The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
Men, has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?
“I do!” Simple words that each of us spoke at a time in the past at our own wedding. They are words of affirmation, words of promises made. Do you remember that time? I recently ran across a poem called “I do” that was featured in the third season finale of the sitcom Good Witch. I was not able to find the author but I assume it was written by the writers of the sitcom. It is so “right-on” that I wish to share it with you.
“They’re about to say I do. Three little letters, two little words. It’s the simplest part of the day, but there’s nothing simple about the things that will remain unsaid. I do means I do know I could be hurt, but I’m ready to be healed with you. It means I do want to try even when the fear of failure holds me back, and I do not know the future, but I’m ready to be surprised along the way. And I do means I do want your love and I do give you mine and nothing we do will ever be the same because you and I will be doing it all together.”
I feel that this poem says all the essential promises expressed in traditional wedding vows. Each spouse needs only to respond “I do!”
During a marriage ceremony, the man and the woman make solemn marriage vows or promises. We find marriage is mentioned in both the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible. The Passion Translation of New Testament speaks to this union as follows in Ephesians 5:31 (TPT):
For this reason a man is to leave his father and his mother and lovingly hold to his wife, since the two have become joined as one flesh.
I liked the phrase “lovingly hold to his wife.” Other translations use such phrases such as “cleave to,” “be joined unto,” “be united to,” and “live with,” each phrase describing the closeness of this union. The completion of this statement concludes with such phrases as “the two will become one flesh,” “the two are united into one,” and “the two shall become one flesh.” From the poem above, the partner saying the poem states “nothing we do will ever be the same because you and I will be doing it all together.” Marriage is about the sharing of one’s life (doing it all together) with one’s spouse (partner). Does this not sound like “one flesh?”
Marriage vows are about the promises we make at the time of our marriage, promises that are meant to be lasting and forever. Our God is a God of Promises. He is our perfect example of a promise keeper. From the Old Testament, Joshua 21:45 states:
Not one of all the Lord’s good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
The Bible is the story about God’s people, of His interaction with His people, and of His promises made (and kept) to His people. Those promises were fulfilled with the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. With Christ’s resurrection on Easter morning, believers in Him have the hope and promise of Eternal Life with our Triune God. From the New Testament we find in Romans 15:8 (TPT):
I am convinced that Jesus, the Messiah, was sent as a servant to the Jewish people to fulfill the promises God made to our ancestors and to prove God’s faithfulness.
Yes, when we say “I do” in the presence of our beloved at our wedding, we are making promises both to God and to our future spouse. Our faithfulness to those promises (vows) is meant to last a lifetime until we are parted by death. Our marriage vows thus represent the beginning of the journey of our shared lives together as husband and wife.
It is my wish for each of you that you will be able to share your love for your spouse for a lifetime until you, as a married couple, are separated by death. The tragedy of divorce is that the marriage promises and pledges made to our spouse and to God have been broken. Yet those broken vows can be healed by the forgiveness found in our belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The following verses from 1 John 1:8-10 (TPT) relates to God’s promise of forgiveness:
If we boast that we have no sin, we’re only fooling ourselves and are strangers to the truth. But if we freely admit our sins when his light uncovers them, he will be faithful to forgive us every time. God is just to forgive us our sins because of Christ, and he will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we claim that we’re not guilty of sin when God uncovers it with his light, we make him a liar and his word is not in us.
“I do!” Three little letters. Two little words. God will help you stay true to your promises, even when you are tempted to stray. And if you do stray, He is forgiving. Jesus Christ will cover you with His love as He helps you find your way home to your marriage partner, your partner in that sacred promise.
Ben in Texas