Wedding Vows

Wedding vows are not actually anything ever presented in Scripture, but the vows typical to Christian weddings are derived from the roles and responsibilities that Scripture places upon the husband and his wife.

Typically, the man’s vows will reflect his responsibility as the head and covering over the woman—his responsibility to love her unflinchingly to the degree that Christ loves his own bride, the church. Also emphasized is his responsibility to protect, provide for, care for, and tend to his wife and her needs (physical, emotional, and spiritual). Further, there is generally focus on his responsibility to lead her and his family in the path and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Accordingly, the woman’s vows will reflect her responsibility as her husband’s helper—her responsibility to respond to her husband’s lead with love, charity, and strength of character. Also emphasized is her responsibility to meet her husbands needs according to her abilities, willingly helping him to fulfill his role in God’s creation. As well, there is often focus on her responsibility to nurture her husband’s faith, even as he nurtures her own.

The majority of these principles can be gleaned from Paul’s treatment of the married couple’s responsibilities toward each other under Christ in Ephesians 5:22ff. For actual wedding vows, one may refer to one’s denominational Book of Church Order—as these often have examples of wedding ceremonies (including vows).