I didn't have to look up these vows. I remember them really well, from my wedding nearly ten years ago. And there have been many times when I've had to remind myself of them!
I'm really gutted at the moment about a few of our friends giving up on marriages because of "irreconcilable differences". It just seems so hopeless, with entrenched opinions and a total failure to see the other point of view. It's always very easy to see someone else's faults and very hard to see your own! In my experience, it's NEVER EVER the case that in a marriage dispute one party is totally in the right (shhhh.. don't tell my husband I've admitted this one...!).
I know that some situations are dreadful, abusive, destructive and hopeless. But to see this from the eyes of a child..... Reuben (our 6 year-old), last night prayed for a couple "that they would love each other again". Might seem simplistic (when life is actually so complicated), but really I think there's something in his views.
It would be interesting, I was speculating today, if instead of making a custody order, a court made an order telling a couple they just had to get back together and work through their differences. It would be what children want, that's for sure. They are very clear-thinking about families and loyalty.
We want to say as a church, that if there are people out there, who think that their marriage might be salvageable, but don't know where to start, we want to try and help if we can. Please get in touch. Kids might have a point to make about families after all.