“Tola, do you take Toba as your lawfully wedded husband?” The minister asked with a deep baritone voice. “Yes, I do” Tola responded with all joy. “Then repeat after me. I, Tola, take you, Toba to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s ordinance, and thereto I pledge you my love before God and these witnesses.” And vice versa.

The above scenario is the default vow made at a typical wedding ceremony, where the couples make a pledge before God and the crowd of witnesses of the new union. More than a casual recitation, the vow should be regarded as a sacred pledge to each other which must not be broken. It is an oath or covenant that binds both parties and sealed by God Himself.

happy marriage

Many do not see this vow as sacred, and that’s why they find it easy to walk out of their marriage at the slightest provocation or misunderstanding. It’s necessary to define the terms of the contract so each party knows what is expected of them.

“…to have and to hold…”
This clearly states the exclusive possession you have over your spouse. No one else has the degree of ownership you have over your spouse. The only arms your spouse must run to for holding is yours and none other. You’re solely and exclusively responsible for your spouse in whatever circumstance you find yourself. This aspect of the vow says, “from this day forward”. From the moment you’re pronounced as husband and wife, till the day of your death, you’re together with your spouse.
This leads us to the other wordings of the vow.

“…for better for worse…”
If you nurse the idea that you will remain in the marriage only when things are rosy, don’t bother to venture into marriage else you will come out of it at your own peril. We live in a world of good and bad. The test of the love you proclaim for each other would pass through the fire of trials and challenges. If the love passes through this fire and it comes out as gold, it shows the sincerity and durability of your love, and if otherwise, we can see the chaff-like love you share. Even the basic friendship relationship requires sticking with your friend through the bad, how much more a lifelong marriage covenant.

“…for richer for poorer…”
One storm that rocks a marriage if not properly handled is financial crisis. Shannon Ethridge in her book, “Every Woman’s Marriage” said, “separate your finance from your marriage. Don’t let a temporary instability in your marriage rub you of the joy of your marriage.” Sadly, this is not the philosophy of many and this has caused many marriages to hit the rocks. Preparing your mind to stick together regardless of your financial situation will help you face any challenge you may face.

“…in sickness and in health…”
I read in a magazine where a woman decided to leave her husband because of a major setback in his health. Heeding to the doctor’s advice to stand by him which will increase his chances of surviving, she stood by him and true to the doctor’s words, he survived. Imagine the level of betrayal and deep hurt he would have faced if he survived against all odds and the wife had left. Marriage isn’t a bed of roses, but you can carefully and prayerfully remove the thorns so you can enjoy the roses.

“…till death do us part…”
This clearly spells out that there is no room for divorce in God’s plan for marriage. He never intended that married person’s be ever separated until death takes either party away. The consequences of divorce are always too hard to bear, unless we choose to live in denial.

Sadly, the rate of divorce keeps skyrocketing because many do not understand the gravity of the vows they make. It’s not wise to enter into a contract you’re not familiar with its term, hence, before you say “I do” ponder on the terms of the marriage contract and set your heart to stick to it and by God’s grace, your marriage will be blissful.

Over To You

Do you have more points to add to these few points? Let’s see it in the comment section. Thank you.