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Offline WileyClarkson

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Your wedding vows and what they mean
« on: March 10, 2010, 05:51:27 AM »
Wow, there is so much hurt in marriages that is showing up on the forum these days.  I posted a comment in a thread
called why-is-the-divorce-rate-so-high-among-us-christians and decided to make a new subject out of the comment to see if anyone else wanted to discuss it or even post their vows for discussion as to the theological and implied meanings in those vows.

Have you ever given any consideration to your marriage vows and just exactly what they mean?  What is the underlieing meaning built into those vows.  I spent a number of years as a wedding photographer, not to mention watching many girls get married over the years as a guest or father of the bride.  It has been my observation (and I'm not particulary smart or anything like that!) that almost ALL wedding vows recited these days are based on a complimentarian style of marriage as pushed by church leaders/ministers as the Christian marriage.  Little, if any, thought is given to the true meaning of the first marriage in Genesis, which was NOT what we have as the vast majority of marriages done in the church in modern times.  It's often quoted in the minister's talk but rarily does it get any real discussion.  In Genesis, God created Adam and Eve as equal beings in his eyes, not as master and servant or boss and helper.  They were created absolutely equal.  They were basically created at exactly the same time and then separated since the true meaning of the Hebrew 'adam is human kind and God separated from adam the female, whom the man called woman.  They were made equal in everything (ezer kenegdo=a power equal to man).  He then joined the two equal parts back into one individual through marriage.  After they had sinned, God told them yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you (I view this as a prediction of the future and not a punishment of sin).  Now, thousands of years later, we have traditional wedding vows that imply that the man (husband) will be the head of the woman in all things and that she will be the lesser of the two in the marriage.

The following vows have been written for an upcoming wedding.  They are written from what I call a true Genesis Marriage point of view or what moderns would call an egalitarian marriage point of view.  What do you think of these vows?  how do they compare to the vows you repeated on your marriage day?  Give it some thought.  If you had special vows rather than the traditional vows, put them up for us to read.  Personally, mine and my wife's vows were the traditional vows because that was what was considered proper when we married, even though the vows below would have been much more appropriate to our own practices in marriage.


MAN SAYS
With this ring, I, _________, take you _______, to be my wife,
before God who brought us together;
to love you and to cherish you even as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it,
to protect you and to be the source of strength and love for you to draw from,
and to support you in all you endeavor to do
while sharing in all of life's experiences with you
as we follow God through them together all the days of our lives.
That through His grace, ________, we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
 
WOMAN SAYS
And with this ring, I, ______, take you, _________, to be my husband,
before God who brought us together,
to love you and to cherish you, even as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it,
to support you in everything you endeavor to do,
and to walk by your side while sharing in all of life's experiences with you
as we follow God through them together all the days of our lives.  
That through His grace, ___________, we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Grace to you and peace.

Wiley    WC5WC

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Your wedding vows and what they mean
« on: March 10, 2010, 05:51:27 AM »

larry2

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 06:32:15 AM »

To me vows are not scriptural and may be attribute to some of the problem.

James 5:12   But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
 
I personally do not remember the words we uttered that day, and along the way most promises are broken anyhow, but we were in love and I believe that is the greatest consideration. I have now been married fifty-three years and there is more love for one another than the day we were wed. Why ask such questions of a couple when neither know what the next day might bring?

Even asking, "Do you want to get married?" may bring a guarded response. Many men think they are still too young to marry, so they lie. The woman realizes her mistake a week later after putting up with him for a week, and did she really know she was marrying a video game addict?

Paul makes a statement in 1 Corinthians 7:8 many should pay attention to. "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I."

My thoughts. 

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 06:32:15 AM »

Offline phoebe

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 08:44:35 AM »
I like them, Wiley. 

...

Paul makes a statement in 1 Corinthians 7:8 many should pay attention to. "I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, It is good for them if they abide even as I."

...

Yet God saw that it was "not good" for man to be alone, so gave him an 'ezer kenegdo 'ishshah.  He didn't give him a male business partner, a male co-worker, or a male friend, with whom he could share pieces of his life/work, he gave him a woman with whom to share the whole of his life.


BTW, today completes the 20th year of life that I share with my husband.


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I have one Head, and one Head only-Jesus Christ

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 08:44:35 AM »

Offline walker starr

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 08:45:27 AM »



   Larry ,dear brother, would GOD have given us the equipment that HE did
   if HE had intended us to follow the advice and example of Paul regarding marriage?  ::smile::
Have patience, I am 82 years old and new to computers. I don't belong in this century but I am enjoying some of it. JESUS is king. JESUS ALWAYS HAS AND ALWAYS WILL KEEP HIS PROMISES.

