Marriage: Commitment on Your Wedding Day

The big day has come. You are prepared. You know you are marrying the man God has for you. The two of you have studied and worked through your differences. You’ve discussed your plans. You are ready!

wedding2Now it is time. You are now about to make the promises you should have already made in your heart but this time you will be voicing these vows before witnesses.

Some people use vows prepared by the preacher leading the ceremony. Other’s write customized vows that are more personal. There really isn’t a problem with either of these methods as long as you really mean what you are saying and are not just saying words.

Whichever vows you choose to use, you should be promising to love, honor, and cherish your spouse for better or worse, whether they are rich or poor, while they are healthy and when they are sick. You are promising that no matter what happens you are going to stay together until death. Nothing will part you.

You will put rings on each other’s finger as a reminder of these promises.

What is it you are promising anyway? These are not to be just words.

1. You are promising to love them. Love is not just a feeling. It is something you do for someone else. You will do what is best for that person even if they do not realize that is what they need.

2. You will honor them. Honor means respect. You will not look down on your spouse. You take what they say under consideration and speak well of them around other people.

3. Cherish them. Be there for them. Help them and encourage them. Hold them close.

Think of your favorite possession. How do you treat that item? Do you throw it around and mistreat it? No. You cherish it, treat it with great care and attention. You don’t want to lose it. So you keep it in a special place. When you look upon it you do so with care and joy. You will not let any harm come to it. It is your special treasure.

That is how you should treat your spouse. They are your beloved. You want only what is best for them. You treat them with compassion and care. Don’t break them by saying ugly or mean things to them. Their feelings are valuable. Take care of them. Hold them close and treat them better than you do yourself. If anyone else tried to hurt your beloved whether it is family, friend, or foe, you will not let them. You will defend your beloved with your words and actions.

4. For better or worse. You will do what is best for your spouse whether it is a good time or not. If it is what is best for you or if it seems like the worse time to do what is right. You are still going to be committed to your spouse.

5. For richer or poorer. Hard times will hit. If you lose your job for whatever reason, the two of you will stay together. The bills come in faster than the money is coming in. You will work together to solve the problem. Perhaps you will even have to move into a smaller house. Circumstances will not matter because you are committed to doing what is best for this person no matter what. Even if you have to give up some of the things you love because you cannot afford them at the time. You will do so knowing that your love and commitment to your spouse is above any possession or financial gain you could have.

6. In sickness and in health: If a major illness hits your beloved, you will not leave them stranded and wounded. You will still be there for them. Even if they were to be physically or mentally affected for life. You are still motivated by love, only doing what is best for them. No matter what society says or thinks, you would want your spouse to stand by you if your health had failed. This is the time to do unto your spouse what you would have them do unto you in the same situation.

7. ‘Til death do you part. You will stay true to your beloved. Nothing else will separate you. Divorce is not an option. Should the health of the person cause mental issues that make them abusive, you may have to get them medical help and you may have to keep yourself safe from physical harm. However that does not mean you should leave them. They are still your spouse. Your cherished treasure. If a part of your treasured possession is broken you will do whatever it is in your power to help fix the broken shards that are trying to hurt you.

These things should be on your mind when you commit your life to love, honor, and cherish your spouse. Taking care of this treasure God has given you is worth all the time and effort you need to work on it. If you love your spouse you will be their for them.

Do you love, honor, and cherish your spouse? Please share your experience with me in the comments.

This is Day 14 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Tomorrow I will be discussing how to have a happy marriage after the honeymoon phase is over.

 

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Engaged Preparing for Marriage

Alright! So you read yesterday’s post. You prayed about it and you’ve decided that this is definitely the person God would have you marry. You are both on the same page. In fact you both read that post and were in agreement.

What? You didn’t think about sharing the post “Engagement: Point of Decision” with your fiance? Okay real quick click the link here and go down to the share button and send it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

engagedThat didn’t take long. After reading that page, I will assume right now that you both are in agreement. Now it is time for the two of you to prepare for marriage.

No. I don’t mean picking out flowers and the wedding dress. I mean preparing mentally and spiritually.

I could write a whole book just on ways to prepare for marriage. For now I will share what my husband and I did.

