Do you really mean “till death do us part”?

I know that none of us stick to our covenants perfectly. We all make promises– even covenantal promises before God– and break them, maybe even break them daily. This is why the gospel is so great! Jesus died for all my sins, including my breaking of promises.

Still, it is one thing to have my broken covenants forgiven; it is another thing to not really mean what I say when I made a covenant. I wonder how many married couples really mean “till death do us part” when they stood before the altar. If you are considering marriage, is that what you intend to say at the altar?

It sounds pretty straight forward: “I am committed to you until death.” In other words, “this marriage is created by God, and God is the only one who can end it, and the way He ends it, is death.” Not only is that straight forward, I think it is the biblical teaching on marriage. And it is a great picture of Christ’s commitment to the Church, a marriage which beautifully was created by the death of the Bridegroom, and will never end.

So is that what you mean when you say, “till death do us part”? Or do you actually mean, “till death do us part, or till you cheat on me, or till you do things that make me never able to trust you again, or till God leads me away from this marriage, or till (you fill in the blank for all of your “acceptable” separation/divorce clauses)?

I am not here to argue divorce-remarriage issues today. I just am trying to argue for a little more honesty at the ceremony. Then through God’s means of grace stick to it.


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