When God made man and woman, and ordained marriage to be a holy institution. He never intended it to be a “trial run” or to be an experimental institution.
Many in today’s society consider Marriage to be an out-model relictotally unsuited to meet the needs of modern man. Divorce and remarriage… and live in – arrangements are being advocated as alternatives to a Christian marriage.
In the bible, God has given us a powerfully effective marriage manual. He gives us a certain pattern for a successful and fulfilling marriage that works.
Eph 5:21-33 KJV
“(21) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
(22) Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
(23) For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
(24) Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
(25) Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
(26) That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
(27) That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
(28) So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
(29) For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:
(30) For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
(31) For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
(32) This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
(33) Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”
The home is built upon love. Love is well portrayed in
1 Cor.13:4-8 (AMP)
1Co 13:4 Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.
1Co 13:5 It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong].
1Co 13:6 It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.
1Co 13:7 Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].
1Co 13:8 Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].
God designed marriage to be a nurturing place… a shelter. It is sand paper on one side and silk on the other side. It is abrasive on one side and comforting on the other. Marriage is a test kitchen of the gospel. It is a little world of two people where dying and resurrection take place… and where everything is redeemed.
Marriage is not just a human convenience… or a God-sanctioned way of meeting the needs of the flesh… or an enjoyable method of populating planet earth.
Marriage is an oath to God that with at least one person in the world each of us will see His kingdom realized.
………………….and ...………….. Marriage is a commitment that you will seek Gods face to see your mate’s sicknesses healed …the scars that life inflicted on you both wiped away… and the bent parts of your personalities straightened. Marriage is a pledge to work for the redemption in each other’s lives. That is precisely what Christ does for his church… and that is what he asked us to do for each other. Marriage is a blood covenant. A covenant to love each other, to give your strength for your partner weakness, it’s an oath to stay loyal to your partner in the blood of Jesus.
To dishonour the relationship is to dishonour the blood of Jesus.
Time is allowed to exist so that the bride can be made fully ready, beautified, tried and proven worthy of the great price that was paid for her. Then time will cease and love and the beloved, will be joinedtogether forever.
Who give the bride out?
……………… and …………….. you have both declared to me that you have received Jesus Christ as your saviour, and have been baptized in water and have, made Jesus the lord of your lives.
You have also assured me that it is your desire to have a marriage and build a home that is based on the teaching and Principle of God’s word.
Having a full understanding of both the privileges and responsibilities of marriage, will you please join hand for the Exchange of vows?
Vows to God
Man: I promise God that I will love Him (God) with all my heart, soul and body. I promise that my love for….…………. Will be second only to my love for God. I promise to love my wife even as Christ also lovesthe church …… even as my body.
I promise God that I will leave my father and my Mother and cleave only to my wife. I promise that I will be the Spiritual leader in my home, and that I will be both a priest and a prophet for my family. Ipromise God that I will always treat ………. With courtesy and respect. I promise to be considerate of my wife in everything. I promise God that I will remain married to …………...as long as I live. I make these promises in the blood of Jesus.
Woman: I promise God that I will love Him (God) with all my heart, soul, and body. I promise that my love for …………… will be second only to my love for God. I promise to be submissive to my husbandeven as the church is subject to Christ.
I promise God that I will love my husband. I promise I will be a woman of prayer and of the word of God. I promise that I will encourage my husband in the lord; and that I will follow ………. As he follows the lord.
I promise God that I will be kind, gentle, and gracious to ………….. I promise to be sensitive to his needs and feelings, I promise God that I will remain married to …………. As long as live, I make these promises in the blood Jesus.
TOGETHER: We promise to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, we promise to be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving to let our requests be known unto God. We promise that we will not be conformed to this world, but we will be transformed by the renewing of our minds, that we will prove that which is good, acceptable and perfect will of God, we promise to present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Him. We promise God that we will live by the law of love; never paying evil for evil but always responding by love in every situation. We make these promises in the blood of Jesus.
VOWS TO EACH OTHER.
GROOM TO BRIDE: ............................I receive you as my wife. I consider you to be God’s gift to me. I promise you that I will commit myself to your happiness…and to the fulfilment of your highest dreams… and to your usefulness in God’s kingdom.
I promise that I will love, honour, trust and serve you in all things, I promise that I will be true, and loyal to you as long as I live. I make this covenant with you in the blood of Jesus.
BRIDE TO GROOM: ……………. I receive you as my husband, I consider you to be God’s gift to me. I promise you that I will commit myself to your happiness… and the fulfilment of your highest dreams… and to your usefulness in God’s kingdom.
I promise that I will love, honour, trust and serve you in all things. I promise to be true and loyal to you as long as I live. I make this covenant with you in the blood of Jesus.
Together we are a force that will put the devil to nought in our home, community, and eventually the world. So do not urge me to leave you, or turn back from following you, for where you go, I will go and where you lodge I will lodge, your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Ruth 1:6.
The Lord do so to me and more also, if anything but death part you and I.
EXCHANGE OF RINGS.
The wedding ring is a symbol of marriage in at least two significant ways: the purity of the gold symbolizes the purity of your love for each other. The unending circle symbolizes the unending nature of the vows which you are taking. As a token of your promise to keep the vows, you will now give and receive the rings.
GROOM TO BRIDE:……………. With this ring I make my covenant with you. I pledge my life and love to you. All that I have and all that I am, I give to you. I will protect you and love you all the days of my life. I make this covenant with you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
BRIDE TO GROOM ……………….with this ring, I make my covenant with you, I pledge my life and my love to you. All that I have and all that I am, I give to you. I will respect you and serve you all the days of my life. I make this covenant in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
I now proclaim you man and wife in Jesus’ name.