“I take you to be my spouse.”
When I do a wedding ceremony I always start to get anxious when the time comes for the couple to recite their vows. The main reason is that I have nightmares of saying the wrong names for the couple, or saying something dumb like “do you John take Suzy to be your husband,” and then realizing I was one tuxedo away from conducting a civil union. It’s terrible!
I can thankfully say I’ve yet to do this only by the grace of God, but I’m sure now it’s only a matter of time.
As we start breaking down the traditional wedding vows it doesn’t take long for us to get to one of the most intimate parts of the marriage vows.
“I Take You.”
Man, just think about that for a minute! “I…Take…You.”
That is intense!
Consider what you are saying. You are telling the person (and God) that you are accepting this person into your life as is. There are no qualifiers. I Take You doesn’t allow for exceptions like “I’ll take you if you lose weight” or “stop drinking” or “choose a new sports team” or “get a better job.”
No, I Take You means you have ended the dating, the window shopping, the considering, and you’ve made up your mind. You’ve taken in all the information, experiences, and opinions you needed in the time you think was appropriate and now it’s done.
This person is going to be your spouse and you promise to take them as is.
Let me ask you something that may sting.
Are you holding resentment towards your spouse for things he or she does that you looked past before you were married?
In other words, are you deciding now not take your spouse “as is” anymore?
Part of getting to the I Take You moment is taking the time to really get to know the person you are going to marry beyond how they look in a dimly lit bar. It’s asking real questions that have real answers and not just ones that can be answered Yes, No, or LOL.
It’s knowing who you are first and what you want in a spouse second. You need to establish priorities that are nonnegotiable like God, kids, and finances before you get in the white dress or penguin suit and are all hopped up on emotion.
Proverbs 20:25 says “It is a trap to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider one’s vows.”
In other words, don’t promise first and then think second. You need to think through what you are doing, whom you are doing it with, and what that could look like in the future before you look that person in the eyes and say “I Take You”.
Now don’t kid yourself. There isn’t a flawless person out there for everyone. My wife got the last one. :)
All of us have our nuances and garbage that we come to the table of relationship with, but what is critical is that we call these things for what they are and not ignore them or glamorize them into something they are not.
- A person that can’t balance a checkbook is not just free spirited, they are irresponsible.
- A person that gets drunk every night isn’t the life of the party, they are an alcoholic.
- A person that doesn’t believe in God isn’t “finding himself or herself,” they are an atheist who will pull you more away from God than you will ever know.
You need to call it for what it is now so that later on you aren’t staring in a mirror asking “what happened to my life?” I want you to be fully aware of all that it means to be a spouse to someone and enjoy the ride that is called marriage.
Because when you stand in front of your loved ones and God on that special day and say “I Take You” that is the beginning of a vow that lasts a lifetime.