Two syllables form a sentence that makes a promise we remember day after day in a lifetime together.
When we vow, “I do,” before all to hear, we’re saying we promise to love, respect, and honor our spouse. Its a big moment. A moment we can draw a big red dot on and say, after this point, my life was never the same; I was never the same.
But whether we celebrate those vows with expensive champagne and two hundred of our closest friends and family, or in a quieter fashion, with just a chosen few, the words are the same, and the promise doesn’t change, we look at our spouse, and we say, “I do.” “I do promise to stay by your side for life.”
Its not a phrase you say often, “I do.” For such a big promise,they aren’t two words we say again and again. Maybe its because it sticks the first time, but I think its really because the words “I do,” are woven in the fabric of our lives together as a married couple.
Maybe the vows we say aloud to each other are few, to remind us that the promise is fulfilled in how we live it.
“I do,” is wrapped in flannel pajamas cuddled in the corner of the couch.
“I do,” pours like fresh hot coffee into my mug when I’m too exhausted to make it myself.
“I do,” fortifies me to insist I don’t want the last bowl of ice cream in the carton (when I do!)
“I do,” leaves my lips in the words “I’m sorry,” and “You were right,” or (the hardest) “I was wrong.”
“I do,” wets my cheek with his tears as he bows over me on the operating table as we wait to hear our babies first gasping cries.
“I do,” lies curled between us, as I crawl into bed beside him, when my anger prods me to sleep on the couch.
“I do,” is tucked in wrinkles, winking in silver hairs, and glowing in angry red scars and white stretch marks as we look at each other and see someone beautiful.
“I do,” twinkles in the knowing look he gives me as we exchange a shared unspoken secret.
“I do,” wells with pride in my eyes as I look at my daughter and see all the things I love about my husband in her.
“I do,” is folded in warm laundry, melted like the peanut butter he puts on his pancakes, sprayed in the scrubbing bubbles I foam the sink with after he’s shaved.But for us, “I do,” is also an admission that, “I don’t.” No. I don’t measure up. Neither does he.
But in the moments when we have nothing left to say, we look to a God Who says, “I do,” not just with words, but with His hands spread wide, His head bowed, and His final breath.
And we look to a God who breathes again, and says “I will.” God that gives us the grace, to forgive, to love, to trust… to say “I do” again.