Alex William. I love you. Today will never come again.
-All of what I want to vow to you today is based on the truth that Jesus keeps His promises and He will bring both you and I to perfection in Him one day. I want these vows to be freeing, instead of binding, for us. How completely satisfying it is to turn from my limitations to a Jesus who has none.
-As you know, I somehow have so many expectations of what you should be, and also probably what I think our marriage should be.
1. I want to promise you, that even though I will not remember this in every moment, I do know that these created expectations cause death in relationship.
I will let go of expectations.
-To do this means I have to trust. The struggle for me involves trusting Jesus, especially when my heart is uncertain, and realizing that every step of our marriage is actually about trusting Him.
2. I promise you I will trust that Jesus is capable of taking my life, my comforts, my hardships, often all involving you (ha), and trading them for something so much greater.
3. I promise I will not look to you to satisfy my innate needs for security and love. Jesus alone can fill those.
-I am so thankful there is no perfect place we need to be in or perfect place we need to get to in order for our marriage to be good.
4. But, I want to promise you moments of joy and beauty as we do figure things out as a married couple.
-I am grateful for the patience and grace you pour out on me. We can use our words to breathe life into another person or to suck the life right out of them. You repeatedly choose to give me life.
5. I promise to breathe life into you.
6. I promise to follow you. I will listen to you and I will truly hear you. This does not come easily for me. But just as the church is to follow Jesus, I am to follow you. I am to respect you, whether or not you are acting respectable. I am called to do this, and I know His plan for this provides us with abundant life.
-Jesus sees the depths of our hearts, and He loves us the same.
7. I promise, in following Jesus and in marrying you (because I do see that they are linked) to pursue knowing you more and more and loving you more and more. Imagine, one day, our children saying, “We knew Jesus because we saw His love in our parents, and that equipped us to live a fearless life.”
-Finally, I am far from perfect. We are far from perfect. Despite what many people may have seen, you know we have been through ugly times and very ugly times. It is not my strength or my love for you that pushes us together through those times. I would be lying if I claimed that. It is truly the love of Jesus, His faithfulness, and His VERY REAL, unending grace, that has allowed us to be here today, and will allow us to live this life together forever.
-I am so thankful for you, this good, good gift from Him.
How can I put into words how I am feeling today? How can I explain the undeserving love God has bestowed upon me through you? And do it without becoming a wreck.
Hannah, I wish I could remember the first time I ever saw you, but I will never forget the first time I ever met you. On that day, two and a half years ago, I told my family that I just talked to the most beautiful girl I had ever known. I thought there was no way my life story could be amazing enough to have you in it.
God had better plans for me than I ever knew were possible.
I spent a large portion of my life searching for love – even from God. I thought I had love figured out and wanted to play the biggest role in finding my wife. God had better plans and at the time, when I expected it the least, he brought you into my life. No one can convince me that this story – the story of you and me – was not ordained and perfectly orchestrated by God. I prayed for my future wife from a very young age, I was such a sap, and I could never have created a more perfect woman than you, Hannah Jernigan. I am so lucky God created you for me.
Your smile makes my heart jump. I love your smile. Your eyes make me want to grasp on to every fleeting moment we have together. Your hair makes me weak in the knees, and the touch of your skin gives me goose bumps. This physical attraction will never waiver, but your heart is what has made me the luckiest man alive. You are the smartest person I know.
I promise to love you unconditionally, like Christ loves the church. I vow to put you first and always be on your team. I want to be your servant leader. I want to be your protector. I want to live for you every day and never stop trying to be better. Thank you for waiting patiently for a man of God to come and sweep you off your feet.
My first promise to you as your husband: I will never leave your side. And I will always love you, because God commands me to, and I would be a fool to lose this treasure.
I used to believe that I knew what love was—then you came into my life and would not accept anything less than God’s love through me. I promise you will never go to bed or wake up wondering if I love you. I am so excited that after all of the goodbyes we have had, we finally get to go home together.
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3 Sentence Love Story
(From Alex’ perspective) I first heard of Hannah Jernigan when we both attended a small (900 student) undergrad and my cross country teammates talked about her being “one of the hottest girls on campus” during a long run. I never introduced myself to her though because she was way out of my league. Fast forward to over 5 years later, we both ended up moving to Nashville (at different times), met through a mutual friend from undergrad, and the rest is now history! 🙂