Consider the Marriage vows!
By: Danjuma Auta
It was a Saturday morning as friends, families, relations and well-wishers gorgeously dressed in wedding colors that adorned the Church premises close to my house. The crowed was so much that it raised my curiosity and my curiosity pushed me closer in other to find out what was really taking place. When I moved into the Church Auditorium, lo and behold, it was a marriage ceremony going on between a young man and a young lady. Though I was not invited, but I could not resist the temptation to be part of the colorful ceremony.
They all danced and displayed the best of their dance steps as an expression of how happy they are on such a memorable day in their lives on earth. It was not only the bride and the bridegroom who displayed their dance steps. Well-wishers especially the bride maids, and groom’s men and relations all displayed their dance steps in the church. After all these razzmatazz, the Church service then commenced with the order of service carefully followed.
The Pastor officiating during the solemnization reminded the couples of their obligations as far as the marriage vows are concern. He reminded them that as believers in Christ Jesus whom they have confessed as their personal Lord and savior and they have by acts of their individual wills, entered into a life-long one bond,“ for better or for worse, for richer of for poorer, in sickness or in health, and forsaking all others , and cleave one to the other as long as both shall live’’. On hearing this thought provoking words, my heart dropped.
The cleric continued, ‘’ Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the face of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony which is an honorable estate, instituted by God signifying unto us the mystical union that is between Christ and His Church……’’
I asked myself, do these couple truly understand the magnitude of these marriage vows? Are all the dancing steps a mark of satisfaction with the contract they are going in to the Church to sign?
The cleric also asked the couple,’’ wilt thou have this man/woman to be thy wedded husband/wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love him/her, comfort him/her, and FORSAKING ALL OTHERS, keep thee only unto him/her, so long as ye both live?’’ Often times I feel that must people respond to the questions contained in the marriage vows without properly understanding the implication. This is evident when one looks at the rate at which marriages are dissolved in the society. Some of the cases happen within the first week of the marriage.
In my opinion, a lot need to be done especially by Church leaders to ensure that Church members are properly educated, informed and above all prayed for before venturing into the Institution of Christian marriage.
Marriage is not all about a young man or woman having the desire to have the opposite sex walking straight to the Church to pick a date for marriage solemnization. It’s a lot more than that, the celebration that goes with it should be the accompanying joy that is hatched from within and not the pressure that most times lead to the marriage which often the drawing force of people’s expectation is always build on it.
Several times you hear people making statements, such as, ‘’When are you going to call us for the celebration’’, or “ When are we going to eat the rice?’’ Whenever they see a young man or woman, I get irritated by such questions, not because I don’t want young people to get married but, the concern is always on the motives of their reasoning.
How many of such people have taken upon themselves the burden of organizing forums to sensitize intending couples on the need to understand the knitty- gritty of Christian marriage before going into it.
I see a majority of such people as those who are only eager to tell the younger ones what they too were told when they were growing up. While others make such expressions as their anxiety to welcome young people into testing the bitter part of marriage.
Marriage vow is a serious business considering the sanctity of the commitment. Looking at the alarming rate of broken marriages in the society especially marriages conducted in the Church as it is no longer seen as sacred. The Church need to always remind intending couples about the weight of these vows which is for better, for worse in sickness or health.