1999-05-03 - What's in a Vow?
Genesis 2:24, "For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh."
Since I am to be married in a little under three months I have been doing a little thinking about marriage and things related to it. I find that there are some ways in which my relationship with my fiancee/wife mirror my relationship with God and His relationship with me.
Marriage is a complete commitment to another (Matthew 19:5,6) that is both everlasting and unchanging. The relationship may change, but the commitment is not to change. This is my pledge or vow to my wife that I intend to make. Many of you have made such a vow or also intend to make this vow to someone in the future.
This is not unlike our relationship with God. God has pledged, through Christ, to be faithful to His people forever. He has promised to set us apart as His chosen people. His love for us is that great. His commitment is total. We may falter in our commitment to follow and love Him, but His commitment is enduring. We may seek to have a total and unchanging commitment to God, but strive as we do, we still wobble between two loves, ourselves and God.
If we are honest in our intimate relationships we also must admit that we even falter or wobble here, at times, on this core element of commitment. The commitment might still be there, but we might not act like it. We might not feel like loving, or the "loving" sensations might be lethargic (at best) on any given day. These are the times we need two other important aspects of a loving relationship; Trust and Forgiveness.
Again these two, trust and forgiveness, both function in our relationship with God as they do in our intimate relationships. Those we love must be able to trust us. We also must forgive them when they don't act like such an agreement of commitment is established and in place.
In our walk with God, trust is also important because we must be able to trust God that His promises and commitments are "Yes!" and "Amen!" in Christ. "For however many as may be the promises of God, in Him they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us." (2 Corinthians 1:20) We must rely on His forgiveness in Christ upon which our relationship with Him was established in the first place.
This might seem like muddy waters, but it really isn't. As we love our spouse we seek to love him/her much the same way that God loves us. He loves us totally and forever. This is the way we should show love to our spouse, totally and always.
God's love is also a forgiving love that we can trust. So our love also, to our spouse, should be forgiving and our spouse should be able to trust us. In addition, we should be able to trust our spouse.
In many respects there are similarities in our intimate relationships that help us understand better our relationship with God and His relationship with us. These are some of the things I am learning. May God grant us blessed and delightful relations in both our earthly and our heavenly commitments.
Soli Deo Gloria,