THE BROKEN VOW
It’s so pathetic that these days more often than not the concept of vows making and honoring them is becoming obsolete or trample upon. Being also a victim of broken vows I can say beyond reasonable doubt that, this isn’t the part of Gods plan for mankind with specific for thee Christians. But before we go into what vows and broken vows with its consequences, let me first remind us of Gods mind concerning what His intent is concerning marriage.
Marriage was God’s idea. In fact, He designed it. And as the designer, He knows exactly what our marriages need in order for them to thrive. His ultimate goal for marriage is for husbands and wives to have oneness expressed in a relationship bound together by a Holy Covenant.
For many , marriage is understand to be a “contract,” which can be easily broken. When we made our vows to our spouse at our wedding and said, “until death do us part,” what we really meant was, “… until I feel like giving up and getting out.”
In contrast, God’s design for marriage was for it to be a holy covenant.
For what reason? Because the Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. (Malachi 2:14)
A covenant is an agreement and a vow one person makes with another. And not just any agreement… this is a solemn vow before God. We need to realize that the consequences of breaking a covenant we made before God are very serious and sobering (Proverbs 6:20-29). Once we understand this, then we realize that leaving the marriage is not an easy option for us.
When you make a vow to God do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. (Ecclesiastes 5:4-5)
The interesting thing is that when we accept that divorce is not an option (in the majority of cases) and we know there is nowhere to go… our view of marriage completely changes. Knowing we can’t get out is the key to our marriages being transformed. Why? Because it’s then that we really commit to working on our marriages by following God’s blueprint for our marriages.
Nowadays, so many couples write their own vows, and somehow I’m not sure some of those vows are truly worth honoring, let alone whether there is any importance in honoring them. However, if we are talking about the traditional vows, “for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part,” then absolutely the importance of honoring those vows are crucial to the very root for growth and protection of a healthy society on this planet.
It is not only the value of marriage which appears to be disappearing, but it also appears that the importance of the honoring (or the keeping) of the marriage vows is disappearing too. I have taken this opinion from the rate of divorce, whether from those inside or outside of the church. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s true, but a few years ago I heard that the rate of divorce was sadly actually higher amongst those within the church, than outside the church. The importance of honoring our vows has now become a daily stand for both of us, some times a daily challenge as the ripple-effect has reached far and wide, not just in our little immediate family, but we now understand that it is also for the many generations to come.
From all that I have experienced, read and heard, you ask any adult who grew up within a broken family whether they thought that things might have been different for them if their parents had worked at focusing on the importance of their vows, many would say “yes!”
If we as parents work at honoring our vows, it is actually the ripples of that honoring which is passed onto our children, for they see us honoring each other as well as us honoring them, it is then passed on into society as the children become adults. However, if the opposite occurs, our children see us not honoring our vows or dishonoring each other, subsequently they feel dishonored and in return, that same dishonor is passed back to us and back into our society.
Without the honoring of the vows, the vows become a contract – “I’ll do this for you, if you do that for me.” It negates the entire essence of the vows – “it does not matter what you do to me or for me or what you don’t do, I will always keep my side of this marriage no matter what” – a covenant, ‘til death do us part!
I once heard a story about a great city which was built, and around it were huge walls with a moat protecting the entire city. They also had guards posted around the walls watching out over the surrounding territory and protecting the city. The enemy eventually stopped attacking the city as they knew that they could not penetrate the huge walls or those protecting the city.
As the generations past, the city stopped allocating people to walk the walls and guard the city, and stopped allocating people to maintain the huge walls, as it appeared that the enemy would never return.
One day, a man who resided in the wall and daily exited the city properly to fish within the moat decided that he would penetrate the side of the wall and fish directly in the moat from his residence. Others saw this and followed what many believed was a great idea.
More generations past and the huge wall slowly disintegrated.
One day, a messenger of the enemy happened to pass by the great city and saw that the wall protecting it had disintegrated and that the city could easily be penetrated and overtaken. Thus within days, the enemy’s forces came and took over the great city.
The people of the city who survived cried out to each other, “Why did we not keep the wall maintained? Why did we allow it to crumble? Why were we so foolish to believe that the enemy would not return and take over our city?
The city represents our society, the walls surrounding and protecting the city represents our marriages, every brick of those walls supplying strength and protection represents the importance of us honoring the vows of our marriages, those that walk the walls are those of us who stand up and cry out the importance of maintaining our marriages and our vows. The enemy represents all that is destructive to our society.
In our relationship, without one of us honoring the importance of our vows, there would have never been the opportunity or the freedom for the other to join in the honoring of our vows. There also would have been no opportunity for healing of the devastation which had erupted not only in our own lives, but in the lives of others via our actions. And even further, we would have remained a part of a damaged society which is slowly crumbling due to so many not seeing the importance of honoring their vows.
If you’ve had thoughts of breaking your marriage covenant, I’d like encourage you right now to choose to stay in your marriage. Tell God you’re sorry and then, in your heart of hearts, just recommit. Don’t worry about what your spouse does or doesn’t do. Second, I encourage you to pray for your marriage. God longs to help you! He is for you, not against you.