Ok, raise your hand if you believe that there are married couples who have forgotten to honor their wedding vows? Well, because I can’t actually see any of your raised hands, I will let you know that I raised mine.
Why you might ask would I take such a strong stance? Well, many reasons but the main one is due to the high rate of divorce that is prevalent around the world.
“divorce that is prevalent around the world”
In light of this topic, that I have chosen to write about, I thought it would be interesting to take a little detour and examine some traditional wedding vows from a few different faiths (there may be wedding vow options and variations within each faith).
PROTESTANT WEDDING VOWS: ( the vows that my husband and I made to each other):
I……take you…..to be my husband (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 law;
and this is my solemn vow.
HINDU MARRIAGE VOWS:
Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living.
Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental, and spiritual powers.
Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use.
Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust.
Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous, and heroic children.
Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.
Finally, let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock.
METHODIST MARRIAGE VOWS: (Declaration of Bride and Groom):
(Name), will you have (Name) to be your (wife/husband),
to live together in holy marriage?
Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him,
in sickness and in health,
and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him
as long as you both shall live?
LUTHERAN MARRIAGE VOWS: (similar to Protestant vows):
I, ________, take you, __________ to by my wife/husband, and these things I promise you: I will be faithful to you and honest with you; I will respect, trust, help, and care for you; I will share my life with you; I will forgive you as we have been forgiven, and I will try with you to better understand ourselves, the world, and God; through the best and worst of what is to come, as long as we live.
BAPTIST MARRIAGE VOWS:
Will you, ________, have ________ to be your husband/wife? Will you love him/her, comfort and keep him/her, and forsaking all others remain true to him/her as long as you both shall live?”
BUDDHIST MARRIAGE VOWS:
I, ________, take you, ________, to be my husband/wife, my partner in life, and my one true love. I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever.
I will trust you and honor you,
I will laugh with you and cry with you.
Through the best and the worst,
Through the difficult and the easy.
Whatever may come I will always be there.
As I have given you my hand to hold
So I give you my life to keep
CATHOLIC MARRIAGE VOWS:
I, ________, take you, ________, for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.
CELTIC MARRIAGE VOWS:
Option 1: Ye are blood of my blood, and bone of my bone.
I give ye my body, that we two might be one.
I give ye my spirit, ’til our life shall be done.
You cannot possess me for I belong to myself
But while we both wish it, I give you that which is mine to give
You cannot command me, for I am a free person
But I shall serve you in those ways you require
and the honeycomb will taste sweeter coming from my hand.
Option 2: I vow you the first cut of my meat, the first sip of my wine, from this day it shall only your name I cry out in the night and into your eyes that I smile each morning.
I shall be a shield for your back as you are for mine, not shall a grievous word be spoken about us, for our marriage is sacred between us and no stranger shall hear my grievance. Above and beyond this, I will cherish and honor you through this life and into the next.
You will agree that although these wedding vows are somewhat different you may have found that there is a common link that each share. That is that the couples have committed to love and stay with each other for a lifetime.
It also would seem that stating wedding vows is a contract between two persons who commit to loving each other through hell or high water until the end of their time here on earth.
“couples have committed to love and stay with each other for a lifetime”
However, like any contract, wedding vows although most often times messy can be dissolved or broken.
Why is it then that there are so many divorces? You, yourself may have been divorced or contemplating divorce at this very moment. This is not a post against or for divorce but to try to shed a bright light on what you should expect when you’re married.
I have been married twenty-six years and I contemplated divorce in the early part of our union. Marriage can be tough, especially when you didn’t have an example of a healthy marriage to draw from.
Its’ been over 20 years since I had those thoughts of divorcing husband. And I praise God that I listen to Him tell me to press forward and let Him work through my husband and myself to restore happiness back in our marriage.
Fast forward to today, and my husband and I now understand that many years ago the real issue wasn’t that I didn’t love my husband; it was that we were both young, selfish, set in our dysfunctional ways and had no idea how to communicate effectively.
