In a couple of months Janet and I are going to Europe to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. She has earned this trip! In an unapologetic effort to rack up even more marriage points, I will start a new 4 week sermon series this Sunday called VOWS in the church I am serving as Interim Pastor. Most guys would admit that they have forgotten some of their vows, but because I have been using these same vows at countless weddings for three decades, I know them better than Janet does.

I win! I win!

Wait – strike that –  let me get back on track.

Below are our original wedding VOWS. There are several viable variations being used out there, and I would like to know how your own vows differ from these. Please leave them in the comments section of this post or email me at
I, ___, take you, to be my wedded wife/husband.
To have and to hold from this day forward.
For better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health. To love and to cherish. Forsaking all others, until death do us part.
I know most of you cannot attend the services at First Baptist Church, Mt Juliet, Tennessee – but you can watch or listen online after these messages on marriage are uploaded. Here is where you will find them. Below is the short series intro.


In addition to several LifeWay events I do just for pastors, Janet and I host approximately 12 LifeWay Pastor Date Nights a year. We also have the privilege of speaking at 8-10 marriage retreats/conferences for ministry couples. Healthy marriages are so important to pastors and spouses when you consider the connection between pastoral health and church health. Plus, we are the only profession on the planet that literally requires us to win both at home and at work. Jane and I love helping them win.

Your prayers and encouragement over the last (almost) three years have become fuel for our journey. This short marriage series gives you a small peak into our core message. I hope your marriage will be blessed by the blogs and sermons I will be posting in these next four weeks.

Featured image by Unsplash