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 08:45:27 AM »

larry2

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 09:21:54 AM »



   Larry ,dear brother, would GOD have given us the equipment that HE did
   if HE had intended us to follow the advice and example of Paul regarding marriage?  ::smile::

rofl  I think by the time we came along the earth had been replenished. The result now is over population and a massive divorce rate.  ::smile::

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 09:21:54 AM »



Offline phoebe

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 09:24:59 AM »



   Larry ,dear brother, would GOD have given us the equipment that HE did
   if HE had intended us to follow the advice and example of Paul regarding marriage?  ::smile::

rofl  I think by the time we came along the earth had been replenished. The result now is over population and a massive divorce rate.  ::smile::


Wasn't when Paul wrote those comments.
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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 09:24:59 AM »

Offline canuck

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 01:00:26 PM »

MAN SAYS
With this ring, I, _________, take you _______, to be my wife,
before God who brought us together;
to love you and to cherish you even as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it,
to protect you and to be the source of strength and love for you to draw from,
and to support you in all you endeavor to do
while sharing in all of life's experiences with you
as we follow God through them together all the days of our lives.
That through His grace, ________, we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
 
WOMAN SAYS
And with this ring, I, ______, take you, _________, to be my husband,
before God who brought us together,
to love you and to cherish you, even as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for it,
to support you in everything you endeavor to do,
and to walk by your side while sharing in all of life's experiences with you
as we follow God through them together all the days of our lives.  
That through His grace, ___________, we might grow together into the likeness of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


These vows by the woman mirror closely the vows given by the man.

The command given by the Lord through Paul that a man should love his wife as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for it is an instruction for husbands -- not for wives. Therefore, it seems inappropriate for a woman to be making vows that are clearly the Lord's commands to husbands --  being that they are held responsible and accountable by God for the cohesiveness of the marriage -- not wives.

An egalitarian viewpoint of the marriage relationship has no scriptural support -- other than the fact that both partners stand equal before God in the matter of their redemption and justification. The responsibility of wives and husbands are clearly different according to Scripture (noting especially Eph. 5:22-28 ; Col. 3:18,19 ; 1 Pet. 3:1-8) and thus any marriage vows taken should reflect those differences and not contribute to confusion -- which is what these above-quoted vows do.

canuck

Offline WileyClarkson

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2010, 01:52:44 PM »
phoebe,

happy 20th!
Grace to you and peace.

Wiley    WC5WC

Offline Debbie_55

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 02:39:15 PM »
I do not remember what we actually said, but I do know we made a vow to God to love each other unconditionally and to walk beside each other and resolve all our problems by putting Christ in the center of our life to be our strength and the Holy Spirit to be our guide.

In Christ we have life,
In Jesus we find faith,
In the comforter we find love,
On the Rock we build our house,
Strong stable and true,
To God we pledge our love, our life,
Our commitment,
Today and each tomorrow to come.

This saying was given to us as a wedding gift and this is what we base our marriage on for the last 12 years and all the years to come.
Joshua 24:15 as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

"must be about my Fathers business"

(My website) www.ourchurch.com/member/m/ministering

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2010, 02:39:15 PM »

Offline WileyClarkson

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 04:41:09 PM »
Canuck,

There is nothing wrong in a woman making vows that are of the same commitment level as the man.  Jesus expects no less of a woman than he does of a man in any given situation, and he does not expect anymore of a man than he does of a woman.  If the man and woman repeating those vows are committing to the marriage and each other in the same way that Christ is committed to the church, then that marriage will not fail under any circumstance and that makes those vows even more applicable.

Grace to you and peace.

Wiley    WC5WC

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2010, 04:41:09 PM »

Offline WileyClarkson

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2010, 04:49:20 PM »
Debbie,

I understand why you do.  Thanks.
Grace to you and peace.

Wiley    WC5WC

Offline Debbie_55

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 11:33:16 AM »
Gods will for woman was to be a helpmate to the man in every way, mentally, spiritually, emotionally, socially and physically. She was also created to bare the generations to come. A woman was not greater or less than the man, but was his equal.

There is no place in the Bible that constitutes having to have a marriage license. Man incorporated this into the law. In the Hebrew tradition a mohar or dowry was paid to the father of the bride by the groom in exchange for the daughter, Exodus 22:17.

Genesis 2:23-25 explains the bond of marriage. The two are united as one in the eyes of God. Ephesians 5:22-29 wives are to submit to their husbands as unto the Lord for the husband is the spiritual head of the wife. Man is the provider and protector of his family. Husbands, you are to love your wives like Christ loves his church. This is an unconditional love that looks on the inside of a person and not the adorning of the outside. It is a love with a pure heart.

