Next week, I am going to walk down the aisle for the third time. This was never my plan. I thought that I would only do this once. I am going to go through my third wedding ceremony. This time is different from the previous two times. Next week I will marry my husband for the third time.
That sounds weird, right? That was not where you thought this article was going, did you? Let me explain.
First off, no we have never gotten divorced or even separated. Our first wedding didn’t take place in the Catholic Church. We had a non-denominational wedding in a small chapel. It was very fitting for us at the time and where we were in life. The wedding was beautiful and our day was perfect. It was the perfect wedding for the two people we were at that moment. I don’t regret anything about that day. I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for that day.
Taking our vows seriously
Before our first child was born we had our marriage blessed because we were asked to be Godparents and also were planning to baptize our baby. It was a formality. It was done in the rectory. It was required for us to be Godparents. I didn’t even remember to bring my ring with me. I was more focused on comfort because my fingers were swollen from pregnancy. Neither of us took it real seriously. It was short and off we went. Not really thinking much about it again.
We actually weren’t really following our faith much. To be completely honest, we probably didn’t have much faith at all. Sure, I believed God existed and my husband was 50/50 on the idea. We went to church occasionally because we thought we should raise our children with religion. It was more because we felt it was necessary but not because our hearts were in it. Neither of us were really close to God. It also didn’t bother us too much that this was how we were living our lives.
But changes came. Big changes. We left the Catholic Church for a protestant church. In our time there we read the bible, grew to know God and became close to God. We found a stronger relationship and faith then either of us thought was possible. Because of that, we were drawn back to our home, The Catholic Church. We have openly discussed many times that we both felt we didn’t take our vows as seriously as we should have. We didn’t really know what they meant when we said them.
Understanding the Biblical definition of marriage
We both had a different idea of marriage than we have now. My husband has admitted that when we got married he thought that divorce was always an option if things weren’t working out. We had a very secular marriage. That doesn’t mean we were not happy or we didn’t love one another, but our love is different now that we understand the biblical ideal for marriage.
In conversations my husband has stated that his reasons for marrying me then are nothing like what he believes marriage is now. By following our faith, learning God’s intention for marriage, we understand marriage so much more. We understand that we are one in the eyes of God. We now know what those vows mean. We wanted to do our vows again. We wanted to say them again, but this time with full understanding of what they mean when we are saying them. To actually know, believe, and mean the vow we are making to one another on every level. To look into each other’s eyes and profess our love, our devotion and our commitment before God.
Recommitting to Each Other
I know people think this is silly. We never got divorced. These vows don’t legally change anything. We already had our marriage blessed and it is recognized by the Catholic Church. We know that our relationship is solid. After 10 years together and seven years of marriage, we have a good life and a good marriage. But for us, this is completely necessary in our walk with God and for our commitment to each other.
So next week, during marriage and family week, it will happen. We will stand up at the altar, before God and say those vows. We will be invested in what we are saying. We will focus on the importance of marriage. We will see it as a sacrament. We will look at it as a way to bind us together and bring us closer to God. It will be a symbol to our children of how important marriage is and how seriously their parents take it. It will be our commitment to one another to continue to walk together, with the Lord, through this life.
Next week, I marry my best friend all over again. But this time it means so much more.