We rejoice in the ability to give ourselves first to the Lord and then to one another.
"When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God."--Ecclesiastes 5:4-7
We chose to use vows that were not just "canned", but meaningful and customized to fit the two of us because we know that God has fashioned us for one another according to His good pleasure. Here are the vows we entered into on June 18th, 2005.
I, Giampaolo, take you, Jackie, to be my wedded wife, before God who brought us together; to love and cherish you, even as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it, to lead you and share all of life's experiences with you by following God through them, and through His grace, we might grow together in the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. I purpose to love you with His love, to provide for your needs through His enablement, and to lead you as He leads me, as long as He gives me life, regardless of circumstances. Jackie, I look forward to establishing a home where Christ is glorified. I thank Him for your love and friendship. I promise I will live first unto God rather than others or even you. I promise that I will lead our lives into a life of faith and hope in Christ Jesus. I pledge to you my life as a loving and faithful husband.
I, Jackie, take you, Giampaolo, to be my wedded husband. With deepest joy I come into my new life with you. As you have pledged to me your life and love, so I too happily give you my life, and in confidence submit myself to your headship as to the Lord. As is the church in her relationship to Christ, so I will be to you. Giampaolo, I will live first unto our God and then unto you, loving you, obeying you, caring for you and ever seeking to please you. God has prepared me for you and so I will seek to ever strengthen, help, comfort, and encourage you. I know that every good and perfect gift is from God. Besides the gift of salvation, you are the most precious gift God has given me. Along with the new joys God has given me, I also face new responsibilities that I cannot fulfill in my own strength. But by God's grace and power working within me, I desire to be trustworthy as your wife, to serve and love you in all circumstances, to obey you, to allow God to use you to build His qualities in me, as long as God give us life on this earth. I praise God continually for you, Giampaolo, and for your love and friendship. Therefore, throughout life, no matter what may be ahead of us, I pledge to you my life as an obedient and faithful wife.