Inspire and Respond

I started out my day reading Psalm 119. It speaks of God’s unfailing love, truth and promises. And throughout all 176 verses, the author responds to God’s goodness with love and obedience.

God gives and I receive. How do I respond? I obey out of love. Or at least, that’s the goal.

I began thinking about my wedding vows and wondered if I was really doing what I said I would. We didn’t use the traditional vows, no obey to be found, but I could remember that I was “to inspire and to respond.”

I kept a copy of our vows, along with a copy of the program, invitation and the like so I would just find them and review what I agreed to 20 years ago.

I was on a scavenger hunt for just over one hour. Found my dress, shoes and bouquet. I also found an unfinished wedding album with our invitation and response card. I found journals, notes, cards and pictures from our courting years. Prom items, newspapers, Sports Illustrated magazines, report cards, and yearbooks fill one of the heaviest bins in our home. But, our vows were nowhere to be found!

Then I remembered, we have it on tape! Yes, I said tape – VHS to be exact. And the hunt began again! I only had to look three places before finding it. Luckily, we still have a VHS player hooked up to our TV so I was all set. Do you know how bad good quality VHS plays on a high-definition TV?

The video begins with beautiful music and our guests entering the sanctuary. Oh my! It may have been 1991 but we were definitely living in the 80’s. Big hair and mullets, shoulder pads and tapered pants. There were family members who have passed away: my dad, Craig’s mom, all of our grandparents and many aunts and uncles; some good friends, too. And so many friends! We truly enjoyed our day!

Our wedding was all about love. We had the traditional 1 Corinthians 13 “Love never fails” reading. The message was about true love, not balloon and teddy bear love but self-sacrificing love. And the songs expressed that the foundation of our love was planted in God’s love.

So what words did we choose to express how we would love each other?

“I take you to be my husband/wife from this time onward, to join with you and to share all that is to come, to give and to receive, to speak and to listen, to inspire and to respond, and in all circumstances of our life together, to be loyal to you with my whole life and with all my being until death parts us.”

I admit I have given – I’ve also dished it, threatened it, and taken it back. I’ve done a lot of talking but have not always listened with a desire to understand. I’ve responded quite often and it has not been pretty. There are times I have not been loyal with my whole being, desiring my will more than his, or God’s, and bad talking him for it.

In all of this, could I have possibly inspired or encouraged? Is he better today for having been with me?

 “The union of your spirits here has caused Him to remain, for whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name, there is love.” Wedding Song (There is Love)

As I think about where we’ve come from compared to where we are today, it could only be because of God’s great love for us. He has inspired us to be more than we could’ve been without Him or each other.

Something to Consider…

“We love because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 (ESV)

Love is an action. God gives, speaks and inspires. How do you respond to God’s love for you? Do you receive His love with a willing heart? Do you listen with a heart set on understanding His truth? Do you respond with obedience out of love for Him and others?

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One thought on “Inspire and Respond

  1. Mari, Thanks for this post. I had the opportunity this summer to review my vows as I looked my wedding memorabilia before Nicole’s wedding. Yea no obey going on in our vows either hummm to bad maybe it would have started out better if I had obeyed. I like you had all the Godly words and actions in the ceremony but at times have fallen very short in the marriage, even falling totally off at a time. I know that it is only because of God,s amazing grace and his love for me and my marriage that it continues to grow stronger in HIM. Thanks for reminding me to today to appreciate my spouse and my marriage and to Praise God for it. Cheryl

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