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Remembering Your Vows

"I ______ take thee ______ to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife

To have and to hold from this day forward

For or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health,

to love and to cherish;

Until death do us part.

According to God’s holy ordinance.

This is my solemn vow."

These are just one of the traditional vows that have been used in weddings around the world, specifically, Christian weddings. Many couples use traditional vows, write their own vows or use a combination of both. Have you ever taken the time to review the vows and understand what they truly mean? We have been asking couples did they read the vows and discuss them before going to the altar. The answer has been almost unequivocally, NO. It is no wonder that couples struggle in certain areas in their marriage.

In this article, we review the history of marriage and some interesting facts. Then we break the vows down into 4 parts and discuss the meaning of each. To go deeper in each one, you can watch the 4 video vlogs that we created in our private Facebook group at If you're not married yet, but planning to, check out our premarriage workshop at


What are marriage vows:

  • Marriage vows are promises each partner in a couple make to each other during a wedding ceremony

  • Vows communicate a message to your future husband/wife and express commitment

  • Vows are a great resource for understanding marriage

  • Marriage vows are not in the bible (some are based on biblical scripture principles)

  • You can personalize vows to make them your own

A little history of the marriage vows:

  • The oldest tradition of vows trace back to medieval times.

  • The earliest record on file was 1662

  • In early years lower classes had ‘free marriage’ or 'common law' marriage. The Brides father delivered her to the groom and the two agreed they were wed and by mutual consent agreed they would keep the vows of marriage.

  • Wealthy Romans signed documents listing property rights to publicly declare their union was legalized and not ‘common law’ marriage. This was the beginning of official records of marriage. (17 BC-476 AD)

The marriage vows defined:

I. I _____, take thee _____ to be my lawfully wedded husband/wife.

Amos 3:3

  • 1 - Can two walk together, except they be agreed? KJV

  • 2- Two people will not walk together unless they have agreed to do so. ERV

Here is where you make a choice and decision to move your relationship to the next level of commitment. From singleness to togetherness in marriage.

This verse speaks of the legalization of marriage in our human world. This is where the marriage license is required and must be filed and on recored at the courthouse to show you have now become legally husband and wife. The commitment is sealed in a court of law.

II. To have and to hold, from this day forward.

Genesis 2:24

  • 1- Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. KJV

  • 2- That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife. In this way two become one. ERV

a. To have and to hold,

This part of the vows speaks to the physical, mental and spiritual connection that a couple will have. This is where they should be enjoying one another socially, mentally, emotionally and sexually. They should be communicating about everything and this helps them to grow a stronger connection and learn each other better.

b. from this day forward

The couple is now stepping into something completely brand new. They are going from being single to married. They are no longer under their parents rule or guidance. They should be conferring with their spouse and making decisions together. There will be times when you seek outside guidance from those who have the wisdom to give it, but you should always turn to each other first.

III. For better or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

This part of the vows speaks of the seriousness of your commitment. It shows you that life has ups and downs and you are to face these life struggles together. There will be really great moments and there will be moments where you will need to work your way through some things. Love is a verb (action). You must back up what you say. Marriage is more than your bank account and you must take care of each other. The couples intent is to be there for each other. Cherish means to build up. Therefore, through support of each other, you will each grow and become a better person.

IV. Till death us do part. According to God’s holy ordinance. And this I do solemnly vow.

Mark 10:9

  • What God has joined together, let not man put asunder. KJV

  • God has joined them together, so no one should separate them. ERV

Matthew 19:6

So they are no longer two, but one. God has joined them together, so no one should separate them.

a. Till death us do part

This final part of the vows speaks to the permanence and strength of the marriage covenant. It does not leave a door open for other options. However, we know that in the world we live in, the options are there, but in this particular instance, we shall focus on the positive. Please understand, couples should not allow nothing and no one can to come between them…..EVER. The goal is until one of you dies, you have commited to be with one another through thick and thin.

b. According to God’s holy ordinance

Now we really get into the spiritual and biblical part of the vows. This part of the vows means God is the author and creator of the holy ordinance of marriage. He created marriage and He designed how it should be. Marriage has been holy and sacred since Adam & Eve and deserves honor & respect. Look to God for all your answers in good times and not so good.

c. And this is my solemn vow

This last line in these particular vows, sums up the whole intention of the wedding ceremony. You make a solemn vow to each other, in front of witnesses and God. A vow is a promise. This vow is legally and morally binding and should not be easily revoked.

Ezekiel 16:59 – This is what the Lord God said: “I will treat you like you treated me? You broke your marriage promise. You did not respect our agreement.


If you are married and you used any version of these vows, we hope that this review presented you with renewed clarity and commitment. The next time you hear of someone getting married, encourage them to sit down, read and discuss their wedding vows. Whether they are using traditional vows or creating their own, it is important that they understand exactly what they are committing to each other, when standing at the altar and repeating them. We believe that marriage counselors and coaches should incorporate the ‘vows’ into their sessions. We certainly do!

If you or someone you know is getting married in the next year or two, invite them to our Pre-marriage Workshop so they will be better prepared to take their next step towards marriage!

As always, "If you build it, it will last"!

James and Cynthia

For a free consultation to get your questions answered schedule an appointment at

1 Comment

This is great to see all the feedback on how breaking down the Vows has blessed couples.

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