I can still remember driving away from the church with my new bride. As I tried to navigate through the barrage of tissue paper and groomsmen’s underwear, so much was on my mind. I had just committed to my bride and in front of many close people that I would love her. Forever. We vowed it.
Do you remember your wedding vows? Sure you do! They were those words you repeated guided by a preacher where you almost passed out in front of the congregation. The traditional vows from The Book of Common Prayer are:
I ______, take thee, _______, to my lawful wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance.
If the average spouse were to rewrite these vows based upon marital reality, how would they change? Think about it.
I_______, take thee, to be my ______________,
to ____ and to ______ from _______________,
for __________ for __________, for __________ for __________,
in __________ and in __________, to __________ and to __________,
till __________ do us part, according to ____________________.
Many people today rewrite these wedding vows. Instead of for richer or poorer, it is just richer. Instead of better or worse, it is be better or else.
Hebrews 13:4 contrasts how many people “rewrite” their wedding vows. Here’s what God says about marriage:
Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriagebed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.
While our culture does not hold marriage in a place of honor, Christians must hold this commitment strong. The very marriage bed should be kept undefiled. Faithfulness and holiness should be the norm for the Christian. Followers of Christ are not to be like the immoral people and adulterers. Every aspect of their marriage is to be holy.
The word “holy” means to “set apart.” It means that, in holy matrimony, your relationship with your spouse is to be set apart from any other relationship.
How does God expect you to set apart your marriage spiritually? Relationally? Sexually?
Today, commit to work on your marriage from this day forward…as long as you both shall live.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.
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