Wednesday, November 2

Fulfilling My Vows

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people. --Psalm 116:13-14

On July 5, 2003 we stood before God, our family, and dear friends as we repeated those familiar words that bound us together in holy matrimony. We exchanged vows and rings--verbal and physical evidence of our lifelong commitment to one another. In sickness and in health, for better or for worse, until death parts us, we will continue to honor our vows and take them seriously. Our vows were not just "warm fuzzies" that we said to each other as we grinned from ear to ear up in front of church that day. They are a deep-seated commitment that we exercise in every day, every moment of our marriage.

Although the specific words that we spoke took place only once in front of many public witnesses, certain aspects of my daily actions as a wife should be further public proof that I belong to my husband. If I were to say "I love you" each morning but never treated my husband with respect, I would not be honestly living out my vows. If I flatter him to his face but complain about his minute imperfections to my girl friends, I'm not truly loving him.

The same goes for our relationship with God. When God gave his people what we commonly refer to as "The Ten Commandments" what He was really doing is making a vow with His people. Since marriage is commonly used as a metaphor for God's relationship to His church, it is fitting to think of His commands as a sacred covenant, much like wedding vows. Our obligations to God should be taken as seriously and reverently as wedding vows. For us to claim to have a relationship with God but not behave in such a way that evidences such a relationship, we are walking a dangerous line. It would be as if I had taken off my wedding ring and gone out to some singles venue to flirt with any guy who happened to look my way twice.

God wants and deserves more than just lip service from us. He wants a growing, deepening, meaningful relationship with us. He also wants our loyalty and respect. Because He is the Lord of my life, I need to be as committed to my relationship with God as I am to my husband, if not more so. And, just as in my marriage, I need to behave in a loving manner even and especially when I don't think I have to.

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