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Kimberly P. Yow

Kimberly P. Yow

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What I Would Change After 30 Years of Marriage

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I should have invited Ruth to our wedding—to acknowledge how much our ordinary moments point to the story of Christ.

This piece was adapted from Russell Moore’s newsletter. Subscribe here.

On Monday of next week, my wife, Maria, and I celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. As I think about those two kids standing at the altar, I would want to say “I do” all over again to everything. One of the very few exceptions would be one decision that had to do with the wedding, not with the marriage. After 30 years, I’ve changed my mind about the biblical text I wouldn’t let us read.

Somebody suggested that we read at the ceremony a passage from the Old Testament book of Ruth, one that we heard read or sung at almost every wedding at the time. In the King James Version (which was what people almost always used), the text reads, “Whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God” (1:16). It’s about the young widow Ruth from Moab, pledging to her dead husband’s mother, Naomi, that she would go with her to Naomi’s homeland of Israel.

I believed then, and still do, that all Scripture is inspired and “profitable” (2 Tim. 3:16, ESV throughout), but I didn’t think that particular Scripture was appropriate for a wedding.

“It’s not about marriage,” I said. “It’s about someone taking a trip with her mother-in-law.” I wanted something about the mystery of Christ in Ephesians 5 or about love from Song of Songs or about Jesus at the wedding at Cana. I could even have lived, I said, with 1 Corinthians 13. Of all of the things about the wedding ceremony, I only insisted on two—that we use the traditional vows and that we read some other text than that one. You could say that I was …

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