St. James, who had not been married when she wrote this book (I do not know if she has since been married), asked a friend of hers to help her explore the traditional wedding vows. She calls it "when the marriage vows come to life!"
For each traditional vow (to have and to hold, etc.) St. James' friend re-writes it to indicate what it means after 6 years of marriage. I found this interesting because I honestly never think about my wedding vows,those words I spoke 4 and a half years ago. Even during the wedding, I am not sure I truly thought about the vows. I remember thinking about all the details and hoping everything would come together well - the flowers, the DJ, the caterer, etc. I was far too nervous attempting to micro-manage the day to concern myself with the vows.
Fortunately, we used the traditional vows which St. James delineates in her book. As I reviewed them, I am just amazed at how shocked I am at how my marriage "turned out." On the one hand, my marriage is exactly the way I had thought it would be: Robby and I are still together, usually happy, support each other, and work together to deal with life's issues.
What continues to shock me is what "life issues" have entered my life. Circumstances have entered my life which never crossed my mind. Two miscarriages. Pediatric cancer. Robby being laid off for a year. Rental property being destroyed. I still sometimes have to remind myself that I am actually dealing with these, and more, issues. It still seems surreal.
If I could speak to someone about to get married, I would tell that person not to even bother preparing for specific circumstances - because you have no idea what circumstances God has in store for you. All you can do is strengthen your individual faiths and your relationship so that you have the skills needed to deal with those circumstances when they come.