  1. We decided which church we would attend together. When we first met I was the Sunday School teacher for the teen class at the church where my dad pastored. Scott was a member of a larger Baptist Church where he was helping with an ESL ministry. We decided we needed to choose one place to worship together. I decided that I would follow him and join the church where he was a member.
  2. We had one session of premarital counseling with the pastor of the church we planned to attend together. I think we might could have had a little more counseling but the pastor saw that we were committed to each other and loaned us some videos to watch instead of having us back for any further counseling.
  3. We watched marriage videos and read books on marriage. Now with the internet there are a lot more resources available to engaged couples preparing for marriage than there were 17 years ago. One great resource is Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk marriage videos. He has also written quite a few books. We also studied Larry Burkett’s books and videos on budgeting and finances.
  4.  We took a marriage and family class together. You may not be able to find a marriage class in your area. However I know there are a lot more resources online now. In fact just going through this 31 Day Series on Building Commitment you will get a lot. When I am done with this series my husband and I may start working on creating an online marriage course through Rock Solid Family.
  5.  We found out our personality types. I remember in the Marriage and Family class we took, the instructor looked at my chart and told Scott, “You won’t have any problems with her. She knows exactly who she is and is comfortable being that way.”  He was mostly right, except the person I was comfortable being was exactly opposite of the man I was marrying. So we still had to learn to adjust and work on our weaknesses and help build each other up instead of hurting each other. And we had to realize that a lot of the things we did differently were a matter of personality and we had to be patient with each other.

How about you? Do you have any advice on ways to prepare for marriage? What resources would you recommend to engaged couples to help them prepare for marriage and raising a family? I know I didn’t cover all of the great resources available in this post so I would love to hear what I might have missed in the comments below.

This is Day 13 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Check back tomorrow as we look at marriage life after you say, “I do.” If you know someone that might benefit from what you are reading here please share any of these posts with them. 

~~ Anastacia ~~

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Commitment in Marriage (Guest Post by My Dad)

This is a guest post by my dad, Paul Clark. He and my mom have been happily  married 40 years and raised 3 children. All 3 of whom are very committed to our spouses and our families.

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Art Credit: Joshua K. Maness

It has been well said that when it comes to providing the farmer his breakfast, the cow and the hen are involved but the pig is committed. The cow can stop giving milk and the hen can stop laying eggs but for the pig there is no turning back. Commitment should be viewed just this way.

Once you jump off a cliff you are committed. There is no turning back and no changing your mind. At the point one jumps, at the point one says “I do” there is no turning back. That is true commitment. When the wedding vows say “for better or for worse, through good times and bad, until death do us part,” they mean just that.

Once the vows have been made and the commitment is underway thoughts of going back, giving up, turning around should never enter one’s mind. One has jumped and it is too late to turn back they are now committed. If divorce comes, then commitment or at the least bilateral commitment never existed.

One can react to this impossibility of going back or stopping that to which they have committed, in different ways. One can be motivated by nobility and integrity to get them through the bad times and thus praise their own strength of character and enlist the same praise from others to comfort them in their misery. One may be motivated by stubbornness to maintain their commitment.

However, there is a better way. That way is love. Love makes true commitment possible. When turning back is not an option, when the vows have been made and reneging on them is not a possibility then solving problems and coping with troubles that arise in marriage and family life are left with but one tool and that is love.

The Bible teaches us that

“Love is kind and patient, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails!”

– 1 Corinthians 13:1-7 CEV

 

When a man and a woman truly love each other, true commitment will exist. Its proof is found in duration. Love and true commitment will weather every storm, EVERY storm!

Is it possible for a couple to be married for forty years and never once consider divorce or separation? This author will testify that it is indeed! True love and commitment causes a couple to stay together and causes them to be unable to envision , imagine, contemplate, or in any way desire life apart.

There is another commitment that helps with the marriage commitment. If the man and the woman will each commit themselves to God first and put God first in their lives then as they both strive to be pleasing to God they will discover that they will be pleasing to each other. True commitment to God makes commitment to marriage and family very achievable.

 

So how about you? Are you committed? Will you be the Chicken, the Cow, or the Pig in your marriage?  Feel free to share in the comments.

paulclarkPaul Clark, the pastor of Walnut Street Baptist Church in Hillsboro, Tx., has a Doctorates Degree in Theology from Texas Baptist Institute-Seminary. He and his beloved wife, Janie have been married 40 years come December. You can find out more about Bro. Paul and connect with him on his website at http://baptistville.org. You can also subscribe to his YouTube Channel here.

This is Day 5 of 31 Days Building Commitment. Check back tomorrow to see how a single person can prepare for their future marriage.

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