Few years back, I attended a friend’s wedding and something happened that left an impression in my mind.
The bride’s dad happens to be a traditionalist and when it was his daughter’s turn to make her vows, he stopped the priest from continuing.
He wanted to have a word with his daughter. Not privately … holding the microphone, he asked her to go through the written vow and be sure that she wouldn’t break it.
He advised that she didn’t have to make the vow if it would be difficult to abide by.
There were mixed reactions everywhere. Some laughed, some thought it was embarrassing and others thought it was an outright disrespect for the church.
I saw it as deep love of a father for his child.
He understood the sacredness of the marriage vow. To him, it wasn’t a recitation but a covenant which must be kept till death.
Proverbs 20: 25 throws light on this father’s stand. It states:
“It is a snare for one to say rashly,
it is holy” and begin to reflect only after making a vow.”
Marriage is a sacred covenant between one man and one woman taken in the presence of God and witnesses.
So this father totally understood what it meant to say :-
“ … to have and to hold from this day forward,
for BETTER OR FOR WORSE
… from this day forward UNTIL death do us part. “
Wow! Like most people, I never really gave much thought to the implication of this covenant. It seemed like a part of a wedding ceremony rather than the core of it.
The vow is a commitment to stay with this person forever. It is a VOW!
Deuteronomy 23: 21 says :-
If you make a vow to the Lord your God, do not be slow to pay it,
for the Lord your God will certainly demand it for you and
you will be guilty of sin.
Ecclesiastics 5: 14 :-
” when you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it.
He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your Vow!
It is better that you should not Vow than you should and not pay.”
This father understood the gravity of the marriage vow…
Maybe if like him, we spent time to consider every word in our vows, there will be less divorce, especially in the church.