“And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. Yahweh make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which Yahweh shall give thee of this young woman. So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife”
Arguably, this is the most important aspect of your wedding. This beautiful confession of your love for & dedication to the one standing before you, in the sight of the one who dwells above the brightness of the sun, deserves time, thought, prayer & study. This also brings to surface the severity of the decision one is making. This is a lifetime commitment. This is a vow before God of which we read, “he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth” (Num. 30:2). But if approached prayerfully, this vow will be the commencing words of a wonderful exhibition of the providential care & guiding of the Father in the life of two of His children.
In this section, we hope to cover some writings concerning the marriage vows, some examples of vows used within the brotherhood, & some templates to help you build your own. There is no one size fits all here, but there is one faith, one hope, one God & Father. These vows & templates will be provided with this in mind.
“The Scriptures do not treat vows lightly. They teach that Yahweh will hold a man or woman accountable to any vows made. When a man or a woman proclaims a marriage vow, they do so before God. They have vowed before Yahweh that they are irrevocably united in marriage, until death parts them or the Lord doth come.” (HP Mansfield, Preparing For Marriage, page 82). The days to follow the vow that you proclaim will not always be easy, but these vows are before the one who is ultimately working to save both involved in the marriage. God’s will is ultimately the greatest and is leading unto salvation. Trust the one who is truly in charge and trust in the principles that He has set forth. If man & his wisdom begin to take over, in an attempt to “find a better way”, the end will not be eternal. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; lean not unto thine own understanding; in all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).
In light of this understanding, there was an overwhelming response from various brothers and sisters in regard to what should be and what shouldn’t be vowed at the beginning of a marriage. One sister’s response was, “Vows are serious & solemn & need to be scriptural! It’s okay to be lighthearted at the ceremony because it pretty happy & exciting but… “I promise to give you a foot massage every day” like, that’s not serious”. And though this is a funny example, its sentiments are very true. Another brother advised, “The promise you are making is to the man standing in front of you, who represents an allegory of the absent Groom. If the Lord Jesus Christ was standing in front of you, what would you say to him, with his Father standing at his side? The best man King David, the groomsmen; Abraham, Isaac, & Israel, all there, listening to your words… Do not make any outlandish “vow” you cannot keep, i.e. “I will never go to bed angry”…keep it real, as I said, your words should be the words you would say in dedication to the Master, your ultimate groom.” In summary, a God-focused vow will not contain jokes and empty promises, many of these will you find in the world & in their wedding vows. If your inspiration is the word of God, you will create & profess a beautifully founded vow. If your inspiration is Pinterest & a modern wedding planner guide for writing vows, your vows may lack sincerity in the sight of God. Let the word of God be your guide, & you will find these vows will govern the life ahead securely & providentially, as the God you are professing them before outworks them according to His plan & purpose.
Below we’d like to consider a few of the principles and verses that should be considered when writing your vows, followed by a template that you can use, if you’d like, to formulate your own vows with these principles and verses in mind.
- Before Whom You are Vowing: Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 5:21; Malachi 3:16; Genesis 2:22
- The Biblical Roles of Husband & Wife: Ephesian 5:21-33; 1 Peter 3:1-7; Proverbs 31; Colossians 3:18-19; Proverbs 18:22;
- The Spirit of Love Exhibited: Romans 12:9-21; 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8; Hosea 2:19-20; Ecclesiastes 4:12
- The Importance of the Word of God in your Marriage: Matthew 25; Psalm 119:105; Esther 2:12; 2 Timothy 3:16; Romans 15:4
- The Life-long Bind of Marriage: 1 Corinthians 7:10-11; Numbers 30:2; Ecclesiastes 5:4-5; Mark 10:6-9; Matthew 19:6
- Examples in Scripture: Genesis 2-3; Ruth 1:16-17; 2-4; Genesis 24; 1 Samuel 25;
The opportunity to write your vows together & to consider the commitment that you are making as one is an amazing exercise. Whether you make this a date night activity or something done apart in secret to be revealed on the day of, it is such a serious and prayerful matter to consider. Throughout this post, you will find a few examples of vows that have been written by brethren & sisters. Take the time to read them & embark on the journey of creating your own. May God’s blessings be upon the words that you choose to utter & the outworking of them in years to come.
We pray that as you consider this wondrous adventure ahead, even marriage, that you might keep in mind the awe-inspiring principles & words of our all-knowing & all providing God.
“His will is best, there let us rest” -Sister Jane Roberts in The Virtuous Woman
If you have any resources related to this post or any of the content ahead (please see the table of contents) we would love to hear from you!