I recently read a post by Bill Hull entitled Discipleship Isn’t Optional. The title sent my mind searching for life comparisons. One quickly came to mind. The commitment required for being a disciple of Jesus is like the commitment required for marriage. That commitment is partially expressed in many versions of wedding vows. Take a look at these traditional vows:
“I, ___, take thee, ___, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part, according to God’s holy ordinance; and thereto I pledge thee my faith [or] pledge myself to you.”www.theknot.com
Let’s look at the wedding vow phrases and compare them to discipleship:
- I take thee. God has chosen us, but He has given us the ability to choose and love Him. He does not want eros or phileo love. He wants agape or unconditional, self-sacrificing love.
- To have and to hold from this day forward. Like marriage, discipleship requires a commitment. It is for all of life and beyond.
- For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health. This commitment to be Jesus’ disciple is not only for when “I feel like it.” It is not until something better comes along or only for when things are going well and I am prospering. It is commitment through the valleys and mountaintops of life together.
- To love and to cherish. In living as Christ’s disciple, we have love for Him (and others) but we also express (show) it. As disciples, we hold Jesus to be precious.
- Till death do us part. Discipleship is a relationship with Jesus. It never ends in this life. It continues to grow deeper through time spent together.
- I pledge myself to you. With Jesus, this is more than words.
Because we can trust the Him with our lives, it is a choice to surrender and a willingness to walk with Him daily in every decision, for all of life.
How Does Your Discipleship Compare?
Examine your relationship with Jesus. How do these vows challenge you? What do you need to say to Him? What can you do to express your love for Him? Be his disciple. Make disciples!