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Who doesn’t remember feeling nervous just before their wedding ceremony? When we get married we pledge ourselves to each other. We promise to become united in our being and in our purpose in life and to love, care and support each other through good times and bad.
Those vows will always be important, and any renewal of your vows needs to re-emphasise them. However, in addition to your first vows, you may find that you want to add some new vows. As your family grows with each new addition, you may find that the vows which you originally pledged to each other need to grow too.
Many couples find that it makes sense to write new vows after they become parents. It allows you to revisit your relationship, reflect on what has changed and agree on what’s important.
Growing Your Vows
For example, you may in the course of rethinking your vows feel that one vow you may not have made was an explicit one to your children which was to love them unconditionally and to care for them always. You may realise when you write these vows that perhaps you had not considered what would happen to your children if you were not around for them. Some parents rewrite their wills to include nominating a guardian and including care arrangements for their children.
Recognising and Appreciating Each Other
You will over time also realise that there are some aspects of your relationship which you cherish and that you want to re-emphasise. Perhaps your wife has supported you through many hardships at work and at home? Perhaps your husband took a leave of absence from work to help you care for the kids? You might want to recognise how much you appreciate your spouse’s support and promise to support each other equally.
Remembering and Fulfilling Your Original Vows
You might also want to renew the actual vows you said on your wedding day. They should still be as relevant as they were when you first spoke them and reflecting on them after some time has passed may make you more aware of how well you may have fulfilled those vows to each other. You may even decide that you want to do more to make your original vows even more central to your marriage.
Unlike the first time round when you said your vows at your wedding, you don’t have to register yourselves at the ROM to renew your vows. Renewing your vows can be done privately at home or it can be done with a religious leader of your faith. It can be a big public affair with a re-enactment of your wedding ceremony and a big dinner to follow, or it can be held simply and quietly at home. The key focus however, should be on the vows which you renew and enhance together. Here are some ways that you can begin the process of renewing your vows to each other.
Take a look at the original programme from your wedding ceremony. Talk about the vows you pledged and see if you think you want to add more to them. You might be adding newer vows – especially those concerning your children, or you might update your old vows with humourous details or inspiring stories to illustrate just how you have lived those vows in your marriage.
Once you are happy with the new vows, discuss how best you want to share them. Will you have a private ceremony? Will you combine it with a religious ceremony? Will family and friends be present?
Don’t stop at renewing your vows just once. Think of this as an ongoing process of growth and commitment. Try to make time to do this at major milestones in your life. When you have kids, when they grow up and leave your home and when you retire. Revisiting your vows is a wonderful way to remember your blessings and remind yourself of the things which are important in your relationship.
Organised by Families for Life (FFL), I Still Do is an annual campaign that celebrates love and marriage. This year’s campaign will run from Feb to Mar 2021, and FFL is inviting all couples to join us in this season of love and joy. Click here for more information.
Tags: Commitment /Growing your relationship
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