Keeping Your Vow Is Your Job And Not Another’s!


Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless …
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind….

-Psalm 15:1-2a,4b, NIV

I just do not get the counseling world and the fascination in making faithful spouses responsible for getting the cheating spouse to do good by their marriage vow–i.e. keep their oath to God and their partner.

The keeping or breaking of the vow reflects on the character of the one that does so. That’s what the Psalmist clearly states here. It speaks directly to who that person is. And that even includes when keeping the vow “hurts!”

If it is broken, the breaking still is upon the oath/vow taker.

***Now, I believe once the oath is broken by adultery or abandonment that God does not censure or shame the faithful spouse in making that official by getting a divorce (see here and here).***

But that is not the situation or audience I have in mind here. The audience I have in mind are counselors and cheaters who think the faithful spouse is responsible for winning them back and getting them to honor their marriage vows.

That is ungodly thinking!

Godly people do not expect others–even spouses–to “get them” or “convince them” to do the right thing. They do the right thing because it is the right thing. That is what people of righteous character do.

But the wicked operate under different rules:

They break oaths or vows when it “hurts” or gets tough because they have no respect for righteousness and then they blame the ones with whom they have broken faith. That is how the unrighteous operate, and no good evangelical pastor ought to approve or support such thinking. I don’t.

If you think you are incapable of keeping your vows, then do not make them. For you become responsible for keeping your own vows when you make them. Clearly, God does not let you off the hook because those vows become difficult to keep one day.

So, it is no good pawning off responsibility to others or hard circumstances. That sort of blame-shifting will not work with my Holy and Righteous God.