Summary: This sermon deals with the importance of our vows that we make in marriage.
Marriage Is Working To Keep A Vow
One day two little kids were playing outside with sticks. They pretended they were great pirates with long pointed swords. All was going well until Billy got a little too close and accidentally hit Johnny on the arm. It stung very sharply and Johnny began to cry.
Billy knew he would be in trouble and he told Johnny, I’m sorry, I’m sorry it was accident. Johnny stopped crying and said okay, don’t worry. I promise. I won’t tell. Billy felt a sight of relief. They played together for a few more minutes and were called inside by their mother.
As soon as they got inside, their mother brought them some ice cream and cookies. But Billy had an extra cookie. Johnny immediately said, “no fair, Billy has an extra cookie.” His Mom said, “yes that’s because Billy picked up his toys this morning and you did not.” Still upset over having one less cookie, Johnny blurted out, “Billy hit me on the arm with a stick outside and still kinda hurts.”
Billy looked at Johnny with disbelief, because he had believed his brother’s promise. Johnny’s vow was good only as long as things were going his way. How good is a vow or promise that you make? It’s funny, just by saying I vow to do this or promise to do that, we create something out of nothing which can cause someone to agree to change their lives forever.
We live in a world today in which some people make vows and promises that are absolutely worthless. The prospective tenant promises to pay the rent on time and the landlord promises that everything is working fine in the apartment. One of them is often not telling the truth. The car dealer promises us this car has no mechanical problems and he guarantees everything for 30 days. Somehow on the 31st day, the transmission falls apart.
A vow is like a promise taken to a new level. When we make a vow, we do it entirely on our own with God as our witness. One of the most sacred vows of all time, is the pledge one human being makes to be there for each other no matter what. We all love that love story in which the couple in love undergoes some severe trial together and the other person remains there until death, or of the soldiers on the battlefield, when one gives up his life because of a promise so that the other might live. We like to see people keep their word. It gives us hope of one day having something like that for ourselves.
Today we celebrate Marriage Sunday. A marriage vow is one of the most sacred vows that we make to each other. It is sacred because the marriage relationship is to be a picture of Jesus Christ and His relationship to the church. Jesus’ vow to the church was to voluntarily lay down His life for the church to have life. His vow to the church was forever. There is something about those words, till death do us part that calls out for the best in each of us.
No vow should be taken with greater seriousness and integrity than the vow a man and a woman makes to each other in marriage. Did you know that many people do not understand the purpose for getting married? The purpose of getting married is not to find happiness together. The purpose of marriage is to have the opportunity to keep the vows and the promises that are made to each other.
There is no box of joy and happiness waiting to found by a couple. It’s the work that goes into keeping the vows that makes a marriage overflow with happiness and joy.
Notice when we make vows in marriage, our vow is “what I am pledging to do for a lifetime.” It’s not that couples fall out of love with each other that causes a marriage to go bad. The unhappiness comes in when couples quit keeping their vows to each other. Love can always be brought back into a relationship simply by both partners going back to their marriage vows and starting to keep them.
Today we’re celebrating marriages that are barely a year old, marriages that are 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 and above years old. Each one can tell you there were some great moments at times and some moments that may have been tense, but keeping their vows helped them to get through the tenseness. If we believed what the bible has to say about marriage rather than the love songs, we’d be in much better shape for handling difficulties in marriage.
Every couple starts out with the idea, their marriage is not going to make the same mistakes that other couples have. There’s will be the one everyone will want to pattern themselves after. But it just does not work like that. Marriage is not what we expect it to be as we all who are married have found out . People have lied to us when they said, “as long as you really love each other, it will work.” That’s a bunch of non-sense. Being romantically in love is not enough to produce a good marriage. Both people striving to become like Jesus Christ will.