Jack-and Andrea asked if I’d officiate at their wedding. The couple was a little unorthodox, but both had attended my church for many years and I agreed to perform the ceremony.
One of their requests for the wedding was that they be allowed to write their own vows. For all of my pastoral life I’ve used the Methodist wedding service, but I was willing to let these two do something different. Different it was …
At the appropriate time in the ceremony, Jack pulled a crinkled sheet of paper from his pockets, and with hands as shaky as his voice, he read his well-thought out vows. His words were filled with tender devotion and commitment to his bride.
Then Andrea presented her off-the-cuff vows. When she uttered the words, “I’ll try to love you the best that I can for as long as I can,” I determined two things: the marriage was doomed to mediocrity, and I would never again officiate over a wedding ceremony without reading the traditional vows.
Vows exist in all kinds of relationships: marriage, business, and politics, and reveal both character and commitment. Yes, vows are only words expressing a promised commitment or assured action to something, but those words are meaningful. Those words move from being meaningful to being precious when the bounds of the relationship are tested by trials of uncertainty. When we don’t know what is going to happen next, we rest assured on the vows made.
Vows of commitment may eventually be broken, but at the time made, they represent a good-will offering of agreement between the parties.
The Bible tells us that God has given to us exceedingly great and precious promises (2 Peter 1:4). These are things God is committing Himself to do, secured in the character and work of Jesus. What are His great and precious promises? The rest of verse 4 reveals that after all is said and done, and your life on earth comes to an end, you will escape this world and be received into Heaven on the merits of Jesus. through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.