Marriage day vows are a solemn promise to choose your spouse – Divorce Minister

David Derksen

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‘”Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.’”

-Matthew 19:6, NLT

Today, I was at a conference where the speaker, Steve Backlund, said something about marriage and making decisions. He stated that the marriage vows really say, “I’m going to keep choosing you.”

I totally agree with his statement.

We have to put effort in choosing our spouse through the various, normal challenges of life. That includes our disappointments and frustrations with our spouses.

Also, I believe this interpretation unlocks why adultery and marital infidelity are an expression of sin God accepts as ending the marriage (see Deut. 22:22 and Mt 19:9):

An emotional affair is choosing another over your spouse.
A physical affair is choosing another over your spouse.

Both break the essence of the marriage vows. The circumstances really do not matter. The cheater chose another. That is incompatible to marriage.

Plus, the incompatibility is located in the chooser–namely, the cheater. That’s where to look. They chose sin over righteousness.

Instead of keeping their solemn vow, the Cheater believed a lie–that they were permitted to choose another–and acted on it. This is what needs attention spiritually.

Whether the affair was physical or emotional, do not trust marital counsel* that loses sight of this fact. If the counselor or pastor is not hammering on the choosing the spouse, then they are wasting your times. Repentance is not on the table without focusing on the sinful choice(s), and you will likely experience more grief as long as this ignored.

A faithful spouse really is only left with one hard option to end this abusive situation–namely, to divorce and separate themselves from someone refusing to face their broken, sinful chooser.


*This is not therapy or mental health advice. I merely share my pastoral thoughts on these matters as a trained Chaplain and survivor of marital infidelity and divorce of a cheater.

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