Marriage oaths are a fundamental part of every marital relationship. Common law partners may not have sworn the marital oath before many people and they may not even be aware of its importance. However, every time you profess and confess your love and/or your feeling to your partner or to your significant other, you are agreeing to the cardinal principles of the marriage oath.
Marriage oaths have more value than you think
The marriage oath represents more than just words of affection and or affirmation.The words in themselves are a living guide that constitute how our relationships should be. The canonical basis for a meaningful and fruitful union. I don’t know who can up with those wording and I dare say whoever it was, left us with one of the most enduring legacies for all relationships across space and time.
I recently taught a Bible study class on building a fruitful marriage and it was only fitting to start from the marriage or in this case if you will, the relationship vows.
“Marriage is a sacred union between husband and wife and shall remain unbroken. It is the basis of a stable and loving relationship and is a joining of two hearts, bodies and souls. The husband and wife are there to support one another and provide love and care in times of joy and times of adversity. I require and charge you both that if either of you knows of any reason why you may not be joined together in holy matrimony, you may now confess it.” (Church of England)
Though anglicised, the marriage charge gives a clear blue print for a stable relationship
“(Name), will you have this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife, to live together forever in the estate of holy matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honour and keep her, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, for better or for worse, forsaking all others, will you keep her only unto her, for as long as you both shall live?”
When you commit to your partner, you make a lifelong commitment to stay in the relationship: through good and bad times – “for better for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish till death do us part.”
I enjoy challenging couples to take a second read on their wedding vows and reflect on it.