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It's interesting that "swedish" brought up the Greek tradition, because in the Greek language, especially in the original Greek that the New Testament was written in, the verbs "to obey" and "to listen" are actually the same word, hupakouo, as "revitalizedhusband" hinted at. (Google Translate might give you a variation on this in modern Greek, e.g. obey=υπακούουν and listen=ακούσουν, but still different forms of the same root). Likewise they are the same word in Hebrew (shama) and Old English (hearken).

So the vows really mean to love, honor and listen, but with an emphasis on putting our listening into action based on what we hear. As it is meant to be in our relationship with God, so it is meant to be in our relationship with our spouse, but as a two way street, not one lording it over the other. To truly listen to one we love means to truly hear their will and make it your own so that your wills become one, and then in obedience you are actually carrying out your own will to act in the other's best interest and serve them, if you listened in love, as Jesus demonstrated we all must do when he washed the feet of his disciples.

Of course, if one spouse understands and acts upon this vow in the spirit with which it was written and intended, and the other does not, then "service" becomes servitude, and that is not a marriage. That is why both recite the same vow in a traditional wedding.

"And the two shall become one..." (Mark 10:8)
 

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We said in our vows to love, honor and cherish, but my ex believed that I should have obeyed him and if I had, we probably wouldn't have divorced after 20 years.

I never realized until just recently that he held in judgement against me for 20 years everything I did that didn't agree with him, or have his blessings. From reading a newspaper on our honeymoon to using plastic bags at the grocery store. Never would have known that those things bothered him so much. I'm glad that I am free of him now, because I don't think I could continue to live under such scrutiny now that it's been exposed.

And, also, I finally see why I could do nothing right in his eyes...gosh, for so many years too!
 

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I offer the officiant and extra $50 to put obey back into our vows when I paid her an hour before the ceremony.

She refused <sigh>
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Of course, if one spouse understands and acts upon this vow in the spirit with which it was written and intended, and the other does not, then "service" becomes servitude, and that is not a marriage. That is why both recite the same vow in a traditional marriage.
"And the two shall become one..." (Mark 10:8)
I think our vows said "to love , honor and cherish" -that seems to ring a bell, but I can not remember, I would have to watch it back.

I wouldn't have worried what it said with the type of man I married, I trusted him with my every care, my heart in his hands, I have never trusted anyone more in my life to take care of me, or do right by me .....it would have been an honor to obey such a man. He's never let me down- since I met him. One time he recalls (he was late picking me up at school & I got grounded ) but I have no recollection of it at all, he remembers it like it was yesterday -because he felt so bad about it .

He has always put my needs above his.
 

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The original wedding vows, when they were written, the word obey had a little different definition (in the original latin), it meant "to listen deeply".
That's lovely.

Hubs met our celebrant minutes before the ceremony, to go through what the vows would be. We had song lyrics that the celebrant managed to weave wonderfully into the ceremony. Hubs told me afterwards, originally there was the word "obey" and apparently the celebrant chuckled with him when hubs said "oh there's no way she'll agree to that!"

Apart from the part we included, we don't remember the vows. I wished we had gotten a copy. We know they were beautiful.
 

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Those words weren't even in our vows.

The last line in our vows was, "From this day forward, you will never walk alone..."

I have it painted over our wedding picture/poster in our bedroom. I love it.
 

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Actually we wrote our own vows (and each wrote one song for the wedding as well). If I recall, mine was simply, "I promise to love you always as you are, and into all that you were meant to be."
 

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Its funny that I see this topic here.

We got married almost 20 years ago. We flew out to the small town where we met - and where some of here extended family is.

Smalltown church in IA. Lutheran. I was raised catholic, but I am largely atheist now - selection of church didnt matter much to me. Important to her.

Anyway she and I discussed the vows - and we specifically made it a point to forego the 'obey' thing. I dont believe in that and neither does she. She is my equal in every conceivable way. *Specifically* we talked about it with the pastor who sort of didnt respond too much - did he agree? I do not ever remember.

fast forward to the next day at the ceremoney. The pastor gets to her part of he vows and says 'Love, Honor, and OBEY.' He did not forget. He was a controlling a$$wipe and slipped this in. He was a pompous little round man accustomed to directing his sheep in what was morally correct and desirable. We were both a little stunned and she just said 'i do'.

Looking back - I SO wish I had called him on this - loudly, publicly and rudely.

We both sort of shrugged it off, but this has been bothering me for almost 20 years now.. and yet another reason why I cant stand organized religion and the bleating yacks who wear it and preside over it.

Im thinking that one day... maybe on our 20th I will renew the vows and make sure (under penalty of a firm beating) that the pastor/priest/whatever do it as WE see fit. As I write this I am getting the urge to write that pastor a little letter finally telling him exactly what I think of his little stunt so long ago.

....shrug....ranting.
 
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