“I knew on the day of our wedding that I should not marry him.”
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that statement. It usually comes from young couples dealing with the tumultuous (for many) first year of marriage. The months of real relationship have taught them that marriage is more than pictures on Instagram, showing off your ring to friends, and planning a honeymoon. The dreams of happily ever after have an abrupt wake-up call when a relationship enters real life.
But pre-marriage bliss is not the only place we make and question our vows. Here’s what Solomon says about making vows to God.
Let not your mouth lead you into sin, and do not say before the messenger that it was a mistake. Why should God be angry at your voice and destroy the work of your hands? For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.
Just like young lovers who enjoy the thought of marriage more than marriage itself, many Christians make promises to God based on feelings. In high times they make vows they don’t keep in real-time. One commentator sums up this passage well:
People make empty vows because they live in a religious “dream world” . . . Their worship is not serious, so their words are not dependable. They enjoy the “good feelings” that come when they make their promises to God, but they do themselves more harm than good. They like to “dream” about fulfilling their vows but never get around to doing it. They practice a make-believe religion that neither glorifies God nor builds Christian character.¹
Promises mean something. Words are not throw-away verbal utterances. Words are the expression of the heart. That’s why today’s passage reminds us that promises should be made in light of fearing God—honoring and loving him. Don’t let your emotions lead you into sin. Don’t say things you don’t mean. Don’t try to retract your words with— “Oh, my promise was a mistake.” Honor God with your promises.
Ask God to guard your words and not let them lead you into sin.
Ask God to help you honor him by keeping your promises.
Ask God to protect you from emotional desires and unrealistic dreams.
Father, please empower me by your Spirit to guard my heart and my words. Help me to honor you by keeping my promises to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
¹ Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Satisfied, “Be” Commentary Series (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 66.
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