This submission also carries over to the bed that neither should deprive one another unless it is a mutual consent, 1 Corinthians 7:5 the principles for the married believer are explained in 1 Corinthians 7:10-16. As long as there is love and faithfulness the two should never depart from each other nor stray away for lust of the flesh.

Before ever getting married take time to really know each other and establish a friendship that consist of trust and belief in each other. Allow Christ to be the center of your friendship and this will allow you to begin a marriage that is totally Christ centered. Always resolve your problems with the Holy Ghost guidance through the word and you will always have a good marriage. Always be opened and honest with each other for this builds trust in the relationship, but if that trust is broken there is no relationship. Love each other unconditionally as Christ loves us and forgives us our faults. As long as we live in this flesh we will sin at times, but when you acknowledge those sins and ask for forgiveness God will always forgive us. Always be ready to forgive each other seventy times seven, Matthew 22:21,22, and not only forgive, but forget the sin as God remembers our sins no more when we repent of them. The outside appearance will always change and beauty may fade, but it is the heart of the person we are to love and the heart will never change as long as the love of Christ dwells within it.
Joshua 24:15 as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

"must be about my Fathers business"

(My website) www.ourchurch.com/member/m/ministering

Offline canuck

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 01:24:10 PM »
Canuck,

There is nothing wrong in a woman making vows that are of the same commitment level as the man.  Jesus expects no less of a woman than he does of a man in any given situation, and he does not expect anymore of a man than he does of a woman.  If the man and woman repeating those vows are committing to the marriage and each other in the same way that Christ is committed to the church, then that marriage will not fail under any circumstance and that makes those vows even more applicable.



In the spirit of commitment I would agree with you; but in light of God's roles for partners ( man and woman) it can only amount to confusion. What we are seeing today within society is the confusion of the roles that God intended for the husband and the wife. The vows that were posted do not reflect the different roles that God has intended for the respective partners. And it is this drifting away from those roles to the constructing of an egalitarian framework within
the marriage relationship that is producing the friction that often results in a marriage breakdown. Society did far  better 100 years ago when the roles of mates were better understood than they are today ( a 5% divorce rate in 1910 vs. a 50% divorce rate in 2010 ).

You aver that Jesus expects no less of a woman that an man in any given situation. Thatwould apply with respect to following the will of God in righteousness in the face of the Great Commandment -- but nowhere in Scripture will you be able to cite the same expectations of God for women as for men with regard to their respective marriage roles.

canuck


Offline OUmillenium

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2010, 10:46:18 PM »
Vows, shmows.

Just keep God first in all you do and everything will fall into place.

I recommend loving/treating your wife like you are still "pursueing" her.

It helps if neither husband nor wife believe that divorce will ever be an option.  That has been a wonderful blessing for the 2 of us. 

10 years married in June.

I try to keep things simple.
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26

Offline Link

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Re: Your wedding vows and what they mean
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2010, 04:32:59 AM »
Vows do not make the wedding.  The Bible doesn't say anything about wedding vows making a couple married.  They do not seem to be true 'vows' in the Biblical sense.  They are not sworn as an oath in the name of the LORD.  Which is a good thing considering Christ's words.

In the Old Testament, a man covenanted to marry a woman, if she were a virgin, by paying her father a bride price.  Unless she were his slave.  If she were a slave captured in war, she would shave her head and trim her nails to mourn her parents before he would marry her.  The marriage was not made by repeating vows.

Let's look at the one marriage ceremony in the Old testament for which we have any detail.  Boaz sits down with the relative who has first rights to redeem Ruth's late husband's estate.  He passes up on it.  Boaz, in front of the elders who serves as witnesses redeems the estate and anounces that he was taking the widow of the man who owned the estate before, as his wife.  They were married then. 

Where does our marriage custom come from.  The Romans, before Christianity came in, had various rituals for marriage.  A couple would hold hands in public to show their intentions.  Their ritual included the woman wearing a ring on her ring finger.  i am not sure when it was put on.   

For their ceremony, they would say some words before some kind of priest.  the woman would agree to take the man's name "Where you are Gaius, there I am Gaia.'  Roman women didn't really have their own personal names.  they got a female form of their fathers name and 'the older' or 'the younger' after it, or else got numbered for being daughter one, two, three, etc.  The woman apparently took the husband's name.  Herod's wife was Herodias.  Actually she was Philipias or whatever the Greek term is because she illegitimately married her brother-in-law. 

The man would take the bride and run off with her, imitating the Roman legend that some of the early Romans stole their wives like that.

It is easy to see how the western 'Christian' wedding may have evolved.  Just get rid of the pagan priest and substitute the Christian elder/priest.  Have the couple say some words.  Add some religious phrases, add an extra-biblical tradition that a priest has the power to make a couple truly married, and there you have it.