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A Great Marriage Is As Easy As One, Two, Three.

I will never forget the phone call I made that day. I was fighting to save my marriage and after weeks of sleeping on the couch because I refused to move out, I finally saw a glimmer of hope. Janet started showing she was willing to at least talk about our marriage and ask questions that sounded as if she was considering giving us another chance.

But for her to give us another chance, she needed to be free from this other guy. So it was then, after I started feeling this new hope, that I felt I needed to make a phone call and talk to this guy. If only, I could get him to back off and give her some space so she could make the decision that would be best for her and our children. Then maybe I thought, we would have a chance.

a great marriage is easy as 1,2,3

 

After all these years I don’t remember too many details of that phone call, except for two statements. As our conversation started turning into more of an argument I heard him say, “well you know, it takes two to make a marriage!” And before I knew it and without any hesitation, I answered back, “Yeah, but it only takes one to quit!” Read more

What’s So Wrong With “I’m Not In Love Anymore”

The words “I love you, but I’m not IN LOVE with you” have been said many times by one spouse to another trying to explain the current condition of their emotions. And sadly those words have been used over and over again as an explanation for why one spouse has decided to give up on their marriage.

But as I said in our last post, there is something terribly flawed with this way of thinking. And if this is the way you’re feeling about your spouse and your marriage right now, I want to send out a warning to you.

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Chasing after this type of emotion is very dangerous. Not only is it a threat to your current marriage, this type of thinking threatens any future hope you may have for a lasting relationship.

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When I Said I Do, I meant ….

“What right do you have to destroy my dreams?” I asked my wife. It was a question I felt very strongly about many years ago when she wanted to end our marriage. And it is a question I still feel very strongly about today.

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I take the marriage vows very serious. I believe the vows are promises of commitment to see the marriage through even the toughest of times. Vows like “for better or worse, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer,” are meant to foretell our commitment to the marriage and our spouse with the presumption that there is a good chance we will face any number of trials that will test our resolve to stay committed to the marriage.

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Committed to a Covenant

Commitment in marriage is an absolute essential for a marriage to last. It’s the promise we make to each other, “until death do us part,” that gives us the hope of going the distance of being married for life. And even if we are challenged with very difficult circumstances, it is this promise of commitment that sees us through. In Life decisions, I talked about my own hopes for a lifelong marriage and how commitment seen me through some difficult times. All marriages start out with this vision of going the distance of being married for life.

 

But, have you ever questioned the reason for saying wedding vows? Could it be that the vows themselves are indicators of what challenges a marriage will face? For better or for worst, in sickness or health, for richer or poorer, are just some examples of what we have all said. We said these vows as a way of swearing our commitment to each other through whatever circumstances we would face. We swore our commitment in preparation for the tough times. No one ever swore their commitment for something that is easy, fun, and always enjoyable, there’s no need for it. But when we commit ourselves to something that promises to challenge our commitment, we swear a vow to ensure our commitment.

What is  COMMITMENT?

In their book,” I love you more,” Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott refer to the book, The Heart of Commitment (Nashville: Nelson, 1998),  by Dr. Scott Stanley at the University of Denver. They wrote “after years of research, he has concluded that the term commitment is generally used in two ways.
The first involves constraint and engenders feelings of obligation. It keeps a couple married, not because their hearts are necessarily in it, but because they gave their word.
The second aspect to commitment involves dedication and engenders enthusiasm and involvement. It translates into active devotion to one another and to the marriage. It’s no surprise that studies show dedicated couples battle bad things better than couples who are committed only out of constraint.”

Committed to keep love alive

Through out the difficult years of my own marriage I was committed to stay married as in keeping my vow. But I was not committed to my marriage and my wife in terms of being dedicated and actively involved to nurture a healthy relationship. This idea of keeping our love alive and growing has made all the difference in our relationship. It is through this approach of commitment that we are able to resolve any conflict that may come our way. Because our ultimate goal above any issue we might disagree on, is the health of our marriage. In a sense, our marriage is always in project mode. We are constantly aware of how important it is and we actively pursue how to make it better. 

Commitment creates security. Security invites intimacy.

Don’t believe the lie that a marriage needs the mystery of uncertainty to keep love alive. There are those that teach and believe that full commitment leads to complacency. And if you keep a little mystery as to the depth of your commitment, you will engender a consistent pursuit from your spouse. That idea actually allows couples to perpetuate their sense of insecurity and thereby cutting off their deepest longing, which is to be intimately known by each other. The purpose and goal of marriage is to create oneness. Oneness can only be achieved within the context of complete commitment. 

Committed to a Covenant

In closing, marriage is a covenant, it is not a contract. A contract can easily be broken, a covenant cannot. One of the best ways to make this point is look at how God demonstrates covenant. He says, “I’ll never leave you or forsake you.”
First, He “never leaves.” He is committed to always be present with us. He has given His word and He won’t go back on it. Therefore He has bound Himself to us. Then also, He will not “forsake us.” He is dedicated to our well-being. He wants to care for us and He will not abandon us. He wants to be as actively involved with us as we will let Him. He wants to do this thing called life, together with us.

That is the way we should approach our marriage. “I give you my word, I will never leave.” And “I will not let you feel like you are all alone and isolated.” “I will be actively dedicated to your well-being.” That is the true essence of a marriage commitment. That is what it means to be Committed to a Covenant.