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Those Three Words

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to join..."

We've all heard these lines before. We hear them during a solemn and reverent moment when a friend or loved one joins their life with that of another. Two people promising to love, honor, and obey each other under a variety of conditions, both good and bad. These promises, these vows, are supposed to be a commitment to each other, spoken from the heart. Why must they always "repeat after me?" Why are these vows only exchanged between bride and groom?

A vow is an expression of love, a commitment to love. When a man and a woman love one another and marry, they exchange vows as an expression of their love for each other. But, why should husband and wife be the only ones who can show their love for someone else by making vows? The love of family and friend can be as strong as that of a wedded couple. Can you not think of someone special in your life, someone you love other than your spouse, that you would like to tell exactly how much you love and care about them? What would you say if you did?

to listen when you speak and really hear what it is that you are saying.
to be by your side and hold you up when others try to knock you down.
to take you in my arms and tell you "it's ok" when your world is falling apart.
to share my wealth with you when you are without.
to believe in you as much as you believe in yourself.
to always be truthful and never lie to you.
to think of you often when we are apart.
to love you, no matter what

Simple or extravagent, a vow is a promise from the heart and can never be given without love. So, repeat after me...

William N. Simpson 1984,2001