We, Vickie Lynn Bratton
and Gary Lynn Spaulding
, stand here before you in the presence of our Lord Jesus — Creator, Savior, Lord and Judge — in the fellowship of these witnesses, to exchange our solemn promise of marital commitment.We stand here in the midst of nature’s loveliness, God’s creation, deep in the heart of Brattonland, Portage Road, in the city of South Bend, Indiana, U.S.A.
On this Friday, at noon, the 17th of August, 1990, we stand helpless before you — helpless to love and to do what love does — helpless, except we be strengthened and enabled. Jesus has led the way before us on love’s path. He will lead us and strengthen us. It is to Him we want to say “Yes!” and “Okay!”
Jesus poured out his life for love of us. In as much as lies within us, we want to love each other in His example and to receive His strength.
As part of our love for each other, we want to belong to each other as husband and wife, to serve the Lord Jesus no longer separately but henceforth as compliments one of another. We want to preserve our bodies and our thoughts for each other alone. We want to leave our parents’ nurture and seek to nurture one another, so help us God.
May we be a source of encouragement and inspiration for each other. May we foster mutual growth and health, both spiritually, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Above all, may we be blessed with knowing God’s will for our lives, seeking His interests first. He has promised that everything else would fall into its proper place in due time.
We express these things solemnly yet confidently, leaning on Him, the Lord Jesus, who is able to work His work of loveliness in our hearts. May He grant that nothing separate us, short of death, even though we should face tough times of physical separation and trials of the faith.
May He also grant that our togetherness be an inspiration and an encouragement to an era of people who long to truly enjoy marriage. May He furthermore grant to our togetherness the gift of children, that all together we may promote God-fear and His peace amidst a nation of troubled men, troubled women, and troubled children, both in this nation and beyond — wherever He may lead.
In light of these considerations, I now turn toward Richard and Jody Bratton, asking them to entrust to me the care and keeping of their lovely daughter, Vickie, whom I proudly receive. To her and her alone I extend both the honor of being my wife and the responsibility of being called by my name.
Thus, as willing subjects to the sovereignty of Almighty God, we acknowledge His jurisdiction over this marriage agreement, bringing us together, Gary and Vickie Spaulding, to His honor and glory. It is before Him we will one day stand and give account of all things, both thoughts and deeds.
With one hand laid on a copy of God’s written Word and the other upraised to Heaven, we now place on this certificate our God-given mark of uniqueness among all creation, as to the veracity of these statements:
Finally, and in the shadow of an eight foot tall old rugged cross, the symbol of God’s love for us all, we now exchange rings as a visible sign of our love and commitment to one another, and declare ourselves openly to be:
Mr. & Mrs. Gary L. Spaulding
Gary: “Yes. Amen. So help me God!”
Vickie: “Yes. Amen. So help me God!”