If you are wearing a wedding ring or own a wedding ring, you have a continual reminder of the wedding promises you made to your spouse. Think about this fact!
The wedding vows you swore when you married, if they were the traditional ones, had these sobering words: For better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health… until death parts us. These vows made it clear that there may be some challenges ahead in your marriage. But for some reason you may seem surprised to discover the vows are prophetic. Wedding vows do come true!
You hold in your hand a small book that is powerful enough to turn an unhappy marriage into a joyful and renewed adventure. As the title says there are 101 dynamic marriage promises in this book. This is more than just a list of nice promises one may take or leave. These are promises that every married couple or couple thinking about marriage, need to take seriously.
I have been married to the same woman for more than 50 years. Like most marriages we have had our ups and downs. I wish, however, I had known and applied these 101 promises early in our marriage. The good news is it’s not too late.
Whether you have been married one day or decades, you need to look seriously at these promises. If you are engaged or contemplating marriage in the future you would be wise to begin making some of these promises now; as well as knowing what some of the promises are you need to make once you are married. Knowledge is power only if used properly.
This list of 101 marriage promises has grown out of my own marriage, 48-years of ministry, counseling married couples, pre-marital counseling, earning a master’s and doctorate in counseling, teaching workshops and seminars, and writing several books on marriage, family, and parenting. I am pleased to share these promises with you
I believe if these promises are made and kept every couple can experience Brownings’ promise, Come grow old with me, the best is yet to be.
If you are serious about having a successful and happy marriage, this book is for you. If you are not, please pass it on to someone who is serious.
Why yes, you can read it if you are only curious.
J.J. Turner, Ph.D.
In 48-plus years of ministry I have performed more marriages than I can remember; as many as two in one day. I have never married a couple who was not serious about their wedding vows. Some wrote their own, most wanted the traditional vows. As a Christian minister I have always approached weddings from a biblical perspective. God ordained marriage and “makes them in heaven”.
The Holy Bible teaches that the husband must love, honor and cherish his wife, and the wife in turn must love, cherish, and honor her husband. Both husband and wife affirm in the traditional vows to forsake everyone else and cleave to each other in sickness and in health; in poverty and in wealth; for better or for worse; until death parts them. The vows are sealed with rings and a wedding prayer.
The seven or eight basic promises in the traditional vows are only the beginning of the marital journey. In order to make these wedding promises (vows) come true, numerous supportive promises must be made and kept. This is where the rub comes in for many marital partners.
Sadly, many marriages are operating on the old lie, Promises are made to be broken. This attitude contributes to 50 percent of marriages ending in divorce. This is where I enter with my tongue-in-cheek dare. Asking nicely rarely gets the motivation juices working. To the sincere person a dare fuels the fire for action. How about you?
Let me be honest. I used the word dare in my title to get your attention; to challenge you to move out of the nominal unhappy marital crowd and return to the dream of making your marriage vows come true. If you are among the happy, happy married couples these dare promises will take your happiness to the next level. These 101 dares are communication exercises. You’ll love them—I hope!
Let me be quick to add that these 101 promises will be a great pre-marital exercise to help couples establish lines of communication. They will help them look before they leap; eliminate issues that arise once the wedding cake is eaten and the honeymoon bills start coming in.
Communication is continually at the top of the list relating to why marriages have problems; even ending in divorce. Communication requires work; making promises.
Here are some suggestions for using these 101 marriage promises (pre and post marriage promises).
Obviously it will not be possible to keep all 101 promises at one moment. They key is to read and analysis each one carefully before making it to your spouse. As you read the promise ask, “What steps are necessary in order to keep this promise?”
I suggest that you work on one promise at a time, while at the same time remembering your ultimate goal may be to make and keep all 101 promises. Intentionally working on one promise at a time will guarantee success.
In order for this exercise in making an keeping promise to work more effectively, both partners need to be engaged in a commitment to practice these promises (More later, page 27).
The Bible and Keeping Promises
As a Christian minister I am not reluctant to share what the Bible affirms about making and keeping promises. Here are a few specific Bible passages on keeping promises:
1. If a man makes a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do all that proceeds out of his mouth (Numbers 30:2).
2. My covenant I will not break, nor alter the word that has gone out of My lips (Psalm 89:34).
3. … He who swears to his own hurt and does not change… He who does these things shall never be moved (Psalm 15:4, 5).
4. God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? (Numbers 23:19).
5. Or if a person swears, speaking thoughtlessly with is lips to do evil or good, whatever it is that a man may pronounce by an oath, and he is unaware of it—when he realizes it, then he shall be guilty in any of these matters (Leviticus 5:4).
6. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one (Matthew 5:37).
7. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; for he has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you vowed—Better not to vow than to vow and not pay (Ecclesiastes 5:4, 5).
God’s word leaves no doubt about the seriousness of making and keeping promises. God sets the example in making and keeping vows; therefore, as his children we must imitate Him (cf. Ephesians 5;1). The fact that God is the witness to our marriages (cf. Malachi 2:14), reinforces the essentialness of keeping our promises made in the wedding vows, as well as all other promises.
WHY SOME ARE RELUCTANT
TO MAKE AND KEEP PROMISES
It is ironic that success in marriage depends on making and keeping promises; yet, in reality many married persons or persons planning to be married are reluctant or resistant to making promises.
We are continually exposed to the rhetoric of politicians who make grand promises, but when they get in office they fail to keep them. Trust is a major issue in our nation as the evening news is filled with stories that have dishonesty and broken promises featured in them. Movies, reality TV shows, and talk shows are filled with examples of broken promises. We are a nation that is conditioned to making and breaking promises. No wonder there is a reluctance by many to make marriage promises.
In my counseling, research, and general observations, I have documented numerous reasons why some persons are reluctant to make promises; even in marriage.