marriage vows


“Tola, do you take Toba as your lawfully wedded husband?” The minister asked with a deep baritone voice. “Yes, I do” Tola responded with all joy. “Then repeat after me. I, Tola, take you, Toba to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s ordinance, and thereto I pledge you my love before God and these witnesses.” And vice versa.

The above scenario is the default vow made at a typical wedding ceremony, where the couples make a pledge before God and the crowd of witnesses of the new union. More than a casual recitation, the vow should be regarded as a sacred pledge to each other which must not be broken. It is an oath or covenant that binds both parties and sealed by God Himself.

happy marriage

Many do not see this vow as sacred, and that’s why they find it easy to walk out of their marriage at the slightest provocation or misunderstanding. It’s necessary to define the terms of the contract so each party knows what is expected of them.

“…to have and to hold…”
This clearly states the exclusive possession you have over your spouse. No one else has the degree of ownership you have over your spouse. The only arms your spouse must run to for holding is yours and none other. You’re solely and exclusively responsible for your spouse in whatever circumstance you find yourself. This aspect of the vow says, “from this day forward”. From the moment you’re pronounced as husband and wife, till the day of your death, you’re together with your spouse.
This leads us to the other wordings of the vow.

“…for better for worse…”
If you nurse the idea that you will remain in the marriage only when things are rosy, don’t bother to venture into marriage else you will come out of it at your own peril. We live in a world of good and bad. The test of the love you proclaim for each other would pass through the fire of trials and challenges. If the love passes through this fire and it comes out as gold, it shows the sincerity and durability of your love, and if otherwise, we can see the chaff-like love you share. Even the basic friendship relationship requires sticking with your friend through the bad, how much more a lifelong marriage covenant.

“…for richer for poorer…”
One storm that rocks a marriage if not properly handled is financial crisis. Shannon Ethridge in her book, “Every Woman’s Marriage” said, “separate your finance from your marriage. Don’t let a temporary instability in your marriage rub you of the joy of your marriage.” Sadly, this is not the philosophy of many and this has caused many marriages to hit the rocks. Preparing your mind to stick together regardless of your financial situation will help you face any challenge you may face.

“…in sickness and in health…”
I read in a magazine where a woman decided to leave her husband because of a major setback in his health. Heeding to the doctor’s advice to stand by him which will increase his chances of surviving, she stood by him and true to the doctor’s words, he survived. Imagine the level of betrayal and deep hurt he would have faced if he survived against all odds and the wife had left. Marriage isn’t a bed of roses, but you can carefully and prayerfully remove the thorns so you can enjoy the roses.

“…till death do us part…”
This clearly spells out that there is no room for divorce in God’s plan for marriage. He never intended that married person’s be ever separated until death takes either party away. The consequences of divorce are always too hard to bear, unless we choose to live in denial.

Sadly, the rate of divorce keeps skyrocketing because many do not understand the gravity of the vows they make. It’s not wise to enter into a contract you’re not familiar with its term, hence, before you say “I do” ponder on the terms of the marriage contract and set your heart to stick to it and by God’s grace, your marriage will be blissful.

Over To You

Do you have more points to add to these few points? Let’s see it in the comment section. Thank you.

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Esho Kemi is a writer, public speaker and a blogger who has the mandate to make a change in her generation. She is the Content Manager at KEMI Writes, a writing agency that caters for all your editing and writing needs. Reach her via email:


  1. Wonderful write -up…. If only people understand the content of the vow, the meaning and responsibility to uphold the vow. We would have long lasting marriages.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This lines of the vows particularly scares the devil out of me. It’s not just a deliberate commitment but also a conscious decision to live and do the biddings of an individual for the rest of your life. I mean as long as you two are breathing in any n every weather.

    It’s huge but I think it’ll be easier if your partner cares truly and deeply for you n you communicate often and always.

    Please check out

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Juliana.

      I appreciate your comment and I particularly love the second paragraph which serves as an extra to the post. Many thanks.

      I checked out your blog and it’s awesome. Following right back


  3. A great write up it is. Numbers 30:9.
    Matthew 5:31-33 provides that both parties to a marriage should do that which they have sworn because they are now one flesh and if divorced, they are caused to commit adultery. Matthew 19:7-9 provides that nullification of marriage wasn’t what was at the beginning, that is, it is outside the will of God because he has joined them together. Jesus in Mark 10:4-12 further explained the consequence of making the vow you cannot keep and the fact that divorce is not ordained by God.
    Therefore, marriage ( union of man and woman to become one body) and marriage vows in whatever way it is taken, should be built on and kept in the doctrine and Will of God.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really love the way you explained each phrase so deeply…I definitely see marriage vows in another light now…its much more clearer than I used to know it. Thanks to Home talks ☺

    Liked by 1 person

  5. “Marriage isn’t a bed of roses, but you can prayerfully remove the thorns so you can enjoy the roses”_ This is so strong and deep.
    Many nowadays see the vow as a recitation. God please help me so I won’t make same mistake.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lovely write up which gave a deep meaning of the vow , most people just recite it for the sake of it
    But I want to ask what if the marriage becomes toxic but because of ” the vow” he/She stays .
    Most divorce cases are not because people don’t understand the vow, I feel it’s because they take the vow at heart

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dunniman.

      Speaking from a Christian perspective, since you have an understanding that divorce is not an option, you should make sure that you do not get it wrong in the first place. That’s the place of God’s guidance.
      When God is involved, no matter the storm that come, the couple will be able to overcome.

      In the case of physical abuse, a temporal separation is advised.

      Hope this answers the question?


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