No Christian life is worth living without a good relationship with God and others. This is why in the creation stories, God insisted on getting Adam a partner. In His words it is not good that the man should be alone. God did not want Adam to just have a relationship with Him alone so He created Eve for him.
God created Adamand Eve so they mightalso learn to live and tolove each.
CHRISTIAN MARRIAGES REFLECT CHRIST‟S LOVE FOR THE CHURCH: The Bible suggests that the marriage relationship between a husband and the wife should reflect the relationship the relationship between God and Israel, and selflessly sacrificed for her, so St. Paul expects husbands to love their wives. (Ephesians Chapter 5) Marriage is based on love which must not be merely sentimental, but as expressed in 1Corinthians 13.
„Love is patient and kind; Love is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its way, It is not irritable or resentful; It does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.Love bears all things, believes all things, endures all things.Love never ends. So faith, hope and love abides, These three, but the greatest of these is love‟
THE VOWS “I” - This is the first word in the vows and it is often followed by the name of the person. This affirms that even though the words are mostly repeated after the officiating minister, it is not a mere repetition of words as they have been owned by the one repeating them.
“DO TAKE THEE”The 2 nd set of words, which isfollowed by the name of theaddresses, shows that a particularperson is being addressed. Thisidentifies the other party, ie. apartfrom God, in the covenant.
“TO BE MY WEDDED WIFE/HUSBAND”Traditionally, polygamy is allowed and even encouraged in our cultures. The laws of Ghana on marriage also affirm this. When one weds, however, it is a public and legal affirmation that one is going to stay with that one partner.
The Christian has no excusewhatsoever, for indulging in any suchbehavior. So God created woman tocomplement man.Adam was overcome with emotion andwonder when he saw the new creatureand he proclaimed “this, indeed, is boneof my bone and flesh of my flesh…”
In taking a wife or a husband, therefore, one proclaims and re-echoes that which Adam said: “I‟ve found the one who makes me complete.” To go away from this person therefore is to put a big question mark on that which we claim had come from God
It is, perhaps, to buttress this point, that some traditions add “Do you promise, forsaking all others…and holding only unto her/him?”
“IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD” This is the most crucial thing about marriage vows. That, the vows are being said in the presence of God, is a stark and most timely reminder that God is a Partner in the marriage. When one breaks one‟s promise to a spouse, it is first and foremost a betrayal of God. So, in his prayer of confession in Ps. 51:4, David says: “Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight…” Infidelity to a partner is primarily a slap in the face of God.
“BEFORE THIS CONGREGATION/WITNESSES This is another crucial aspect of the vows: that is, the fact that the vows are being said before an audience who testify to what is being done. In the true sense of “no man is an island” this phrase should remind the couple that the outcome of their marriage has consequences not only for themselves but to the “cloud of witnesses” gathered there.
“PROMISE AND COVENANT”Eccl. 5:4 & 5 cautions about making vows to God and not fulfilling them. A Christian who thus stands before God and the people of God and vows to his partner is duty bound to keep this vows. They must, therefore, be taken with all the seriousness it deserves and assiduously kept.
“LOVE (OR LOVING), HONOUR, CHERISH AND PROTECT”They mean, primarily, that one is prepared to put one‟s needs on hold, if necessary, to ensure that other‟s comfort is secured. In the best of situations, however, these are not concepts that are demanded but ones that are given. In other words
it is not a matter of: “you promise to love, honour, cherish and protect me and I demand that you do so”, it is more of: “I promise to love, honour, cherish and protect you and I am doing so”.
“FAITHFUL” It must be taken in the complete form in which it sometimes appears: “…forsaking all else, be faithful to…”. All too often, people do not think they have been unfaithful until they have had sex outside marriage. Faithfulness demands that the spouse becomes the most important person in one‟s life.
“DUTIFUL” A spouse who knows and perform his/her duties to the partner is indeed beautiful to be hold! “The man must work hard in his calling to provide for the home” the woman must take care of the home” it is even more embarrassing when everyone knows that the groom is unemployed and the bride a professional. The question however still remains, “what is one to do in such circumstances?”
“UNTIL GOD SHALL SEPARATE US BY DEATH”It means that absolutely nothing – including adultery and even incest can or should cause a couple to go their separate ways. Once they have taken the vows, they have to stick together through thick and thin.
“To have and to hold”“ for better, for worse”; “ for richer, forpoorer”, “in sickness and in health”,
.“To have” is almost automatic, to hold to one another in love demands a forgiving spirit, maturity, prayer and a constant in filling of the Holy Spirit as well as a deep commitment that desires to go on when one hits the inevitable dry patches in marriage.
COUPLES NEED:A well utilized courting time: this should include, at least 3 months of good Christian. Sex should be put on hold till after the marriage; even for non virgins.
The couple should seek good role models: as divorces increase and urbanization rises, many children are growing up without god marriage role models. It is important that a couple preparing for marriage prayerfully choose a good Christian couple to guide them.
THE MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT INMARRIAGE IS COMMITMENT TO:GODTHE SPOUSETHE MARRIAGE