The Story Behind My Wedding Vows

Trevor and I chose to write our own wedding vows. Listen in as we share them with each other (he goes first, and then I do my best not to bawl my way through mine).

Now that you’ve watched them, I thought you might like to hear the “story behind the vows.” Why’d I choose these words rather than others?

I’m glad you asked. Let’s take it line by line:

Trevor Jon, I can’t imagine another imperfect man more perfect for me.

Some vows I’ve heard set a man so high he’s bound to crash and fall. I wanted to begin by remembering that no one—other than God—is perfect. Down with too-high expectations for Trevor; and, at the same time, up with appreciation for him! I’m amazed at how beautifully he complements me. Only God could have arranged such a match.

Thank you, thank you for choosing me. It will be my greatest honor to seek to bless you every day for the rest of our short lives this side of eternity

Some vows I’ve heard set a man so high he’s bound to crash and fall. I wanted to begin by remembering that no one—other than God—is perfect.

It’s not every day a guy asks you to marry him. May I never get over the wonder that he chose me.

I want to find fresh ways to bless him each day, remembering that life here is short, eternity is long, and the greatest in God’s kingdom are those who stoop low to serve.

With God’s help, I will seek to be satisfied in His love each day before I seek comfort in your love. After Him, I will prioritize our relationship above all other relationships.

As the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl, I know full well that my default position is to fashion Trevor
into a “little g” god. The only way I will keep from doing this is by keeping the “Big G” God first. I need to prioritize Trevor without idolizing Trevor.

By God’s power, I will have eyes for you and you alone, and I will do whatever it takes to remain exclusively faithful to you—both physically and emotionally.

Like I said, this has been a problem area for me in the past, and I’m not naïve enough to think I’ll never struggle with wandering eyes and a wandering heart again. Over a decade of working in women’s ministry has taught me that emotional affairs are just as wrong and dangerous as physical affairs. I am committed to guarding my eyes, which will help me guard my heart ( Prov. 4:23–25).

By God’s power, I will joyfully submit to your leadership—as unto Him—in all areas of life.

I purposefully paired “joyfully” and “submit” together as most people (including myself for many years!) have a prickly, incorrect view of submission. If Jesus—”for the joy set before him“—submitted to His Father when it meant humiliating, excruciating death, how can I not joyfully submit to the Father’s beautiful design for a husband and his wife?

By God’s grace, I will always seek to outdo you in showing honor . . .

This comes from Romans 12:10, which was our theme verse while we were dating. In fact, I wrote a post about it here (though at the time I didn’t let readers know I was the girl I was writing about).

. . . and I will respect you in the way I talk about you with others.

Far too often my words have torn down rather than built up. I especially need to be on guard while hanging out with other women, as we so easily fall into this subtle, slippery sin.

With God’s help, I will daily choose contentment and gratitude over complaining and bitterness, and I will do everything in my power to never take you for granted.

Godliness with contentment” isn’t natural for me, but I am setting out to make it mine.

With God’s help, I will hold no part of myself back from you—and at the same time, I will do everything I can not to overwhelm you.

Brutally open, honest communication is amazingly hard for me. Trevor has been helping me grow in this area. At the same time, I want to be wise about what and when and how much I share with him. I could easily overwhelm anyone!

And because of His immense grace toward me, I promise to never, ever divorce you, regardless of the circumstances.

By God’s power, I intend to do everything I can to give the world a right impression of God’s faithful, steadfast love toward His people.

Divorce has become so “normal” in our world, but it flies in the face of everything marriage ultimately points to. Marriage is a “great mystery” that gives the world a tiny picture of God’s never-giving up, covenant love for His bride. By God’s power, I intend to do everything I can to give the world a right impression of God’s faithful, steadfast love toward His people.

How about you? If you were getting married soon, what would be important for you to include in your vows?

PS: At our second wedding reception, we were asked why we chose the vows we chose. Hear our thoughts.

About Author

Paula Marsteller

Paula no longer tries to catch guys' attention by swallowing live goldfish, arm wrestling, and jumping down flights of stairs. (She's married to a wonderful man now!) She spends her days caring for her son, Iren, and writing for Revive Our Hearts. She's the author of Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Girl: On Her Journey from Neediness to Freedom, and she and her family live in New York.

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  • Joy

    Wow, this reminds me that ultimately dating and marriage is all about God and not about ourselves or own own interests. It is far more than just finding your love, it is more special and it shows something so much bigger than ourselves.
    Congrats Paula, I pray that God helps you to accomplish your vows and that you will glorify Him by doing so.

    • phendricks

      Amen. Thank you so much, Joy!

  • Paula, you looked absolutely BEAUTIFUL!!
    I loved your vows. They were wonderful, humble, and glorifying. You were constantly admitting that you could only do these things through God’s help, and I think that is so great and different from “I will do this,” or “I will do that.”
    It’s been awesome to see how God has been faithful in your life and provided you with a husband. God is so good!!!

    • your pretty 🙂

    • phendricks

      Isn’t He?! Thank you, Brooklyn!

  • Stephanie

    This is really encouraging Paula! 🙂 I’m excited to hear how God will work through you and your husband in the future to further the Gospel!

    By the way, did you have audios or videos that you posted on here because I don’t see a link? Hope to hear or see them soon! 🙂

  • Li An

    Wow, so beautiful 🙂
    I am so encouraged to view marriage in the same way. Thanx

    • phendricks

      You bet, LiAn!

  • Zoe

    Paula, they were honestly the most beautiful vows I have ever heard, they were completely Christ-centered and humble, I hope that one day I can write vows that beautiful. I speak on behalf of a lot of girls reading the blog when I say that all your posts are a true encouragement & really benefit us in life’s journey. I pray that God will bless you and Trevor 🙂

    • phendricks

      Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers, Zoe. The fact that you are praying for us means so much!

  • Deena Maga

    Wow this really blessed me a lot to see so much commitment it’s amazing to see how God works may God continue to bless both of you in this marriage, may this journey be a bless and good one. It’s just so mature and I think that’s very important in life in regards to marriage we know what we’re getting our selves into.

    • phendricks

      Thanks for your encouragement, Deena!

      • Deena Maga

        Ur welcome, Paula!! :). God bless.