One of my favorite things to do as a husband is to buy my wife flowers for no particular reason. Go out for milk, come home with flowers (and milk, of course). It’s one of the things I feel helps keep our marriage strong. The random, “I love you” while we’re sitting in traffic on days we carpool to work. The thoughtfulness of buying the right kind of sunscreen when we’re planning on having a pool day with the kids. Things like that. They’re all a tiny reinforcement of the promises I made to her when we were married.
Now, ask me to recite my wedding vows and you’re on your own. Even though we married just four years ago, and even though I wrote the vows, I can’t begin to remember exactly what it is I said that summer day in June of 2009. I’d definitely have to look it up. I think that’s why people have vow renewal ceremonies. So they can keep fresh in their minds the promises they made to each other. So they can re-strengthen the bond they share.
So if it makes sense to do so with our promises to each other, it should only make more sense to publically renew our vows with God. After all, our relationship with God should be the most important relationship we maintain. It sets the foundation for the other relationships in our lives, and if we’re not right with God, it’s tough to be right with everything else in our lives.
That is what I’ve decided to do this morning. As this post is published to my blog, I will be standing in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and holding my wife’s hand as we, together, renew our commitment to God. We’ve decided to be re-baptized, and I’m so excited.
To be clear, it was Lee’s decision to be baptized again. My decision to join her is a surprise. However, it’s also a decision born from the fact I was initially baptized as an infant. It was a promise that was made for me, and even though I underwent the sacrament of Confirmation as a thirteen year-old, I don’t have a vivid recollection of the promises I made that day. If I can’t remember my vows from four years ago, you can believe I’m not going to remember specifics from twenty-seven years ago.
I want to be able to openly and honestly profess my faith in Jesus Christ as an adult. Yes, this baptism is more symbolic than anything else. I’ve never had a crisis of faith, and I’ve always felt Christ in my heart. Even in my darkest times, I knew it was me walking away from God and not the other way around. Yet, by being baptized, I am able to renew my vows with Him, much in the same way couples who’ve been married for fifty years renew their vows with each other. They’ve never stopped loving each other. They just want to strengthen the love they already share.
So this morning I renew my commitment to God and proclaim Jesus as my Lord and savior. In my forty years on earth, I’ve experienced a God that loves me no matter what. A God that took me when I was broken and made me into someone better. A God who has always cast His grace on me.
I can’t think of anything better than to stand up and proclaim that I love Him right back.