Commitment And Vows In Marriage Refreshing And Re-instilling Marital Commitment Song Of Solomon 8:6
Contract vs. Covenant • Marriage is sacred – Matt 19:6 • Holy Triune – Not Human Duet • Proverbs 20:25 – ½ of divorces in first 2 years • Difference between a contract and a covenant
Scriptures On Vows • Genesis 2:24 • Matthew 19:6 • Ecclesiastes 5:2-7 • Psalm 15:4 • Ephesians 5:25 • Numbers 30:2 • I Samuel 1:11-21 • Judges 11:30-39 • Joshua 9:16-20
Commitment Is The Cornerstone • "COMMITMENT ... is what transforms a promise into reality. It is the words that speak boldly of your intentions. It is the actions that speak louder than words. It is making the time when there is none, coming through time after time, year after year. Commitment is the stuff character is made of, the power to change the face of things. It is the daily triumph of integrity over skepticism." • "Marriage demands toughness, and toughness proceeds out of commitment. No marriage will ever be stronger than the commitments that serves as its infrastructure." • Commitment must lead to skill development • Usually those skills develop after the marriage
Willpower & Understanding Vows • Willpower gets a couple through while learning skills • By itself, eventually wears out • Where do we go wrong? • Treated superficially • Encourage couples to write their own vows • Save the ceremony and go over it at least once a year on your wedding anniversary • It is so easy to forget • What you have vowed to each other must be kept current and fresh
What’s Your Current Level Of Commitment? • Vows seem less vital and are less passionately held as time passes • Many only vaguely remember what they said • Commitment should be active not passive • “I made these promises to you as long as we both are alive and there is no condition to my promises. If things really get bad, you can depend on me. I will never go out and find a substitute mate."
Boot Camp For Commitment Training In Marriage! • We need informed consent when it comes to marriage • Young couples need premarital Biblical counseling • Already married, need to recommit themselves to each other • After understanding what marital promises all about • We need a thorough and insightful understanding of the marital promises • Need a "promise orientation" that is highly enlightened
Traditional Vows • Six separate parts: • I will love you as long as we both live (Kindness, sacrifice) • I will cherish and honor you as long as we both live (Thoughtfulness, attentiveness) • I will be to you what a husband or wife owes to their spouse. (Dedicated to doing my part and meeting your needs) • I will take you as you are (Acceptance) • I will forsake ail others - (Be Faithful!!) • I will do all these things - for better or worse, in sickness and in health - (unconditionally serve and stay with you for as long we live.) • What does that mean practically?
We Need To Rehearse These Promises Until They Are Burned Into Our Brain • Marriage vows are usually spoken a single time • Dr. Clark Warren suggests a change in frequency of the marriage vows • 2 - 3 times a week for first 10 yrs, at least once a week for the rest of the marriage • Maintains focus on steel framework of the marriage • Verbalized regularly over a long period of time it takes on tremendous power • HOW? • Find a way that is natural, meaningful, and even fun! BE CREATIVE (See Sue & Jim)
What About You? • The more each person can find new and creative ways to affirm their commitment the better • Recite over & over, when troubles come the brain will trigger new ideas on how to fulfill these vows • Periodic rewrites of the commitment statement will make it even stronger • We are creatures of habit • Gives maturity and steadiness in the midst of the storms
Your Assignment • Write your own concise summary of your vows • You will see dramatic benefits from this simple exercise designed to help both clarify and articulate promises • Marriages do not come easily • Two people must be skillful & strong. • Strength and toughness come from reciting over and over and over: “I will love you when times are good or bad. So help me God."
I PROMISE...(Him To Her) I promise I will do everything in my power to help you to get to heaven; to accept you and to remain loyal to you always. I promise to put you and our marriage second only to God; to be open and honest with you always as we strive for oneness. I promise I will cherish, honor, and support you in good times and bad; and strive to love you selflessly, like Christ loves the church; as I meet your deepest needs. I promise to pilot, provide, and protect you and our family; and to do these things unconditionally forever; so help me God!!
I PROMISE... (Her To Him) I promise I will do everything in my power to help you get to heaven; to accept you and to remain loyal to you always. I promise to put you and our marriage second only to God; to be open and honest with you always as we strive for oneness. I promise to admire, honor, and obey you in good times and bad; and strive to be an excellent keeper at home and be sensitive to your deepest needs. I promise to love you and to do all these things unconditionally forever; so help me God!!