Promises That Last Forever: Let Your Yes be Yes and Your No be No
God takes vows very seriously. Biblically, a vow is a pledge, promise, or commitment. When made, God expects them to be honored. Jesus, in speaking of vows, said not to swear a vow by heaven, or earth, or on the name of Jerusalem (the holy city). He said, “Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil” (Matthew 5:37). Jesus did not want people to emphasize the veracity of their vow. In fact, we fall prey to this when we say things like, “I swear to God,” or even, “I swear on my mother’s tomb.” Jesus said to make our vows simple. Let our yes be yes and our no be no. Simply do what we say we will do. Doing so helps maintain a steadfast, unemotional, convicted lifestyle that does not need to embellish or overemphasize what you are trying to say. Apart from the covenantal relationship with Jesus that takes place in salvation, the most sacred vow that we make this side of eternity is in marriage. It is called a covenant vow for a reason. The word “covenant” means a binding contract, agreement and promise. It cannot be broken. However, in this broken world, sometimes marriage doesn’t work out. People walk down the aisle fully expecting their marriage vows to last forever. But the marriage still breaks apart. Please know that God still loves you. There's still hope for your life and heart. God is able to bring redemption in Jesus to your pain and meet the deepest longings of your heart. But why is “covenant” so important to God? Because a covenant is intricately connected to God’s covenant love that he displayed for Israel. Through Jesus, this covenant love was extended beyond Jews, to Gentiles as well. All believers in Jesus have access to an unbreakable, unending, unconditional love. Think of the Communion celebration. A grace gift that can never be broken. “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). This week, we will look at marriage vows. Why are they so important to God? Why does he take them so seriously? Why should we, too, take them seriously? Marriage is the greatest display we have in this natural world of the love between Jesus and the bride of Christ, the church. Whether you are married or not, I pray that these principles and truths draw you closer to the heart of God. He loves you so very much.