Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

The Importance of a Vow

on December 29, 2013

Some couples choose to use more traditional vows, while a popular choice these days is to write one’s own vows. Unfortunately many couples of either preference seem to miss the point altogether because rarely do they even understand what a “vow” is and its importance. What is a “vow”? To whom are we making our “vows”? What happens if we break a “vow”? These are questions that should be answered and understood before young couples arrive at the chapel.

According to the Random House Dictionary, a “vow” is a “solemn promise, pledge or personal commitment.” It can also be defined as a “dedication”, usually made in earnest or with great passion. In the Bible, vows were a spiritual matter and a contract that was binding according to God’s law. Most vows were made directly to God as a promise to behave in a certain way or achieve specified goals.

An early example of a vow is found in Genesis 28, during the famous “Jacob’s Ladder” account in scripture. In Genesis 28:20-22, it says:

“And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, ‘If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father’s house in peace; then shall the LORD be my God: and this stone, which I have set for a pillar, shall be God’s house: and of all that thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto thee.’”

In this case, Jacob is making a vow that is conditional. He is vowing to serve, honor and obey Jehovah God as long has God takes care of his needs and guides his steps. The great thing about this conditional vow is that it hinges upon God doing what God is going to do without fail because it’s His character. God is going to take care of Jacob, just like He is going to provide for all of His children. He does it because He has promised to do it in His Word. So Jacob vows conditionally, but really it has an unconditional outcome because we know God will not fail to be who He is. God’s promises endure forever. In Him there is no shadow of turning, amen? God never breaks His promises. The question is, will we? Hold onto that question in your heart for a while.

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