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Homemaking

May 21, 2019


8 years ago today Bruce and I made a covenant with each other to partner together in life and love.

I was rereading my vows last night and was surprised to find a promise that I had forgotten was so specifically stated:

“I commit to our home. No matter the location where God establishes our home, I will make it my favorite place.

Even at 23, making home my favorite place was my heart’s intent. We’ve lived in many different places within the past 8 years (4 places in the last 6 months while we await the house we actually own to be finished), and I’m sure we will live many more places in the years to come. I’ve found home is not merely a place though, it’s a decision.

It’s not the type of house or geographical location that determines home. Home is deciding, no matter where you are, to live a good life there.

What do I even mean by that? Home is your place to land. It’s choosing gratitude for what you hold, not grappling for what you have yet to reach.

I know from my own experience that it’s so tempting to put life on pause until everything is Pinterest worthy (or Linked In impressive). That kind of temptation can push you to strive for perfection and disregard peace. It can make you decide to live your life only in small boxes that show up in scrolling newsfeeds. It can deceive you into believing that the meaning of life is limited to platform, position, and possessions.

Oh, but it’s so much more than those things.

Your life is marked by endless promise. It’s bigger than you think. It’s better than you could dream.

What does this have to do with marriage? Well, marriage is a decision too. Maybe you’re expecting me to tell you marriage is hard work, and not a fairy tale, and yada, yada, yada.

Instead, I just want to share a reminder with everyone reading this that marriage can be better than any of us could ever dream. Because, like home, you get to decide what marks your marriage.

Yes, life is hard, and therefore, marriage is hard. I’m not in denial of those facts. I know circumstances can be rough, and we’ll face disappointments, and we have to navigate the mundane, and expectations can get totally blown to bits. But it’s those facts that make this truth so much sweeter.

We hold the power to decide, especially in the midst of life’s hardness and monotony, what kind of marriage we’ll have.

I believe one of the greatest gifts you could ever give your spouse is your decision to have a great marriage. Bruce has given me this gift every single day for the last 8 years. I’m so deeply thankful.

This isn’t a brag, it’s simply a reminder. When it comes to marriage, your decision isn’t restricted to just whether you’ll get married or stay married. You carry the privilege of possibility every day with your decision about what kind of marriage you’re going to have.

Some days this will look like romantic gestures and “fairytale” stuff. There really is no good reason for romance to ever go away. You’re the only legitimate lover your spouse can have, so be the best one you can be.

Other days, the decision for a great marriage may mean refraining from lashing out or rolling your eyes or walking away. It might be putting your phone down or disappointing others so you can prefer your spouse. It may mean darting your eyes to the ceiling and not taking a second look (and I’m not just talking to the men).

Maybe today the decision will be seemingly small like not poking fun at your spouse with your friends, or maybe it’s much bigger like being an anchor, a place of peace, in the midst of life’s storms.

You get to decide.

You’re not going to always decide well, so maybe your decision today is confessing the bad choices and seeking forgiveness and change.

You’ve got a life to live right here, and you get to decide how good it’s going to be. Again, I know that you don’t always get to choose your circumstances or even your setting. But you get to decide your thoughts, your beliefs, your actions, and your words.

Your life is a gift to be enjoyed, not a penalty to endure.

Home doesn’t have to be a cage, and marriage doesn’t have to be a ball and chain. It can be your favorite place.

My prayer for those reading this is that the joy of that possibility will flood your hearts and minds.


P.S. I mentioned in a previous post that one of the reasons I started publishing my writing is to archive our stories for future generations to discover. For this reason, I’ve included our wedding vows from May 21, 2011.

Bruce’s Vows

I, Bruce, pledge myself to you, Lindsay, for as long as I live.

Biblical Charge [Ephesians 5:22-33]

I recognize that I have been commissioned by God to demonstrate a love for you by laying down my life for you in a way that reflects Christ’s love for His bride, the Church. I will never deny you protection, provision, or leadership.

I commit to leading our marriage with honor and integrity so that it may be a living testimony of Christ’s commitment to the Church.

Grace

In the same way that God freely gives us His grace and unmerited favor, I promise to love you freely, without condition.

Inheritance

I commit to discovering the depth of our inheritance in Christ, by studying God’s word and intentionally declaring His promises over our family.

I commit to relentlessly pursue all that God has for us.

