Til Death Do Us Part?
according to the world wide web, vows are compulsory in western churches and a shortened version of them is used for civil marriages in the UK. however it wasn’t always this way here and isn’t thing in many places around the world.
to me, vows are a spoken contract (or covenant) between an engaged couple. I think the spoken aspect is important because it means you can be held accountable, by your spouse, the people who were there and for people of faith, God. making it even more important that you mean what you say…
today, apparently it’s a thing to write your own vows which I think is amazing because it forces the couple to sit and actually agree on what they’re in this for. which brings me back to the podcast.
the speaker, David, said he asks couples a question (I assume when counselling them?) that would totally suck out all the adorable, rom-com-esque emotions any engaged couple was feeling…
what are the circumstances under which you would divorce them [your fiancé]?David Marvin, The Porch Podcast
although it sounds harsh it made me stop and seriously think about one of the most iconic and heavy lines in vows, ‘til death do us part‘.
while I don’t know how many people getting married here said those words on their big day, I do know that in 2017 roughly 8 in 1000 het couples got divorced (totals to over 100,000) and the average marriage lasts about 12 yrs. there is lots of context to these figures but I won’t go into it! I’ll make the assumption, based on this data that despite the best intentions, lots of married couples have things that would make them consider divorce.
Stats from ONS
I believe (and some Christians will disagree with me here) that there are situations when divorce is needed. they are (slightly extreme situations) when there’s infidelity or any form of domestic abuse. cheating is a difficult one because some couples can survive it, but domestic abuse is non-negotiable. if someone had the courage to leave such an environment the last thing I would do is send them back on the grounds of their marriage vows.
so does this mean if I ever walked down the aisle I shouldn’t say ’til death do us part’? is it the intentions that matters more? or are traditional wedding vows now outdated in todays society?
let me know your thoughts in the comments, I’m still working this all out myself! 🙂
photo cred: Beatriz Pérez Moya