The people I was listening to were expressing their current love for each other, and that was fine and moving. But that is not what marriage vows are. That is not how a covenant works.
Wedding vows are not a declaration of present love but a mutually binding promise of future love. A wedding should not be primarily a celebration of how loving you feel now—that can safely be assumed. Rather, in a wedding you stand up before God, your family and all the main institutions of society, and you promise to be loving, faithful and true to the other person in the future, regardless of undulating internal feelings or external circumstances.
It is a covenant. In fact, unconditional covenantal commitment helps romantic love fulfill itself. Learn More at Focus on Family
We live in a culture that has either forgotten or rejected the idea of marriage as a covenant. Couples who want to go the distance in their relationship need to rediscover it. They need to come face to face with the realization that the compact into which they've entered is something deeper than a legal formality – that it is "no idle band, no holiday engagement." Statistics verify this point: researchers tell us that one's degree of marital commitment, even when assessed prior to marriage and in the early years of marriage, is closely associated with marital satisfaction and longevity. Those who desire a marriage that succeeds, lasts, and fulfills have only one choice: they must relearn what it means for a couple to embrace a common destiny, burn their bridges behind them, and say, "Wherever we go, whatever we do, we're gonna go through it together."
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