This is dedicated to my wife, Jung Eun Kim.
What Janet vowed
Here before God and our witnesses I make my wedding vows to you so you might keep them in your heart.
I vow to be your helpmeet; your companion on our journey together in this life; your soft shoulder; your fellow worker. In whatever you undertake, I will endeavour to be supportive, encouraging, and constructive; I am your champion.
I vow to be mindful that I am a child of God, created in His image, and will guard my soul, heart and mind in order to be worthy of that status. Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, authentic, praiseworthy, and full of grace, these are what I will fill my mind with and meditate on.
I vow to be a mother for Kate and Emma in every respect, adding my love for them to your own, caring for their welfare and well-being, sharing in our joys and challenges as parents together.
And most of all, I vow to love you—the you created also in God’s image, the unique and ineffable combination of atoms whose variety and depth delight me—and to whose side I will cling all the days of my life.
What Jamie vowed
Jung Eun. Janet
Here before God and our witnesses I make my wedding vows to you so you might be mindful of them and draw strength from them;
I vow to love, honour and cherish you
always and in these ways:
With my love, to attend to your needs,
not waiting to be asked
nor acting without understanding,
but always with humility and respect,
my love strengthening in seeking to know you.
Honouring you, not doubting you
even when I’m in the dark;
speaking of you with wonder
encouraging you always
to become the self you desire.
I vow to cherish you and all that means
to return to the gift you are to me
to value your presence
to show gratitude even when
and especially when my thoughts are unworthy.
Loving, honouring and cherishing
I will be the best husband I can be:
So I vow today in asking you to be my wife.
Exulting in My Wife
Exulting is everywhere in song, but not in simple black and white. Those vows were shared first in front of two dozen family members in a simple, civic space; and again in Janet’s church, months later, sacred and celebratory—and wildly hopeful.
It’s been more than a month since the church ceremony and I’m pleased to find my heart more full and to have had an insight: “wife” is an excellent concept!
I hadn’t thought of it that way. I’d thought of “wife” as a word with a touch-too-formal aura of legalese about it. The legalese is necessary and good in its way but “wife” hardly covered the relationship.
Call me thick or a pinhead but it took me that long to figure out that a wife is an excellent concept. My wife brings me great joy. Need I add that my greatest joy is in making her laugh—“’cause I can watch you smile at the same time…”.