Who gives this woman to this man in marriage?
Dear friends, we are gathered here today with joy in our hearts, because ______ and ______ have chosen to enter a lifelong marriage covenant with each other. God knew that it was not good for man to be alone, so He Himself made her a helper suitable for him. Marriage was God’s plan for the male and female, whom He made in His image and for whom He made the whole world. He Himself established the first marriage to bless Adam and Eve with a mate for life. Each would enjoy the love and blessing of the other.
In marriage God unites two people so that they become one. Marriage for this reason is sacred and holy. It is the making of a new family. Like no other relationship, husband and wife become one flesh.
Marriage before God is the making of a covenant with vows, wherein a man and a woman agree to love, honor and cherish each other. Their relationship is unique and the most intimate of any on earth. A man is to leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife. The breaking of this covenant is a very serious matter. “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
The blessing of marriage is the reassurance that throughout life each of you has the committed yourself to the other. This commitment will give you strength to endure the many hard challenges ahead of you. These vows you make are not to be taken lightly. They are solemn and should only be entered with great forethought and willingness. In marriage, love demonstrates itself in its highest and purest form.
Reading: 1 Cor. 13:4-8.
I say to both of you, commit yourselves to each other for the rest of your lives. Like the beautiful Ruth, ______, be in subjection to your husband _________. Tell him: “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” (Ruth 1:16,17)
To you, ________, Paul admonishes you to love your wife even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her. He who loves his wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church. Love her, listen to her, make her the queen of your life always.
Put the Lord first in your home, make each other second, and keep yourselves last. Never let anyone or anything pull you apart or build a wall between you. Every day demonstrate your love for each other. Never let the sun go down on your anger, but quickly reconcile and quickly forgive. Your home will be what you make it. If you do these things, you will have home full of love and happiness–all that you have dreamed about. That is what God wishes and what we all wish for you.
Today, God is making your new home, joining your hands and hearts. May He give you enough tears to keep you tender, enough hurts to keep you compassionate, enough failure to keep your hands clenched tightly in His, and enough success to make you sure you walk with Him. God wants you to be together as long as you live. “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder.”
Will you join hands and take these vows before God and these witnesses:
I, _______take you _______ to be my lawful wedded (husband/wife), to live together after the teaching of God, to love, honor, cherish, and (protect/respect) in sickness and in health, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, and to give myself to you and you alone until death do us part?
May I have the ring? (bride’s then groom’s)
This ring is an unending circle that reminds us of the eternal love you are to show to each other.
As often as you see this token of love, as often as you feel it upon your finger, let it remind you of the vows you are taking here today.
With this ring I thee wed
and pledge my faith and love
until death do us part.
Heavenly Father, we are grateful today for the privilege of witnessing these vows of love _____ and _____ have made to each other. We pray that their new home will be filled with joy and love. May you, Father, always be the center of their home. Help them through the changes and challenges ahead of them. Give them the wisdom and patience they will need as they adjust to a new life. Help them to keep the warmth of their love alive all the days of their lives.
As the years go by, Father, may their lives prosper. And if children be added to this home someday, may they be healthy and happy. Father, we are grateful that this is a Christian home, and we pray that you will always keep it secure in the hollow of your hand. Now,
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face to shine upon you;
And be gracious unto you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you
And give you peace. (Num. 6:24-26) In Jesus’ name, Amen.
By the authority vested in me as a minister of the Gospel of Christ and by this state, since you have made these vows and fulfilled the lawful requirements, I now pronounce you husband and wife.