Inspirational

12 Honest Marriage Vows You Never Hear at a Wedding

wedding vows

It’s been six years since Tiffani and I exchanged vows. Like most soon-to-be-married couples, we had an idea of what marriage would look like. After all, we watched “chick flicks,” read a few marriage books, and spent time with older married couples.

Looking back, however, I realize I didn’t know much at all about marriage. The words I promised Tiffani at our wedding were idealistic and romantic. This isn’t much different from the traditional vows you hear at almost any wedding. “To have and hold, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

There’s nothing wrong with these vows. But, seriously. Who really understands what they mean?

I know what you’re thinking. Why do marriage vows matter?

Here’s why. Vows are promises. But not just any promises. Vows are markers that guide your marriage. So, while I’m not against writing vows Casanova would applaud, I am against vows that are more romantic and emotional than practical and honest.

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Let’s be real. In a culture that idolizes romantic love, we don’t need any more Shakespearean vows. We need vows that will shape and impact marriages.

Here are 12 truthful marriage vows you often won’t hear at a wedding.

1. I promise to never flirt, lust, or desire the attention of someone of the opposite sex. 

When you get married, you vow faithfulness to your spouse. You vow exclusivity to them. You promise to never flirt, lust, or seek attention from the opposite sex. You promise to protect your mind from images that aren’t your spouse.

You don’t listen to music that degrades people. You don’t allow your eyes to view images or watch shows portraying people as objects and relationships as indispensable. These are obvious, right?

But when you vow exclusivity to your spouse, you vow more than physical purity. You vow emotional purity as well. You promise to never confide in a secretary at work or be flattered by someone of the opposite sex.

Emotional purity is much less obvious than physical purity, but it’s just as destructive. You must fight to give all of your emotions, your desire to impress, your attention, struggles, heartaches, and everything in between to your spouse. These don’t belong to other people. Fight for purity, both physically and emotionally.

2. I promise to never expect a 50/50 marriage. 

There’s no such thing as a 50/50 marriage.

You can’t keep score in a marriage. There’s no such thing as a 50/50 relationship. That’s a contract.

Give 100% of yourself every day. Some days, 100% won’t be much. But on those days, trust your spouse will pick you up. Regardless, let go of this give-and-take idea.

Just give. Giving is the essence of love and the heart of the one who created marriage, God.

3. I promise to make the gospel the mission of our marriage.

Most marriages struggle because the relationship is the end goal. The mission of most marriages is to provide stability to your life, to have a family, to have a companion. Get the idea?

But God created marriage, and because he created it, the goal is larger than selfish desires. The goal is to glorify him. Even in Christian circles, few couples make the gospel the mission of their marriage. And this explains why Paul said it was better NOT to marry (1 Cor. 7). Your interest would be divided between your spouse and God.

Your mission on earth is to serve God. Everyday. This mission doesn’t change when you get married. But if you’re not intentional, pleasing your spouse will take precedent over serving God.

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Lairs Johnston
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Lairs is the chief of sinners, saved by grace, with a life that just goes to show you God can use anyone. His passions are fighting sex trafficking, talking about depression, and helping high school students have a voice. He may only be 28 and a half but he can read at a 30 year old level.

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