Invoking death during marriage is unwise, ungodly and dangerous. The Holy Spirit didn’t inspire the words, “till death do us part.” The words are very charming, even romantic, but they conceal a dangerous trap. It’s a self-inflicted curse in disguise. Christ wouldn’t teach us to use those words. Nor would the apostles.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve became a couple without any vow, let alone a vow about “till death do us part.”
Whoever invented the phrase, “till death do us part,” most likely meant no harm. Yet, the belief engendered by this phrase has exposed and continues to expose millions of couples to danger. We cannot call both God and death as witnesses to our marriage. Where there’s God, there’s no death.
Regardless of one’s intentions, to invoke death, sickness or poverty in a marriage vow is to enter into covenant with death, sickness and poverty, agreeing that these enemies have, or will have, power over you at some point. Invariably, this will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. No wonder many marriages feel dry and couples are constantly struggling with disease, unhappiness, and financial troubles. God cannot be party to such an arrangement.
By acknowledging death as having power over our marriage, we are, in a sense, yielding control of our marriage to death and admitting that death has the final say, not God. Surely, we pronounce our vows with a sincere heart. We mean to say we’ll remain committed to the relationship no matter the circumstances. That’s good and noble.
However, in this matter, our sincerity reveals our spiritual blindness. There’s nothing Christian about naming sickness, death or poverty in a marriage ceremony. There’s no advantage to aligning marriage with death, sickness or poverty. Love is forever. “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it” (Song of Solomon, 8:7). Love is life.
Marriage, as understood by Christians, is of God, modeled on the relationship between Christ and the Church. Christ didn’t come into the world to teach us how to cope with sickness, death and poverty. He came to destroy them and he gave us authority to do the same should any of these enemies raise its ugly head.
It’s a grave error, therefore, to base Christian marriage on un-Christlike vows, no matter how ‘religious’ those vows appear on the surface. We enter into agreement with Christ and at the same time agree with sickness, death and poverty. Our good intentions don’t matter at this point. What matters is the inherent contradiction in our belief system.
There’s no spiritual justification for affirming belief in sickness, death or poverty. Weaving this harmful belief into the fabric of the marriage covenant exposes couples to the very enemies we hope to conquer.
As we grow in spiritual understanding, it’s important to adjust our beliefs and practices accordingly. There’s no shame in leaving behind harmful beliefs and practices. We must strip our marriage vows of any references to, and agreement with, sickness, poverty or death.
If we want marriages to flourish, it’s necessary to abandon our agreement with death, sickness and poverty. Instead, we must enter into covenant with life, abundance, health and prosperity.
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