Christian Wedding Vows

posted 3 years ago in Christian
Post # 2
7039 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

How about “honour” instead of “obey”?

I think “submit” (out of context) sounds just as bad as “obey”. (As for the context: in the Bible (Ephesians I think) Paul first says “submit to one another” so I’ve always taken it as a mutual thing. Even though in some sense my husband is the “head”, in practice we always work things out together).

Post # 4
154 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Full disclosure… I don’t consider myself a Christian anymore, but certainly used to.  I think the first version you posted out of these two options is really lovely. It seems to capture the essence of what that prinicple is about. They’re really lovely vows! 

Post # 5
1248 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

I think either of your two options in your second post are fine – I probably have a preference for the first one.

I’m not religious anymore but I get that obey/submit have a different meaning in the context of Christian wedding vows so I would never tell a Christian not to use them even if I wouldn’t. Undoubtedly some people will not perceive them well but vows are for the couple not for anyone else. One of my really good friends is the daughter of a pastor and at her ceremony he explained the context of obey in Christian marriage which did help. Before that when I looked at the program I did side eye FI a bit because it didn’t sit well with me but once I better understood the context they meant them in it was ok.

Post # 6
2057 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014 - British Columbia

“Submit myself to you” also means “I will trust and follow you” in a Christian context.

Hm, I wonder why the hymn Trust and Obey is playing in my head??

Post # 7
3650 posts
Sugar bee


Post # 8
2818 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Laurrieness:  “Our Pastor asked if I am okay with the term obey in my vows, and I said yes because I agree with the biblical role of husband and wife” are you sure the Bible even says wives have to obey their husbands?

submit to, be in subjection and deeply respect (and honor in some translations) are action words I’ve seen in connection with how God expects wives to treat husbands. I’m a very traditional Christian wife, and still I’d use one of the above rather than obey (because the Bible gives specific instances where it would not be appropriate for a wife to obey–such as when the husband makes a decision that will damage the family’s spiritual standing)

ETA: I just did a google search and found a translation that commands wives to obey. The text seems highly edited and simplified and I therefore find it a little suspect, however here it is:  “Wives, respect and obey your husbands in the same way. Then the husbands who do not obey the word of God will want to know God. They will want to know God because their wives live good lives, even though they say nothing about God. They will see that you live holy lives and respect your husbands.  You should not be fine on the outside only. Some women make their hair nice. They wear gold things. They have fine clothes”    

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 7 months ago by  Overjoyed.
Post # 9
10902 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I absolutely believe in the concept of wives submitting to their husbands’ headship in accordance with Scripture in Ephesians 5, and this concept was discussed during our wedding ceremony.  However, I do not recall the word “obey” being anywhere in our vows.

As a matter of practicality, if I am honoring God by submitting to my husband’s headship on issues where we ultimately may disagree (after I’ve clearly articulated and provided support for my case for an opposing viewpoint), that I am, as a matter of fact, choosing to obey him.  However, I do not think that you have to use that particular word in your vows.  Not even the (often viewed as more traditional) KJV uses the English word “obey” in Ephesians 5:22.

Post # 10
7664 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I wouldn’t use the word myself. However, I am surprised that so few people have heard it used in weddings before. It’s certainly the traditional wording for English weddings in both religious and non-religious contexts, although ironically I have only ever heard the word “obey” used during a secular wedding… never a religious one. I believe it was changed in the 70s for Catholics, but lived a bit longer in some Protestant traditions?

Post # 11
2064 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 1987

Submit to one another is what the Bible says.  Thus:    

HE: Let’s do what you want to do.

SHE: No, let’s do what you want to do.  


If you believe that the husband has the final say then here is how it goes.    

HE: Let’s do what you want to do.

SHE: No, let’s do what you want to do.

HE: No, we’re doing what you want to do.    


God really doesn’t want us to role play.  He just wants us to give ourselves to each other in love.

(I have to say that my 26 years of not being obedient have been very happy ones.)         

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  .
  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  .
Post # 12
373 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

Personally, as a Christian woman, I struggled with the word ‘obey’ in our vows. However, we were able to write our own vows and I pulled from several online sources to create our wedding ceremony. Here are our vows, which stay true to us and are an interpretation of submitting to each other. I (name), take you (name) to be my (husband/wife), my partner in life and my one true love. I will cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.

I think the second set of vows you wrote are nice. I am of the thought that a man and a woman’s vows should be the same to each other. We’re equal partners in this marriage and should promise the same things. Do what you feel comfortable with though. 

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 6 months ago by  debinoxford.
Post # 13
133 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I’ve always liked “love honour cherish and obey” and hey why not it is your wedding !!

Post # 14
30 posts
  • Wedding: June 2015 - Church

I had a problem with the submit line until I went through our pre-marital classes and realized it mean to trust and respect him. So in my vows I will say respect.

Post # 15
423 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2015 - Our church and then at The Garden Room for the reception

AmAnDaSaVeD:  I like this idea! 🙂

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