David wears only two pieces of jewelry: a wedding band on his finger and a small Celtic cross on a chain around his neck. The ring represents his vow to be faithful to Carolyn, his wife, as long as he shall live. The cross reminds him that it is not for her sake alone, but for God’ sake that he do so. He has asked to be faithful to her until death shall separate you.
A marriage vow is more than a contract that we can break by paying damages. It is a unique vow that is explicitly intended to be binding until death separates us (Matt. 19:6). The words “for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health” take into consideration the probability that it will not be easy to keep our vows. Circumstances may change and so may our spouses.
Marriage is hard at best; disagreements and difficult adjustments abound. While no one must live in an abusive and dangerous relationship, accepting the difficulties of poverty, hardship, and disappointment can lead to happiness. A marriage vow is a binding obligation to love, honor, and cherish one another for as long as we shall live because Jesus has asked us to do so. As a friend of mine once put it, “This is the vow that keeps us faithful even when we don’t feel like keeping our vows.”