That time Erin and Randy got married on Erin’s family orchard and Randy wrote the most beautiful vows:
I told you once that love is like the redwoods, who grow tallest and strongest when living near another, who need a partner tree nearby for guidance, support, correction. Two redwoods, growing in unison, can reach greater heights than either could individually. Alone they are impressive, but together they are powerful. Who can say, looking up from the base of redwood partners, that their growth isn’t awe-inspiring? Who can say that their joint foundation isn’t sturdy? That their trunks aren’t straight? That their height isn’t breathtaking? Who can say that they don’t belong together?
Likewise, I will grow beside you, guiding you in life and in your journey with Christ. and humbly accepting your guidance for my own. I will support you when the storms of life shake our branches. When emotional pestilence threatens our relational health, I will root it out, knowing it is weak and powerless compared to our faith and growth together. Emotional support, gentle direction, and unceasing trust — these I pledge to you, and with them I will encourage you to achieve new heights, spiritually and relationally. And I will relish your correction, knowing I can’t grow straight without it. I will remain firmly rooted in love for God and you.
I vow to love you like the redwoods.
I told you once that love is like the ocean tide. It isn’t showy; it isn’t always grand and powerful; it doesn’t announce its presence. Rather, it is day-to-day, each morning a choice in itself, a choice to love. It is the motion, in and out, forward and back, pushed and pulled by the hand of God Himself. The tide is simple, constant, repetitive, and yet so beautiful. Who can stand beside the ocean, hearing the perfectly continuous time, and not be calmed? Who isn’t comforted by the knowledge that each new swell will, no doubt, break on the shore, one after the other, forever? The repetition isn’t banal. Is isn’t annoying or mundane. On the contrary, the repetition is what makes it extraordinary.
I will be an ocean tide in your life, day after day, hour after hour, choosing to love, to serve. Whether on smooth or rocky shores, my choice will be consistent, to love God and to love you. To daily view you through the eyes of Christ. To serve you joyfully and respect you continually. I will cherish the repetition, the daily acts of service, the prayer, the little forgotten moments, the hundreds of tiny blessings. And you won’t ever have to doubt my persistent love for you, day after day, hour after hour, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
I vow to love you like the ocean tide.
And when troubles arise, when storms shake our branches and chop at our waters, I will be devoted, prayerful, and strong, guiding you in Christ and being receptive to your guidance, choosing you continually, so that when tendrils of doubt, voices in the dark whisper, “Will you really love her like that? Will you really serve her the way she deserves? Will you provide wisdom, care, and mercy? Will you really do it?” I vow to stand firm, forever beside you, forever faithful, forever answering, “Always.”