I understand God has prepared me as your lifelong companion to strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. With faithful obedience to the authority of the Word of God, and my unceasing desire to be with you forever as my best friend, I pledge to you my life as an obedient and faithful wife in Christ."


Over the past several weeks of my blogging absence, I have been working on their ceremony transcript and planning a ministry vacation to Las Vegas (which I will blog about later). It was well worth it! The ceremony went well, and the couple experience the redeeming power of the gospel that brought many blessings. They demonstrated how all of the things that were broken in their marriage have been put together through a biblical rendition of Ephesians 5:31-32, establishing their roles and relationships in the marriage as with Christ and his church. I am so proud of them!

"And have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator."
(Colossians 3:10)

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