By Rob Furlong
Being asked to officiate at a couple's wedding has been one of the greatest privileges of my life and I especially love being a part of the special, sacred moment when a man and a woman make their vows to each other.
The dictionary defines a vow as a "solemn promise...especially in the form of an oath to God..."
It's a good reminder.
You see, when a couple commits to loving and staying with each other for life, they have not just made their promises before their family and friends.
They have also done so in the presence of God Himself – and I believe that He holds them accountable for the words they have spoken.
Stop and reflect for a moment on the solemn nature of wedding vows which usually include statements like these:
"...forsaking all others keep yourself only for her/him, so long as you both shall live..."
"...I take you to be my wedded wife/husband...till death do us part, according to God's holy ordinance; and thereto do I give you my vow..."
The wedding vow is a life-long commitment of love and faithfulness to each other that is only broken by death.
Many years ago I read an article that made a strong impression on me as a then, young husband.
It was entitled, Defend Your Vows and was an appeal by the author to couples to take their marriage vows seriously.
He also advocated that couples try and find creative ways to regularly remind each other that the promises made on their wedding day still hold true.
The author wrote,
"There is simply not enough emphasis on wedding vows anymore. We need to face it. This is one of the most significant problems in modern marriage.
With a little thought, you'll discover many creative ways to remind your spouse and yourself of your vows.
Sometimes I just like to tell my wife that I remember my vows and that she is the only woman I have ever slept with and the only one I ever wish to sleep with.
I don't think she ever tires of hearing me reiterate my vows. I know I never get tired of hearing or saying them."
For many years now, Karen and I have made it a practice to re-affirm our vows to each other on our wedding anniversary.
My hope, as you read this, is that you do not view your wedding vows as promises you gave years ago that have now faded somewhat with the passing of time.
If this is the case, perhaps the place to start is with God.
Remind yourself of the solemnity of your vows because they were taken in His presence.
But also remind yourself of their joyous nature!
When you made your vows to each other they set you free to love each other fully and to experience the joy and freedom of married life.
And remember that marriage is made up of countless choices.
Years ago, on your wedding day, you chose each other but the strength of that choice is weakened, if not outright nullified, if you do not continue to choose each other today.
All couples find their love for each other challenged at various points in a marriage – it is in those times that you either choose to love again or to walk away.
Sadly, many people choose the latter, Christians included.
So what about it, husbands and wives?
How seriously do you take your wedding vows today?
Are they still vibrant with power, or has their significance waned with the passage of time?
May the promise you made to your spouse "to love, comfort, honour and keep each other, for richer, for poorer, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health" still be true for you today!•