The Power Of A Promise
July 8, 2011
Read: Genesis 2:18-25
For this reason a man shall . . . be joined to his wife. —Matthew 19:5
I wear only two pieces of jewelry: a wedding band on my finger and a small Celtic cross on a chain around my neck. The ring represents my vow to be faithful to Carolyn, my wife, as long as I shall live. The cross reminds me that it is not for her sake alone, but for Jesus’ sake that I do so. He has asked me to be faithful to her until death shall separate us.
A marriage vow is more than a contract that we can break by paying damages. It is a unique vow that is explicitly intended to be binding until death separates us (Matt. 19:6). The words “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health” take into consideration the probability that it will not be easy to keep our vows. Circumstances may change and so may our spouses.
Marriage is hard at best; disagreements and difficult adjustments abound. While no one must live in an abusive and dangerous relationship, accepting the difficulties of poverty, hardship, and disappointment can lead to happiness. A marriage vow is a binding obligation to love, honor, and cherish one another for as long as we shall live because Jesus has asked us to do so. As a friend of mine once put it, “This is the vow that keeps us faithful even when we don’t feel like keeping our vows.”
“For better or for worse,” we pledge,
Through sickness and through strife;
And by the help and grace of God
We’ll keep these vows for life. —D. De Haan
Love is more than a feeling; it’s a commitment.