“…had no idea on how to communicate effectively.”
Wedding vows are beautiful public expressions of a good faith effort to love each other for a LIFETIME The vows pledge a big commitment and typically are declared in the early stages of the relationship where each person is putting forth their best-in-show.
During this period of a relationship, most couples are seeing their union through rose-colored glasses. Up until the wedding, many couples have been independent in their living and decision making.
However, after the I do’s have been said and the beautiful ceremony is over, no longer can each person think about themselves alone. There is another human being to consider in every nook and cranny of your life. The underlying message for most vows is that I will be everything you want me to be all in the name of love.
As I read the Celtic wedding vows, I chuckled a little on the part that states “you cannot command me for I am a free person.” Sounds like something I may have said during one of my heated disagreements with my husband during those early years of our marriage.
“…you cannot command me for I am a free person.”
Yes, I chuckle at how blunt that statement might seem but it is followed by “but I will serve you in the ways you require.”, now that seems like a fair compromise. They are letting each other know UP FRONT that they will meet one another desired needs but each must understand it’s because of their own free will NOT because it is a demand from one or the other.
If you consider the Celtic vow statement too strong or not I personally think more “what you should expect when you are married to me” should be written in the vows and expressed publicly.
Perhaps it would read something like this:
I, ________, take you, ________, to be my husband/wife to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse. Especially during the period of our life when things may not go as planned and you possibly get laid off from your job, and it may take months for you to find another one. Or when your family, specifically your mother continues to give her unsolicited advice about every aspect of our relationship,…
for richer, for poorer, especially when we have used up all our savings from you not having a job and we are getting shut off and cancellation notices right and left, and when I don’t understand why the house is not tidy and dinner cooked every day when I get home from work since you are lounging at home with no job,…
.in sickness and health, especially when our kids all have horrible colds that keep them up during the night and I am tired from getting no sleep from nursing them to health but I glance over in the bed and you are snoring getting rest for a job that you do not have. Oh yes, I will love you through all of that….until death do us part.
Isn’t this real life, and shouldn’t everyone understand that going into marriage there is work that is involved? Marriage is a wonderfully beautiful union that will have its ups and downs. We must not be delusional in our thinking that the downs that come will not test our love.
The love cords that bind two people together must be strong during difficult times. Ecclesiastes 4:12: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”
What should you expect when you’re married?
- Being patient and kind when your partner is not.
- Feeling misunderstood at times but never forget that there is a God above that never misunderstands and will give you the strength and wisdom on how to effectively communicate to your spouse.
- Seldom experience the butterflies in your stomach you had when you first met, because at times your partner may disappoint you. Acknowledging, that possibly the standards you have set for your partner, maybe standards that they never said that they could meet.
- Not to always trust your feelings but be guided by the divine living God above. Psalm 143:8: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”
- To pray for your spouse and marriage every day. Knowing that there will be trials and difficulties, but believe that God will never allow more than you can handle.
- Special blessings when you serve one another patiently with sincere love, while together serving the creator of the universe.
We live in a society that is turning it’s back on the creator of the universe, the true living God and Jesus Christ our Savior and I believe the marriage and family structure have suffered for it.
If you married or are getting married, understand that there will be challenging times but love truly does conquer all. My twenty-six and counting marriage is a testament to that. Here are a few scriptures for you to hold onto when you are married:
“…love truly does conquer all.”
Ephesians 4:2-3: “With all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Mark 10:9: “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Ephesians 4:2: “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.”
1 Peter 4:8: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”
Ruth 1:16-17: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, And your God, my God. Where you die, I will die, And there will I be buried. The Lord do so to me, and more also, If anything but death parts you and me.”
Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”
Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.”
Genesis 2:18–25: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.’ … So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh.
And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man.”
There you have it, “What You Should Expect When You’re Married, I will not pretend that it’s easy, but your commitment to one another is exactly that.
If you are in a storm right please read 5 Steps To Restore Happiness Back In Your Marriage. I believe it will be a blessing to you as it has been for me.