Perry Emerick – Mesa Campus Pastor
A couple weeks ago, I did a vow renewal for some good friends of mine. These wonderful people had only been married for a couple of years, but when they had gotten married, they had only done so at the courthouse. Though they had started attending Central at the time and God was working on their hearts and had accepted Christ, they still didn’t really have much of an understanding of a God honoring marriage. It was a few months later that they felt like they needed to get into a life group, so they attended a connection event. As it turns out, they connected with a few other couples and agreed to facilitate a marriage life group in their home.
Here is the cool thing about this story. They had already fallen in love with Jesus, but God began to totally and radically reveal to them what it means to have a God honoring marriage as they were trying to help other couples also discover that. This was not their first marriage, each had been married before, so they had a prior experience of an unhealthy marriage. This time though, they discovered what it means to sacrificially love one another and to actively work to put Christ first in their home. Which leads us to that Saturday.
When you look up the word vow in the dictionary, the first definition is “a solemn promise”. It sounds so formal, because it is! The word solemn literally means, “formal or dignified; serious.” Unfortunately today, promises don’t seem to carry the same weight that they once did. Promise is more a desired intention than a solemn vow. All too often we see that in marriage too. This couple wanted to not just have a legal marriage in the eyes of the court, they wanted to re-state their vows before the Lord and their friends in recognition that the marriage vow is not simply a contract, but a serious commitment before the Lord.
The truth is, every day we need to recommit ourselves to our spouses, reminding ourselves of the solemn vows that we made before the Lord. The model of this is Christ himself, who has written his vows to his bride, the church, inscribed with his very blood. He gave himself up for her, to the point of death, and promises to be with us always. What an incredible model to look to. Speaking to men especially, may you be vigilant in your commitment to your solemn vows in honor of your bride, and of Christ. It is well worth it!