Last summer (July 17, 2021) we enjoyed celebrating the wedding of my daughter, Jessica, to John Holland with a beautiful ceremony officiated by my dear friend, Joyce.
This summer (June 25, 2022) I was so honored to be the officiant for the wedding of Travis and Sam, one of Jessica’s college friends. It was such a joy to walk with them in creating their ceremony and so humbling to be a part of their special day with family and dear friends.
It was a spiritual experience for me to consider again, after 37 years of marriage, what it means to make a marriage commitment—to promise “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death does us part” (Sam and Travis’ vows to each other) and to walk together on life’s journey.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the famous French author of The Little Prince, wrote in Wind, Sand and Stars:
“Love is not just looking at each other, it’s looking in the same direction.”
I shared these words during the wedding ceremony:
“Walking together, in the same direction, is what your marriage commitment will require. The primary reason we commit to relationships, to promise stability, is to be there for the other. In a consumer-driven society, we are encouraged to buy new, better, more but the ancient monastic practice of stability encourages us to stay put. Nathan Oates writes, “Stability doesn’t mean you’re not trying to improve or that you don’t work on the problems. Just the opposite. It means you’re going to work hard, and you expect problems. This isn’t a fairy tale. This is learning how to love.”
Promising to stay, to walk together in all of life’s joys and challenges, is the vow of stability. One’s relationship can grow deep roots, in great love, by understanding that the other will always be there for you.