To Obey Or Not To Obey? (Wedding Vows)

Canada
April 18, 2007 12:17am CST
Women. Did you or will you vow to obey, as part of your wedding voews? Why or why not? Men, Did your wives or should your wives vow to obey you? Why or why not? All! If one vows to obey should both vow to obey? Should obey be included or omitted from the wedding vows? Why or why not?
28 people like this
72 responses
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I'm writing my own Wedding Vows, and the word obey will not be in them, nor will any kind of wording that would imply that I should bow down or submit to my husband in any way. I'm getting married and as an equal partnership so the marriage should be equal. Equal in the sense that I am not shackled to doing whatever my husband thinks I should do as a dutiful wife. I think the word obey is a matter of personal choice, although I think it's more of a religious thing these days. I have a Christian friend who's getting married next month, and she is using the traditional vows, including the word obey. I find that many people are going the non traditional route these days though. I think it's a sign of things changing.
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I agree with you about times changing. When you get married, will you take his last name? If the answer is yes, then how can your partnership (or anyone else's) be equal if the woman changes her name and the man does not? How can one tradition be acceptable but not another one? If a bride is going to take her husband's name, shouldn't she just give up and vow to obey? Isn't that the same thing?
3 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I see what you're getting at with the name change with a woman taking her husbands last name, but I prefer to see it as a sign of the partnership, not as a form of obeying her husband.
4 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I understand how the same last name symbolizes partnership, but why is it usually the woman who changes? Why doesn't he become Mr. Your name?
3 people like this
@mssnow (9496)
• United States
18 Apr 07
Obey for wives was made way back in the olden days. When woman wern't worth much. I think everyone is equal and no one should have to OBEY anyone else. When it is two consenting adults they bot should be able to choose or decide what they want. They can talk it over with their spouse and maybe come to a mutual agreement but no obeying one or the other.
5 people like this
@maryannemax (12174)
• Sweden
18 Apr 07
sometimes the word obedient is misused and misunderstood already. that we obey those people who are of superiority to us. wives obey their husbands because they are superior since they are men. that was long time ago. and mssnow is right. it's always better to have mutual agreements and respect for each other.
6 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Yup!! No one's superior to me, and I'm superior to no one. Just because someone has a bit more experience, and gender has nothing to do with that, doesn't make them better.
5 people like this
@maryannemax (12174)
• Sweden
18 Apr 07
yep. especially in marriage, noone should be superior. that is why we are bonded as one during the vows, right? it's because we think together, decide together and go on with life together. no need for someone to be superior than the other.
6 people like this
• India
18 Apr 07
practically i dont think it will be possible to obey... so taking vow to obey makes no point!!what i ment is wife should definatly obey husbands and so does husbands! but in this generation this is not possible! to some extent one might obey !!!
4 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Even though it's not "possible" for anyone to obey in this society and in the present age, why do you think a wife SHOULD obey?
3 people like this
• India
18 Apr 07
yup wife should obey!!!! and so does the husband.... this is how the relation works give and take!!!! as it is said in my religon... god has said,"if i would ask anyone to bow in front of i would ask wives to bow in front of their husbands"
2 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Where does it say that? Which religion? And if both should obey, why should the wife be MORE obedient?
3 people like this
@maryannemax (12174)
• Sweden
18 Apr 07
i am not into the word obey actually. but more so, i am into respect. i love the word respect more when it comes to wedding vows. respecting your partner (and ofcourse, each other) strengthens the relationship of the couple. love will always be there. it's the main ingredient of a life long marriage. but with respect attached to it, everything comes along... being obedient, trusthworthy and everything. i go for respect than obedience.
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Amen to that!!! Sadly though, Respect has been turned into an authoritative word, and is often the honey-coated version of obey. I like YOUR definition of respect better. Mutual respect, earned respect. If I am going to marry the man it means we have already earned eachother's respect, we are merely vowing to continue to respect eachother. We both have our own heads, and neither of us has an ego big enough to need to be the one in charge, with the final say. Well put!
3 people like this
@maryannemax (12174)
• Sweden
18 Apr 07
thanks for the appreciation. it's just that i have known lots of friends who are into "obeying" their husbands. and when asked why... they always say because they are scared not to follow their partners... scared to be beaten up or be scolded upon. so, for me, as i've heard from their stories, it's not much a perspective to me anymore. my boyfriend and i talked about it. and we are more into the mutual respect than the thought of just obeying for the sake of making someone happy.
4 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
If you're scared of a person then you are not meant to be with that person. That's what these people need to realize! Thanks for sharing.
3 people like this
• United States
18 Apr 07
To obey was not in our vows. It is a good thing it wasn't...or I would be in trouble by now. As a matter of fact when the JP asked me if I took my husband to be my...." I paused and he said would you like me to repeat that? :)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
To be "my?" I think I would have answered "he is not my anything, I do not own him, but if you're asking me if I'll love him forever as the individual that he is, then I promise to do exactly that."
4 people like this
• United States
18 Apr 07
I did not want to repeat the whole thing...it goes on to say my lawfully wedded husband to honor and cherish through sickness and health and so on.
4 people like this
@miryam (6510)
• Italy
18 Apr 07
I do not obey to nobody, are married and I have maintained the promises to me, my husband not, we have divorced. The life is mine for better or for worse if I make errors I pay, but nobody only God can give orders
4 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Very well said!!!!!! Sorry you are divorced, but I know in my heart your not obeying him had NOTHING to do with that. Thank you for commenting.
3 people like this
@miryam (6510)
• Italy
18 Apr 07
Thanks....i'm free not sorry for me....BYE
3 people like this
@winterose (39931)
• Canada
18 Apr 07
obey is an ancient word used as a time with men were dominant over women and women were their property. Women did not become people until the early 1900's, before that they were property just like children of their husband's and if they were not married of their fathers. I like the traditional marriage vows and when I married the first time I used them, but if I get married again, I don't think that word is appropriate.
