Saturday, June 03, 2006

Marital Vows --Part One--

Bill Keller wrote a devotional today that I
recommend to you for your consideration. It has food for
thought. He has given me permission to copy his e-mails,
and I'm sure he would be happy if
you would share this
with people you know as well.

What does God want us to do in our marriages? Clearly,
it's something different from what occurs in most

Please read on.


(Mark 10:9, Ephesians 5:25, Ephesians 5:22, Isaiah 41:10,
2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

Part One of Two

"For better, for worse." Having had the honor and
privilege to marry dozens of couples during my years in
ministry, without a doubt the most critical part of the
marriage ceremony is when the bride and groom make their
vows to each other and to God. Often, the importance of
those vows is underestimated, the words taken lightly.
When I have the opportunity to counsel a couple prior to
them getting married, I always make sure they fully
understand what they are saying when they vow, "for better,
for worse." It means exactly that, "FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE."

Marriage is God's Holy Institution between a man and a
woman for life. Other than your relationship with Christ,
it is the most important relationship a person will have
during this lifetime. God's plan for marriage is one man,
one woman, for one lifetime. Anything else is a perversion
of that plan. That is why no matter how man may try,
marriage will never be between two people of the same sex.
God's definition of marriage will always be a man and a

Another perversion of God's plan for marriage is divorce.
The most important thing to understand about divorce is
that it was never, is not now, nor ever will be part of
God's plan for marriage. God clearly expresses His
feelings on divorce in Malachi 2:16 by simply stating
that "He hates divorce." Divorce is a sin, period. The
biggest misconception about divorce comes from the poor
teaching that there are Biblical reasons for divorce.
This is mainly due to a misunderstanding of the passages
in Matthew chapters 5 and 19 where it appears adultery is
a legitimate reason to get divorced.

Let me say this as clear and concise as I can. There are
NO, ZERO, NADA reasons for divorce. Marriage is a
LIFETIME commitment. In all of the weddings I have
performed over my years in the ministry, I have never yet
said "till death do us part... unless." There are no
"unlesses" in the marriage vows you make to your spouse
and to God. The exception for adultery is NOT from God,
it is an exception from man. It comes from the Jewish
laws of marriage and divorcement and is a MAN-MADE reason
for divorce. That is why Jesus said in Matthew 19:8,
"Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your
hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the

That is why when you say "for better, for worse" you
better understand the commitment you are making to your
spouse and to God. Of course nobody ever has a problem
with the "for better" part. We all look forward to and
enjoy the "for better" days of marriage. A husband and
wife sharing the accomplishment of doing well in their
careers, making the home you live in a special place,
taking time off to travel, the incredible blessing of
having children, the joy of seeing each other grow in
your relationship with the Lord, and just sharing your
love with the one you have committed to spend the rest of
your life with.

It is the "for worse" days that people struggle with.
Nobody stands at the altar on their wedding day thinking
for a moment that "for worse" will ever happen to them.
I want to encourage you today that if your spouse has
left you, if your spouse has committed adultery, if your
spouse is in bondage to alcohol, drugs, pornography,
gambling, or anything else, if your spouse has become ill
and you are their primary care giver, if your spouse is
not working and finances are a problem, if your spouse is
not following Christ and living for Him, if the intimacy
and love is missing from your marriage, if you and your
spouse can't agree on raising your children....these are
some of the "for worse" days that you promised to endure
when you made that vow to your spouse and to God!

It is during these "for worse" days that we need to find
our hope and strength in the Lord and make our faith real
since only He can sustain us. Let me share a powerful
truth with you today. The same God who is God during the
"for better" days, is the very same God who is God during
the "for worse" days. The same God who sees you through
the "for better" days, is the very same God who will see
you through the "for worse" days.

I love you and care about you so much. This is why I have
tried so hard in past Devotionals to share with you how
serious the decision to get married is. It is for LIFE.
You are making a lifetime commitment to your spouse and to
God. That is why I encourage you to take it slow when you
are in a relationship that may lead to marriage. Don't rush
into anything. First of all, don't ignore God's warning in
2 Corinthians 6:14 by getting involved with a non-Christian.
Take the time to build a spiritual foundation to your
relationship. Get to know the other person over TIME. So
many of the problems I see each day in marriages could have
been avoided if people would have only been patient and
taken the time to get to know their spouse BEFORE they got

I am well aware that this does not insure you will have a
perfect marriage. There is no such thing. People make
choices every day. Sadly, even people who know the Lord
make the choice each day to live in rebellion to God.
You are NOT responsible for the choices your spouse makes
if at some point in your marriage they choose to rebel
against God. However, you can be much more assured of who
your spouse is if you are patient and build a spiritual
foundation to your relationship prior to getting married.

My heart breaks today knowing how many people are going
through "for worse" days in their marriage right now. I
will be praying for you. If you are having problems in
your marriage today, please know that God is your hope
and strength. He is still a God that changes lives and
can bring healing and restoration to your marriage. It
is satan who is lying to you, telling you to just give up.
It is God who speaks truth when He says, "But he said to
me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made
perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more
gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may
rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in
weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in
difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
(2 Corinthians 12:9,10 NIV)

May God's blessings be upon you as you honor your vows
"for better, for worse."

In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,
Bill Keller

***If I can help you in any way you can contact me
through my personal email at

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(C) Copyright 2006, Bill Keller Ministries.
All rights reserved


May God bless you as you learn from this message!

Donald W. Mitchell, Your Dream Concierge

Copyright 2006 Donald W. Mitchell


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