Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

A Keeper of Your Vows

on February 17, 2014

The Word of God has a lot to say about the importance of a person keeping his or her word and living up to their commitments:

   “But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.” Matthew 5:37

            “Lying lips are an abomination to the LORD, but those who deal truthfully are His delight.” Proverbs 12:22

            “Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds…” Colossians 3:9

            “If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Numbers 30:2

A vow is a promise. When a woman breaks her wedding vows, she is breaking the promises she has made to her husband, the witnesses and her God. There is no sugar-coating this fact. A vow is a serious matter. Let your “yes” be “yes”. Lying lips are an abomination. Do not lie to one another. If a man (or woman) makes a vow to the LORD….he (she) shall do according to all that proceeds out of his (her) mouth. This is what God’s Word says on the matter.

In case there is anyone who is misled into thinking that the vows she pledged at her wedding were to her husband alone, I encourage you sister to bring to remembrance that a wedding vow is always made in the presence of God, whether it be in a church or a courthouse. The moment you spoke those wedding vows to your husband, you were married in the eyes of the Lord. He took every word you uttered seriously that day. The question is, did you?

That’s a question we wives have to ask ourselves when we are tempted to break our vows in any way. I know I have had to ask myself this question from time to time. I have had to meditate on the importance of my vows and remember that I was speaking those vows to God and my husband alike. The truth is, keeping those vows for a lifetime is no easy undertaking. We see that every time there’s a news article reporting the upsetting divorce rate. That’s why we have to be reminded of the value of a vow and to whom we have made those vows. When the storms come and the home is being rattled and shaken, will be keep our vows to the Lord? When our husbands are not living up to their part of the deal, will we keep our vows to the Lord? When we face a life that is not what we anticipated, will we keep our vows to the Lord? That’s the question that matters most.

If a vow is a promise, and one that is made to spouse, witnesses and God Himself, then what is the penalty for breaking that promise? What can we expect to be the consequences of breaking our vow to the Lord? Just like with any other sin that we allow to enter into our lives, one who breaks her marriage vows will no doubt feel a great hindrance in her relationship with the Lord. Sin hinders our prayer life and quenches the Spirit.

Not only are their spiritual consequences to sin, but history and statistics have shown us that those who break their wedding vows and divorce their spouse oftentimes suffer from hardships, depression, loss of other familial relationships and more. Children of divorced parents usually have a hard time in school, struggle with thoughts of guilt and depression, sometimes lose contact with at least one parent and often have trouble maintaining healthy relationships themselves later in life.

Am I proclaiming that these trials will come to all those who divorce their spouses for reasons that are not permitted in the Word of God? Of course not. I pray these hardships do not come to pass, but they do nonetheless. One thing I find to be particularly troubling is that Christians who divorce seem to suffer a great deal more than unbelievers who divorce, generally-speaking. Perhaps this is because Christians are held to a higher accountability, as Jesus often spoke of in the Word.

“When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not slack to pay it: for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it would be sin in thee.But if thou shalt forbear to vow, it shall be no sin in thee. That which is gone out of thy lips thou shalt keep and perform; even a freewill offering, according as thou hast vowed unto the LORD thy God, which thou hast promised with thy mouth.” Deuteronomy 23:21-23

“When thou vowest a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for he hath no pleasure in fools: pay that which thou hast vowed. Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay.” Ecclesiastes 5:4-5

It’s quite clear throughout scripture that making a vow, oath or promise before the Lord and failing to live up to it is sin. A wedding vow is no different. While a wedding vow may seem to some to be nothing more than a sweet declaration of love for another, it is far more. It is a spoken contract that should be entered into when a person is thoroughly dedicated and committed to fulfilling those vows.  We come back to that ever-lingering question: will we keep our vows to the Lord?

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