I have been listening to a lecture series on iTunes U about the Old Testament. One of the thoughts that the professor, Tim Laniak, discusses is how God took the Israelites out into the wilderness to propose to them. What an interesting concept. If that is the case then that would make the Ten Commandments our wedding vows to God.
My problem is that I have always seen the Ten Commandments as a set of restrictive rules God gave his people to govern them. When I see them in only that way, then I think, “okay God, I am not really big on rule five. I think I will ignore that one for a while.”
Conversely, I have never thought it is okay to fudge on the marriage vows I took with Michele. Why? First, because I love her. Second, because in the midst of our love, we both made a commitment (a.k.a. covenant) with each other. I take that commitment very serious:
I, Leo, take you, Michele, to be my wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life. I, Leo, take you, Michele, for my lawful wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. Marriage Vows
Cue the warm fuzzies. But also see the rules that Michele and I have given each other. There are quite a few in there, but I never once said to myself before we got married, “number five is just not important so I am not going to commit to that one.” I took them all on and was happy to do it.
So, now in the light of marriage vows, let’s re-read the Ten Commandments:
I, Leo, take you, Lord, to be my God and my only god. I promise not to make any idols for myself that will cause me to worship anything but You. I vow not to misuse your name and only to speak in worship and honor towards you. I will enjoy the gift you have given me by setting apart the Sabbath as a holy day. I, Leo, take you, Lord, to be my God and to honor those things you hold dear. I vow to honor my father and mother, not murder, not commit adultery on my wife, not steal, not lie, and not covet my neighbor’s wife and his things. Exodus 20:1-17
Seeing the Ten Commandments in this light makes me better see the covenant I signed on to in my love affair with God. And while I am not perfect and will struggle with sin at times, seeing the commandments in a different manner does make me want to hold true to these marriage vows (I made yeas ago) a little bit more each day.
I just wish I had gotten a better photographer to remember my big day.