Eric Snyder, Minister of the Farwell Church of Christ tells this story:
I recently did a wedding. During the wedding rehearsal, the groom pulled me aside and made me an offer. He said “Look, I’ll give you $100 if you’ll change the wedding vows. When you get to me during the part where I’m to promise to ’love, honor and obey,’ I’d appreciate it if you’d just leave that part out.” He gave me a $100 bill and walked away.
The day of the wedding the bride and groom were in front of me, and we were to that part of the ceremony where the vows are exchanged. When it came time for the groom’s vows, I looked at the young man and said, “Will you promise to bow down before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?”
The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, “Yes.” Then He leaned in and asked “what happened, I thought we had a deal?” So I gave him his 100 dollars back and told him that she had made a better offer.
When we speak of vows, many, if not most of us married people think back to those vows we made on our wedding day, vows to love, honor and obey until death do us part. They were the same vows that almost every married person makes in a Christian ceremony, and I believe that when they were said, the vast majority of people intended to live up to those vows.
And then we look at the statistics of those who actually stuck to those vows and its sad to see that almost 50% of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce or separation (wf-lawyers.com). On the day of marriage, for the majority of these people, they were determined to live up to the promises they had made, but as time changed, so did that determination and promise.
To God, vows made to Him are not to be made lightly, especially when it comes to the holy union between one man and one woman. Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 instructs us, “When you vow a vow to God, do not delay paying it, for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vow. It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay. Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands?”
As people of God, He expects us to be good to our vows, even as much as His Son was good to His vow to follow His Father’s will. He did not think better of it and run like so many do today, He remembered His promise and stuck to it even to the point of death on a cross.
Again Deuteronomy 23:21-23 says, “If you make a vow to the LORD your God, you shall not delay fulfilling it, for the LORD your God will surely require it of you, and you will be guilty of sin. But if you refrain from vowing, you will not be guilty of sin. You shall be careful to do what has passed your lips, for you have voluntarily vowed to the LORD your God what you have promised with your mouth.
In God’s mind there is no room for wishy washy faith. If you make a vow to Him, He expects that you will be faithful in keeping it. To do otherwise is to dishonor God and every other fellow Christian. He says, “..Let your ‘yes’ be yes and your ‘no’ be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation” (James 5:12).
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.”
Psalm 76:11 – “Make your vows to the Lord your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to Him who is to be feared.”
God asks that you make Him a vow to surrender all you are mind, body and soul to Him, but if you do, He also expects you to be fully invested in that vow. He takes your promises seriously and promises you everlasting life in return for your faithful following of them. If you do, He will take you to places and perform things in you that you could have never thought possible
Vows to God are easy to make but much more difficult to keep. Make the choice to perform your vows as you have promised. Trust in God to drive your faith. Serve Him with every fiber of your being. Make your vows holy ones. Please pray with me:
Heavenly Father, thank you for being good to your vows to love and protect us. Help us to be faithful to our vows to You in return. Amen.