“Who presents this woman to this man to be married?”, the pastor asked.
“Her mother and I”, replied Tammy’s father.
As our pastor read these words from the Book of Ephesians in his King James Bible, I looked at my bride and tears rolled down my cheeks. I asked her, “Baby, are you OK?”. She replied with a sniffle, “Yes”. She had been battle a cold for a few days and her sinus were really flowing now.
Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. – Ephesians 5:19-33 (KJV)
At the conclusion of the scripture reading, the pastor returned to us and said:
“Jackie, will thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife?“
“I will” – OOPS! Seems I jumped the gun a little as the pastor continued with “To live together in bonds of matrimony, will thou love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and health so long as you both shall live?”
“Tammy, will thou have this man to be thy wedded husband?”
“I will” – Tammy saved me! Phew!! She replied so that it sounded like we meant it that way. “To live together in bonds of matrimony, will thou love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and health so long as you both shall live?”
To my defense – there was a slight pause after “wedded wife”.
We then had a couple from our church to sing the song Always by the group Atlantic Starr. The lyrics of the song fits so nicely with our feelings for each other. When it came time to pick out ‘our song’, we really had no idea what to do. Tammy and I like a very wide variety of music from Christian music to hard rock. We listened to dozens of CDs and then one day on the radio while driving to school, we heard the song Always and knew this was the one.
Girl you are to me, all that a woman should be.
Tammy is indeed my one and only. She is the epitome of what a woman should be. She is my rock, my confidant, my best friend and my soulmate, Yes, she is pretty much my everything. One only has to look to chapter 31 of the Book of Proverbs to find Tammy perfectly described.
“I Jackie, take thee Tammy to be thy wedded wife. To have and to hold from this day forward. For better for worse. For rich or for poor. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. As long as life shall last.”
“I Tammy, take thee Jack to be thy wedded husband. To have and to hold from this day forward. For better for worse. For rich or for poor. In sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. As long as life shall last.”
We then exchanged rings to signify our completeness. The rings are just a symbol of our commitment to one another. Even without these rings, we are still bound together as one flesh as God’s word so eloquently spells out in the Book of Ephesians.
As I slipped the ring on her finger – “In token and pledge of this vow between us made – with this ring, I thee wed.”
As she slipped the ring on my finger – “In token and pledge of this vow between us made – with this ring, I thee wed.”
We looked into each other eyes as the pastor said, “By the wonderful beauty of the state of West Virginia has vested in me, I now pronounce them husband and wife. You may kiss the bride.”
When I kissed Tammy, I could only think of one thing and that was ‘oh how much I love this woman.‘ Forever my bride.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you Mr. and Mrs. Jackie Barker, the second”