The dimly lit church highlighted the center aisle and the platform at its end. Dressed in a finely tailored suit, the young man set his gaze at the back of the sanctuary. Tears pooled within his eyes as he watched the love of his life slowly move down the aisle escorted by her father, with a white flowing veil trailing behind her.

This was the scene on the much-anticipated day when Samuel David Hoag and Emily Suzanna Law spoke vows of devotion, exchanged rings, and committed their love to each other before God, family and friends.

Vows – A solemn voluntary promise or a set of promises that commit to a determined role, calling and/or action.

There are nearly 50 references to vows in the Bible, many of which occur in the Old Testament. These commitments revealed blessing when followed and consequences when broken.

The book of Psalms references vows multiple times (see Psalm 56:12, 66:13; 116:14; 50:14; 65:1; 132:2; and many verses in Psalm 119). Similarly, Leviticus detailed the necessity and resulting outcome of vows.

Many Bible characters made vows, but one of my favorites is the vow of Hannah. She made a vow to God in 1 Samuel 1:11. “O Lord of hosts, if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant, but will give Your maidservant a son, then I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and a razor shall never come on his head.”

This wise, hope-filled woman vowed to dedicate her son to the Lord if He would bless her with a son. Hannah desired God’s blessing and in return promised to bless God with her son, giving him back to the Lord in service. Samuel, Hannah’s son, became a mighty prophet and priest representing God because of the vow Hannah proclaimed.

Sammy and Emily wrote their own vows of promise, honor, and commitment. Notice their pledge made just days ago.

Our Wedding Vows – 26 October 2019

Emily Susanna Law, Since the day that we met I knew you were the kind of woman I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. As I got to know you further, I only fell more in love with the godly woman that you are and are becoming.

Thus far, God has guided us through this crazy journey called life and today in front of our family and friends He has blessed me with the opportunity to join with you in marriage becoming husband and wife.

I know that our life together will be full of many highs and lows and in them I promise to stand by your side and trust God to direct how they go.

I promise to lead you to the best of my God-given abilities and with love, serve and support you making your dreams reality.

Since the beginning God’s blessings and provision have been abundantly evident and I look forward to the future knowing he has so much more in store than the present.

I promise to honor you, respect you, and remain faithful to you and you alone as we strive to honor God in this covenant of our own.

I promise to treasure and protect you as the beautiful and priceless daughter of the King that He made you to be.

I promise to be intentional with you even when life gets rough and to seek God for wisdom to handle when trials come up.

I promise to surround you and our marriage with my prayers, keeping God as the focus of it all.

All these things I promise to you my Love, and so much more with all of my heart, with all that I am, forever and always, till the end of my days.

I love you, Emily!

Our Wedding Vows – 26 October 2019

Samuel David Hoag, Since the day we met I knew there was something special about you. My heart wanted to turn and run, but with your patient pursuit and God’s guidance, I stand before you today with family and friends promising myself to you in becoming husband and wife.

I know that our life together will be filled with hills and valleys, but I promise to stand by your side, trusting God to make a path for us.

I promise to trust your leadership following where God leads, to love and serve you through all that our days may hold.

God has faithfully blessed sand provided for us in numerous ways and I promise to continue to embrace His provision in all our coming days.

I promise to honor, respect, and remain faithful to you and you alone as we strive to honor God in this covenant of our own.

I promise to support and encourage you as the strong and gentle man of God He made you to be.

I promise to not let the sun go down on our strife, and to seek God’s grace working through any troubles that arise.

I promise to cover you in prayer and to fight for our marriage with the power that God has given to me.

I promise these things my Love and so much more with all heart, with all that I am, forever and always, till the end of my days.

I love you, Samuel!!

How does reading these vows encourage and challenge you? If you are married, when is the last time you read your wedding vows?

Dust off the promises you made and look at them with an honest heart. Are you actively keeping the words of commitment you made to your spouse? What areas in your vows need care and attention? Ask God to help you faithfully fulfill the promises you made.

Vows are not to be taken lightly. These pledges represent intentional service, self-less attitudes, and strength to trust God, even when life is challenging and confusing.

Likewise, what sort of vows have you made to God? Have you promised Him your life, attitudes, words, behaviors, dreams and hopes?

God has committed numerous promises to us and He is faithful to keep them all. We actually become more like our Savior when we make promises to Him and others.As we carry them out, we follow His example. Let Scripture guide your vows, then trust God to help you fulfill them. We get to depend upon God for the realization of the vows and promises we make.

Remember the promises you have made to God and others. Ask God for grace and vigor to fulfill them. Delight in following His example of faithfully keeping His promises.

Drips from the Word: Muse about these Bible verses. Let these truths impact your living.

Psalm 61:5
For you, God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Deuteronomy 23:23
Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the Lord your God with your own mouth.

Splashes from the Spigot: Drink from deep wells. Check out these suggested readings.

Max Lucado.  Unshakable Hope: Building Our Lives on the Promises of God. Nashville, TN. 2018.

William J. Byron. Words at the Wedding.  Mahwah, NJ. 2007.

Puddles for Prayer: Thank you for praying for upcoming travel and speaking engagements.

November 15-16 – Lakewood, CO
Women’s Retreat Speaker, Southern Gables Church