What you and I choose to believe about marriage is wrapped up in how we view The Vow. When I say, “The Vow,” I am referring to the holy (set apart for a purpose) and sacred (connected to God) commitment that was made (or will be made) on your wedding day. This is a promise, a covenant, and a pledge between a husband and a wife and the God who breathed life into them. How you respond to the promise you made will determine who you are – whether you like it or not.

This promise and adequate respect for it will matter much more than you probably realize. Let me paint a picture for you:

The Picture:

Let’s just say that you and I have met before. We know each other, but not well enough to be taking family vacations together anytime soon. I happen to explain to you that I am in need of $1,000.00, but I don’t know how to come up with the money or where it will come from. On a bit of a whim, you decide to offer to loan me the money for a year. You give me the cash, we shake hands and agree on the terms, and I’m on my way.

Outcome #1.

It’s been almost a year now. Imagine that you don’t hear from me–ever. Not only that, but you recently heard that I have become known for flaking out on people and not taking commitments, or promises, very seriously. You happen to talk to a mutual friend and you ask him about me. This mutual friend tells you that 6 or 8 months ago he overheard me at a public gathering telling a few other people about what a fool you were for thinking you were going to get your money back. Then he laughed. Loudly. A dark, selfish, sinister laugh that made you feel like an utter fool.

How do you feel about the promise that was made to you right now?

Outcome #2.

Later during the same day that you agreed to loan me the money, I called you. I thanked you again for believing in me and said that your trust in me was something I valued and took very seriously. After a few weeks, you got an email from me updating you on a few things in my life and thanking you again for your trust in me. Over the next year, I went out of my way a few times a month to stop by your work, send you email updates, call you from time to time, and I even took you out to lunch several times. All of this gave you a pretty solid understanding that I take my commitments, including the one I made to you, seriously.

How do you feel about the promise that was made to you this time?

Promises matter.

How we respond to promises is a reflection of our character. The promise that two people make when they marry is without a doubt among the most important promises/vows/commitments you will make in your lifetime. Not only will it affect you and how others see you, but it will effect many others around you as well. If children are a part of the mix, for example, the keeping of this promise (as well as the breaking of it) will affect them for the rest of their lives. Period. Research has shown that your grandkids will be effected by whether your marriage promise is kept or broken as well. I hope I have your attention!

How do you feel about the promise you made to your spouse the day you got married? How should you feel about it? How does your spouse feel about the promise/commitment that they made to you? Before you try to tell your spouse what they should be doing, start with yourself. Decide today to set an example of how revered and important this promise is. Everyone around you will notice what you do long before they notice what you say. 

If you have not yet read, There is More Power in a Marriage Vow Than You Realize - Part 1, you can do so by clicking this link.

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By Brad & Tami Miller. Copyright © 2018