A reflection on the occasion of my 14th wedding anniversary...
I was 19 when I made the solemn vows that bound me in love and faithfulness to my husband. I have been asked on occasion if I had any idea what I was getting into. No, not really. But I knew with certainty that I would give my life in service to this promise. Perhaps my youth allowed me to take such a vow without any fear and full conviction of purpose.
If I knew then what I know now--how the Cross comes in unexpected ways and how the pain of love is only exceeded by the joy--would I have taken his ring? The truth is that I have never regretted the road taken. I have been afraid. I have been weary and confused. I have wondered how to get through. I have wept. But I have never wished to go back. Never wanted to revoke those vows that have proven to be the most unexpected and cherished gift of my life aside from Christ Himself. My path to heaven. My greatest joy.
Following is an excerpt from G.K. Chesterton's essay "A Defense of Rash Vows." He gets it.
"The revolt against vows has been carried on in our day even to the extent of a revolt against the typical vow of marriage. It is most amusing to listen to the opponents of marriage on this subject. They appear to imagine that the ideal of constancy was a yoke mysteriously imposed on mankind by the devil, instead of being, as it is, a yoke consistently imposed by all lovers on themselves. They have invented a phrase, a phrase that is a black and white contradiction in two words--"free love"--as if a lover ever had been, or ever could be, free. It is the nature of love to bind oneself, and the institution of marriage merely paid the average man the compliment of taking him at his word. Modern sages offer to the lover, with an ill-favored grin, the largest liberties and the fullest irresponsibility; but they do not respect him as the old Church respected him; they do not write his oath upon the heavens, as the record of his highest moment. They give him every liberty except the liberty to sell his liberty, which is the only one that he wants."