Renewing the Vows - Love! Amour! die Liebe! Amor! Любовь! The word ‘love’ - regardless of the language in which it is spoken - makes the heart flutter! When I was a kid, I watched a lot of cartoons. One of my favorites was a cartoon with an old, grouchy crab. At one point in the cartoon, when a young man took his wife into his arms, the crabby crab said, "This love stuff makes me sick!" He said it in a low and scruffy voice and I’m not sure why I liked to hear that so much but to this day, 50 years later, I can still hear that crab’s voice. But, it didn’t take me too long until a young lady came into my life and I forgot all about that crab! All of a sudden, that "love stuff" started to make sense to me.
God surely did not create man for him to be alone. God’s intention was not just to give man a mate but for man and woman to be ‘one’. This ‘oneness’ theme is carried throughout the Bible not only relative to man and woman, but Jesus’ oneness with God, in Believer’s oneness with God’s body - the church. God created Adam from dust and breathed life into him! Why do you think that God did not create Eve from dust? God choose to create Eve using Adam’s flesh and bone so that she was truly part of Adam. Throughout the Bible, the relationship of man and woman is cherish and discussed on a much deeper level than what most of us give thought to. The joining of a man and a woman in a ceremony ordained by God creates ‘oneness’. The joining of man and woman represents a relationship where each take responsibility for the other. How many people enter into a marriage with these things in mind do you think? I can tell you honestly that when my wife and I married, I did not think this way. But over the years, as my walk with God has grown closer, I clearly see these things. What I see now is devotion to my wife, the cherishing of my wife, and true intimacy. What I saw then was that I was in love and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her. I still feel that way but on a much, much deeper level.
My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by renewing our vows. We thought about renewing our vows on a beautiful beach. Then we thought maybe in the mountains. But in the end, we wanted to share the blessings God has poured on us with others! So, on our 20th, we renewed our vows in an inner city church where most folks in attendance were homeless, those living in shelters, or folks from the low-income neighborhood surrounding the church. We had a few of our friends there to celebrate with us and our renewal gave us the opportunity to share God’s blessings on us with others - bar-b-que, cake and ice cream! We have a photo from our original wedding day on the shelf in our bedroom but in front of it, is a photo taken the night we renewed our vows in that inner city church. My wife and I both cherish the renewal photo more!
Are you married and considering renewing your vows? Are you considering marriage but are hesitant? Two branches entwined are easily broken. Add a third branch and weave the three together, and the braid becomes virtually impossible to break. Marriages need Jesus. When you take your vows or renew your vows, be sure Jesus is one of the branches in the mix!! Your oneness with your spouse coupled with your oneness with Jesus result in a successful marriage! Oneness does not mean losing your individuality! It means being so intimate with each other that what impacts one impacts the other! That is true intimacy.
Today’s society wants to focus on individuality and this is a misguided philosophy. While it is true that strong leaders are needed in our world, strong marriages are needed more. We need to be one with our spouse so that children have a man and a woman to raise them up in God’s ways. We need to be one so that we can withstand those things that the world throws at us. We need to be one so that we can stay under the shelter of God’s protection with all other Believers! Renewal of vows - we need to do this every day not only with our spouse but with our God!