Ecclesiastes 5:4-5 (NKJV)
4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it;
For He has no pleasure in fools.
Pay what you have vowed--
5 Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.
Covenant: an agreement, usually formal, between two or more persons to do or not do something specified.
Promise: a declaration that something will or will not be done, given, etc., by one
Vow: A solemn promise, pledge, or personal commitment
Our relationship with God is a covenant. Our relationship with our spouse is a covenant. We make our marriage vows before God and man to stick together for richer or poorer, better or worse, in sickness and in health, and etc. We then make promises throughout our marriage to do the little things, like come home on time, take out the garbage, take the kids to their activities, and so on. God always keeps His promises because He cannot lie, but unfortunately this is not true with man. We break covenant, vows, and promises. We get into covenants that God never intended because we enter into them based on our flesh and emotion instead of wisdom and understanding.
Ecclesiastes 5:2 (NKJV)
2 Do not be rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words be few.
We shouldn’t make vows unless we KNOW that God has ordained them. It is frustrating, painful, and nearly impossible to keep covenant if we don’t understand the love of God. God’s love is unconditional. There is nothing that can separate us from His love. He loved us when we were yet sinners and continues to love us when we make mistakes. This is not an excuse to sin because sin leads to death, but we can know that as long as we have breath to repent, there is an opportunity to get it right. God honors marriage and wants us to love unconditionally. Our flesh and carnal opinions often keep us from this type of love. I am not condoning divorce. I believe every effort should be made to keep covenant. I believe prayer works and God can change the heart of man. I also know that God still loves me although I’ve been divorced. I made a covenant knowing I shouldn’t, realizing it wouldn’t work, but doing what seemed “right” according to the world. I didn’t love myself because I didn’t yet know the love of God. I tried to make it work, but couldn’t change the free will of another man or make a person submit to God. God forgives and He restores. He can make a miracle of change in marriage and also can make a way of escape. Relationships are never easy, but as believers in Christ and heirs to God’s promises, it is our responsibility to exhaust every resource to make our marriages work. I was broken in my first marriage and didn’t understand the importance of being whole. I thought marriage was the answer. Jesus is the answer. It is so important to have an identity found in Christ and know the wholeness that comes from the full power of the cross. Two broken people together will create a broken covenant. Two people that know the unconditional love of God that makes them whole will create a covenant that will last. If you are single know that entering into a covenant is a serious thing not to be taken lightly and led by lust. If you are divorced God forgives and restores. If you are married God also forgives and restores. If you are having issues in your marriage, I encourage you to take a look at yourself. Evaluate any broken areas. Ask God to show you in His Word how to receive wholeness. Cry out to know His unconditional love and pray for deliverance. Pray for your spouse to receive the wholeness of God’s unconditional love. Seek God’s will. Get wise counsel. God takes vows seriously and we should also. God is concerned about every situation. He has an answer for everyone that is unique to their circumstance. Knowing God’s will is knowing His Word, seeking His face, and receiving peace. Your relationship with God is a personal covenant and He will give you peace to know how to handle every situation. He wants you to be whole and prosper in every area of your life. He wants you to have joy and be an example for the kingdom. He wants every area of your life to give Him glory. This includes your marriage. Take time in God’s presence today and ask Him to show you where you are at and where He wants you to go. Instead of blaming and criticizing your spouse, ask God to search your heart. God loves you and He wants you to have His best!
Father, we thank You for grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Forgive us for not loving how You love and doing things outside of Your will. Direct our steps and teach us how to love unconditionally. Show us every broken place so that we may receive Your healing. We want to be made complete in You. We want our marriage to give You glory and honor the vows that we have made. Lead us in the paths of righteousness. Give us wisdom and strategy in prayer. Give us wisdom and understanding in every situation, even when it doesn’t come out the way that we want. Help us not do things according to our own will, but seek Your will in every situation. Help us keep our promises and not make vows that we cannot keep. We surrender ourselves and our marriages to You. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!