I have the honor of being a part of a lot of weddings, whether as the pastor, the singer, or just an attendee. Funny enough, this is most likely the best chance to see me actually dressed up, so if you are every wondering what I look like in a tie, come crash a wedding I’m a part of any time.
But beyond just great cake, well-dressed people, and awkward dancing, weddings have a much bigger purpose. It’s the moment in time when one man and one woman step forward to become one forever. Several parts of the ceremony represent two becoming one, including the exchange of rings, the lighting of a unity candle, and maybe even a special song. But what I find to be most important, yet often taken for granted, are the vows.
A vow is defined by the dictionary as a “solemn promise or assertion; specifically one by which a person is bound to an act, service, or condition”. God tells us through, Numbers 30:2 “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.”
The words that are said, whether uniquely created or ripped off from the Internet, serve as the promise, or the vows, that they are making to one another. However, most of the time I find these to be viewed as an annoyance that only seems to get in the way of “sealing the wedding deal” later on that night.
You’ve heard the phrase “Talk is cheap!” Well, that has never been more true than in a marriage.
A vow is more than a spit in your hand and shake on it kind of promise. It goes beyond a “cross my heart and hope to die” kind of commitment. A vow is more serious than “swearing on my momma’s grave” kinda deal. No, a vow is binding act between you, the person, and God. God requires us as Christian men and woman to fulfill the vows we commit to, and in the case of marriage this vow is a “until death do us part” agreement.
So, that’s why I get concerned when couples buzz through the vows in the ceremony just so they can get their buzz on at the reception.
I think if we were able to slow down and chew on what these vows really are saying we may be surprised at the depth to which they travel in our marriages. That’s why over they next few blogs, I’d like to pick apart the traditional wedding vows I’ve had people recite to each other and slow them down. Digest them a bit. And see what God is saying to us as married couples in these vows that are far more than just words.
It may be a great conversation piece for you and your spouse. It may be a point of renewal in your marriage. It may be a point of reflection and consideration for those of you not quite ready to walk down the aisle. However it affects you, I hope you take the time to chew on it.
My hope is it that this may refocus the commitment you made to each other, but more importantly, I pray it brings you back to God and the plans He has for you as a couple.
A plan that can be traced back to the moment you exchanged your vows.