The moment has come. Silence fills the air. The Man of God speaks softly, calling the Bride and Groom by name. He asks them a question, and they answer "I do". The he tells them to repeat after him the Christian Special Event Vows. Finally, when all is done; the Man of God declares the Bride and Groom to be Husband and Wife.
The words they speak are described as Christian Special Event Vows, but what makes them particularly Christian. Are they sanctified by an ecclesiastical authority? Have they been handed down by Almighty God on tablets of stone? I do not think so.
Bride and Groom express to each other their love and commitments with words we call pledges and vows. Since they are officiated by a representative of the church namely a priest or minister, they may be identified as Christian Wedding Vows, however, there is more to it.
In the United States, the Episcopal church is the primary source for Christian Wedding Vows. Historically, the Anglican Church or Church of England became known as the Episcopal Church. Many other denominations have launched since them ranging from Methodist and Presbyterian to Pentecostal and Charismatic churches. Yet, Christian Special Event Commitments remain uniquely tied to these church traditions and are therefore known as Christian Special Event Vows.
Christian Nuptial Vows then are promises made between couples that express the values and traditions of Christian churches of all different denominations including the Roman Catholic Church. Many churches, however, developed their own official versions reflective of their special traditions. For example you will find specific Methodist, Baptist, Catholic, or other denominational versions, but they may all be described as Christian Wedding Vows.
The meaning of Christian Special Event Vows focuses on the nature of marriage and the marriage relationship as described and defined in the Bible. These values and views emphasize the differences and similarities in the roles as well as the guiding principles that assure successful relationships.
When we retrace the Biblical record and teachings concerning marriage, we find some very definitive view of what marriage should be. For example, in Genesis the first book of the Bible, God makes Adam - the first man. He commissions Adam to have dominion over creation, to name the animals, and later to work the ground to provide sustenance. He is also instructed to lead and protect his wife Eve.
The Bible goes on to teach that a husband should take responsibility as producer, protector, and leader of his home. The Apostle Paul states that a husband should love his wife with sacrificial love. The basic concept of a Christian husband is one who provides for his wife and family, protects them from all manner of dangers, leads them with purpose toward a positive family destiny, and willingly sacrifices his own desires and needs for the benefit of his wife and family.
Then God made Eve from the side of Adam. The core teaching here is that woman is intended to be companion to man and a helpmate in the activities of life. She was never intended to be his slave, his toy, or his antagonist. The Biblical role of a wife is that of a helpmate to work alongside her husband. A noble wife is described by Solomon in the Song of Songs as more precious that rubies. She pledges her respect, her devotion, her cooperation, and her companionship. She has the special task of bearing children and nurturing them, but throughout the marriage relationship mutuality of effort, purpose, and mission are shared. Fundamentally, her pledge is to give herself freely willingly sacrificing her own desires for the benefit of her family.
Today there are many variations of Christian Nuptial Vows, but the elements that make them Christian Special Event Promises include officiating by an ordained minister or priest; reflecting the traditions of the church; and affirming the basic Biblical relationships of husband and wife.
The core nature of marriage is lifted up in Christian Nuptial Vows, and you can see many different samples of Vows and pledges that are valuable as Christian Nuptial Vows.
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