Till death do we part…

There’s some things that it is hard to improve on.  Take marriage vows.  Having officiated over the wedding vows of many couples I have noticed something.

In the early years the vows given were the same basic vows their parents and grandparents used.  But then couples started getting creative with the vows they gave to each other.  Using the same vows their parents and grandparents used seems so old fashioned and out of step with contemporary values and morality.  And so they started writing their own vows.

Looking back perhaps I should have balked at this.  It seems to me that the drastic rise of divorce and the devaluing of Christian marriage coincides with the departing from the traditional marriage vows.

Bottom line, there are just some things that we shouldn’t tinker with, marriage vows being near the top of that list.

Following are the tradition marriage vows that have with, minor variations, been shared between couples being married before God for generations.

Minimally, they would be a good reminder for all who are married or plan on getting married someday and additionally, they may worthy of someone adopting for their own marriage no matter what their original vows were (which I suspect most would not remember).

Traditional Marriage Vows: 

“______, wilt thou have this woman/man to be thy wedded wife/husband to live together after God’s ordinance in the Holy Estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her/him? Comfort her/him, honor and keep her/him, in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others keep thee only unto her/him as long as you both shall live?”
“In the name of God, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

Matthew 19:3-6 (NKJV)

The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, and saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’  and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?  So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

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