Subject: What Marriage is all about: Our Personal Relationship with Jesus Christ
Isaiah 62:5 “… as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride, so shall your God rejoice over you.”
Each year in America, more couples get married in June than any other month. This past weekend was the wedding of one of my former teenagers (she’s now 20) from my Bible Study group. My wife and I watched as her father, the pastor of our church, went through the wedding vows with her and her soon-to-be husband: “Do you, Daniel, take MaKay to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, forsaking all others, being faithful to her so long as you both shall live?”
Ever wonder where these vows came from? They originated in the Bible. Our verse this week from Isaiah is one of the many Bible verses where God uses the earthly institution of marriage between a man and a woman as His picture of His personal relationship between Himself as the Bridegroom and each of us as Christians, who together are His bride. Let’s walk through these vows to see their biblical foundation.
Vow #1: “To Live Together in Marriage” -> John 14:23 “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love Him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” And again, in Revelation 21:3 “I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God.’”
Vow #2: “To Love Her” -> Ephesians 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.” And how about Jeremiah 31:3 “The Lord has appeared from afar to me, saying, ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”
Vow #3: “To Comfort Her” -> 2Corinthians 1:3-4 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation…” And then Isaiah 49:13 “Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! The Lord has comforted His people, and has mercy on His afflicted.”
Vow #4: “To Honor Her” -> John 12:26 “If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.” And how about Philippians 2:3-5 “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself… Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus…”
Vow #5: “To Keep Her” -> Genesis 28:15 “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go…” And then there is John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.”
Vow #6: “For Better or Worse, for Richer or Poorer, in Sickness or Health” -> Romans 8:38-39 “Neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Vow #7: “Forsaking All Others” -> Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will neither leave you nor forsake you.” And what about Jesus’s words in Matthew 28:20 “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Vow #8: “Being faithful only to Her” -> 2Timothy 2:13 “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” And also Hebrews 13:5 “… He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God to illustrate His union with those who claim Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Did you notice these 8 vows aren’t called “suggestions” or “ideas”. When they are put to both the man and the woman as a question, and each responds with “I do”, they just gave their word, in front of God Himself and all the witnesses, that they will keep them until they die.
Numbers 30:2-4 explains God’s stance when we make a vow in His name: “If a man vows 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. Or if a woman vows a vow to the Lord, and binds herself by some agreement,… and her father holds his peace, then all her vows shall stand, and every agreement with which she has bound herself shall stand.” Vows in God’s name make you accountable to them.
This is a very good thing – because the One who holds you accountable to your marriage vows also holds Himself to the same standard. Jesus Christ vowed that if you trust in Him for eternal life, you have it: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” (John 6:47).
“The Evidence of Faith’s Substance”, Article #245