Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Why knot?

Ecclesiastes 5:5

It is better that you should not vow than that you should vow and not pay.

Why is the divorce rate so high?  Is an elevated view of self to blame?  Or is it a deceptive self-interest that should take the brunt of the liability?

Do we believe ourselves more capable than we are like Peter?  Is that why so many do not keep their marital vows? Or is it that we know we will not keep our promise, but know that it is required to get what we want in the interim?

People do not have to get married.  Especially in a shack up, break up, shake up culture like ours.  There is no necessity in it.  Society does not demand it of you.  You can have your cake and eat it too and all without the old, new, borrowed, blue bologna.

I don't understand why so many do.  So many, that is, fully intending not to stay married.  So many committing to "as long as love lasts" instead of "until death do us part."  Some still promising until death with their tongue while actually intending only "as long as love lasts" in their hearts.  At least when the "love lasting" promise is made it is up front about the likelihood that I am going to leave you when  my self-interested love in you grows dim.  I will love you as long as I like loving you.  That is grotesque, but more honest than the promises many make without a thought given to the words they are saying. I'm not sure which is worse: promising to be faithful and falling short or forecasting fickleness and following through with it.

It is better not to get married than to play marriage with no intention of making every effort to being and staying married.  Do not promise things to anyone about anything, no matter how little, if you do not intend to honor them.  I know, "a man plans his steps, but the Lord directs his paths."  However, the man in the proverb still plans.  The point of this proverb is not that men should not plan.  It is that they should in all humility recognize that God may intervene and interrupt said plans.  You will plan on something.  So plan to keep your promises dummy.

God can forgive unfulfilled vows, but do not neglect the fact that these broken commitments require forgiveness.  It is sin to commit to and fall short from a vow.  It is a lie, an error in judgment, a mistake.  All of those things it is, but only after it is primarily defined as sin.

The grace of God can wash us clean of these transgressions if to it we appeal.  I am worried that too often too many fail to offer to God in humility the failure of their broken promises.  Because we have a faithful God we are infused with love and ambition to be faithful.  We love because He first loved us.  We strive be faithful and honorable in our vows and promises because He is faithful and honorable in His vows and promises made to us.  We want to be like the One we worship, not to attempt to take His place, but to honor Him by imitation the way children pretend to be grown-ups.

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