I will honor the godly men and woman that impact our lives, so that we may receive their inheritance in Christ. I will honor spiritual authority and model this for our family so that together we can create a culture of honor in our home.

Calling

I commit to our joint calling to be pioneers and to take new ground in the Kingdom – to be apostolic and go when and where the Lord sends us.

I will submit to God’s direction and I will let His will supersede my own preferences as we strive to submit to His leading – where we live, serve, and love will be directed by Him.

I submit to our calling in God in which He promised us that we will take back ground the enemy has stolen from our generation; that we will call things that are not as if they were and that we will break new ground.

I will honor and support the vision, direction, and plans the Lord entrusts us.

I will respect the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and encourage you to do and achieve all that God has put in your heart to do.

Friendship

I commit to you that you will always be my closest friend. I will invest in our friendship by pursuing our common interests and discovering new aspects that we can enjoy together.

I will celebrate you, your companionship and your interests. I will not exclude you from any aspect of my life nor will I withhold my fellowship from you. I will strive to establish a style of communication that is always kind and respectful not allowing bad habits of poor communication to form.

Romance

I commit to our intimacy.

By God’s grace, you will always be the sole object of my affections. I commit to walking in purity and honor and not allowing any other to invade the privacy of our intimacy.

I will create a safe place for you that will never be shared with anyone else.

I will help protect this perfect gift, given to us by God, with honesty, affection, and closeness.

I will not allow popular culture, peer pressure or personal ego to justify any ungodly reasoning or behavior in this area.

Home

I will provide spiritual covering for our family and will be intentional in creating a godly environment that submits to God’s word as the final authority. I will take on the responsibility to pray for you, for our children, and to be watchful over the spiritual atmosphere of our home.

I will celebrate every achievement and help nurture a fun environment of joy and laughter.

Family

I commit to raise our children by discipling them to the Lord and parenting by the Spirit.

I will partner with you as we strive to nurture our children to love Jesus, love His word, walk in His grace, and enjoy their inheritance in Christ.

Lindsay,

I will love you, unconditionally.

Lead you, kindly.

Pursue our calling, boldly.

Lay down my life for you, willingly.

Enjoy you, fully.

Celebrate you, constantly.

Do life with you, joyfully.

And serve God with you, radically.

Lindsay’s Vows

I, Lindsay, pledge myself to you, Bruce, for as long as I live.

Biblical Charge [Ephesians 5:22-33]

Recognizing that you have been commissioned by God to demonstrate a love for me that reflects Christ’s love for His bride, the Church, I will never deny your offer of protection, provision, or rescue.

I will respect you and submit myself to you, wholeheartedly, in every season, circumstance, trial, and triumph.

I promise to trust your standard, your direction, your decision, and your counsel.

Grace

Based on the grace and unmerited favor initiated by Christ, I promise to love you without condition.

Inheritance

I will actively seek to comprehend the depth of our divine inheritance in Christ, in order to promote and properly apply its richness to our marriage and future family.

Calling

I commit to our joint calling.

I will honor and support the vision, direction, and plans that the Lord entrusts us.

I will not reject the prompting of the Holy Spirit, nor discourage you from running after His purpose.

Friendship

I commit to our friendship.

I will celebrate you. I will enjoy your companionship by appreciating your personality, hobbies, and preferences.

I will not miss out on the joy of further discovering your heart, nor will I withhold my fellowship from you.

Romance

I commit to our romance and intimacy.

I will help protect this perfect gift, given to us by God, with honor, affection, closeness, belonging, and confidence.

I will not cheapen our intimacy with manipulation, impurity, selfishness or insecurity, nor will I threaten this gift by making public what is only to be kept between the two of us.

I will remain influenced and inspired solely by the Author of Romance.

I will not allow popular culture, peer pressure or personal ego to justify any ungodly reasoning in this area.

Home

I commit to our home. No matter the location where God establishes our home, I will make it my favorite place.

I will utilize my creativity, passions, talents, and skills first and foremost at home.

Family

I commit to our future family.

I will raise our children in the wisdom and stature of our Heavenly Father.

I will nurture a culture of honor among our family and consistently demonstrate a oneness between you and I.

Bruce,

I will love you, unconditionally.

Respect you, confidently.

Pursue our call, boldly.

Enjoy you, fully.

Celebrate you, constantly.

Do life with you, joyfully.

And serve God with you, radically.


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