4 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
It's nice to see a familliar face (literally!!) replying to this thread. I love your comments and postings on Gather, too. The traditional flow of the vows and most of the wording is nice, but a few things like "obey," "submit" and "Mr, and Mrs. John Smith (...)" for example are extremely outdated, in my opinion. OH yes, "man and wife" is another thing I'd also leave out. How about "woman and husband?" LOL Thanks again for your comment.
4 people like this
@cefaz_21 (2597)
• Philippines
18 Apr 07
Our wedding vows are personally written by us and there is no "obey" or "submit" word in it, but as a wife, I know I have to submit to my husband since he is the head of the family and he is the one that was put by God to be in charge over me, he is accountable to me and to our would be children.It is God's will for the wives to submit to thier husband.
• Canada
18 Apr 07
When i got hitched we left it in and said the same vows for both so we both said obey in the vows It shoudl eb in there for other wis ethe vows get watered down adn do not mean what they are suppose to that both are becomming one and promising to be each others for ever if you start taking things out the it will eventually be be "Do ya" "yeah i guess" "ok, do you" "whatever" "okay lets party" "guys and gals the newleyweds Mr. John Smith and Jane Jones may i last as long as the keg does."
3 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I think that example is a little extreme, but I do see what you are trying to say. I am glad that if you chose to keep the word in there you BOTH vowed it. I would leave out "obey and submit" and gender roles, and my sweetie and I would keep our names, and we'd write our own vows too, but that's up to us. If your way worked for you, then that is good for you. Thank you for sharing your story and your opinion.
3 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I would say if one wants it in the vows then they should also be will say they will do the same. Submit I woudl nto ask that of future Mrs or would i give it to them for each should have enough respect for each other there would be no need to submission but respect for each others choices and wishes.
3 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Right on!
3 people like this
@Rozie37 (15505)
• Turkmenistan
18 Apr 07
A Christian woman is to obey her husband. The man is the head of the house, the way God is the head of the church. When I marry, I plan to obey my husband in everything. I mean, we can discuss things and try to compromise, but he has the final say. This is why the Bible says that a man is to love his wife and she is to respect her husband. A man should love his wife the way he loves himself.
• Canada
18 Apr 07
Having been emotionally abused as a child, and my mother was emotionally abused by my father, I could never do that. No way!!!!! I believe everything happens for a reason and that Dad's abuse was a sign from God that if we give up our own minds, this is what is going to happen to our families. Women, wake up and pay attention!!! Love and respect your husband, but don't let him lead you around by the nose ring!!
3 people like this
@Rozie37 (15505)
• Turkmenistan
18 Apr 07
I was emotionally, physically, and sexually abused as a child. However, I am allowing God to heal all of that and use it for his glory. The Bible says, What the devil means for evil, God will turn around for good, so that he may be glorified. Read the word and see what it says. Stop telling God about your problems, and start telling your problems about your God.
3 people like this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
I hear what you are saying, and I do not agree with it. I believe there are many different interpretations of the same word. If I were to tell my husband "Jeg Elsker Dig" you may not know what that means (unless you understand Danish!) but he knows when I tell him that it means 'I love you' Same meaning, different words/language.
3 people like this
• United States
18 Apr 07
I would say the word obey has a different meaning than the one everyone is probably thinking.I think it is referring to obeying to respaect eachother, not obeying as if a person is a dog obeying it's master.
3 people like this
• Canada
22 Apr 07
If that is the case, then both should vow to obey. I am not going to be "weaker" just because a man promises "protection."
@freesoul (3024)
• Egypt
18 Apr 07
I think no one uses the "obey" vows anymore, even if they do it's just a customary thing and no one would really take it seriously and submitting to the vow or asking for it. I would want a loving and understanding wife not an "obeying" one.
• Canada
22 Apr 07
Another comment from a good man!! Thank you. I'm glad to know that those who are against obedience aren't just women. I would never say something just because it's customary, though.
@1grnthmb (2063)
• United States
18 Apr 07
I think the traditional vow and the obey that it used is misused and misunderstood. If you study the bible it says for the wife to obey the husband but it also tells the husband to protect the wife and honer her as a weaker person. A lot of men want the obey part but are not willing to do their part and help the wife, provide for them, and give them the respect and honor they deserve. As you said they want to lead their wives around with by a nose ring. But they are not willing to do their part and the wife suffers. I have done counseling for married couples who were having problems and it always stemmed from the husband being a tyrant and wanting complete submission from his wife while not doing their duties as a husband. Submission is another word that is miss used. It is from a military word which means to fall into place. Both a husband and wife has a palce to fall into but neither of them is the general of the army that gives the orders. God is and they both need to turn to God and please him. We left out the obey in our vows. Our's were love, honor and cherish. I am not the lord over my wife. I am her equal, her partner and her love as she is mine. We are very close and are best friends. We respect each other and listen to each other and love each other. If a relationship is to work that is how it works. Not by being lord and slave to each other. I am not saying that we are perfect because we do have problems now and then but neither of us could imagine being without the other.
3 people like this
• Canada
22 Apr 07
I see what you are saying, but I disagree that women are weaker. Because women are made to appear this way in society, I don't think they ever realize their full potential. I may not be able to lift 100 pounds, but I make up for it in other ways. I prevented a murder once!! My lack of phyiscal strangth and perhaps size comes from a phsyical challenge, not because I am a woman. I am glad that as a man, you are aware of the way "obey" and "submit" are misused. Thank you for your comment!
• Philippines
25 Apr 07
You must obey your wedding vows, because its your guide toward your happiness with your family. i really think you must obey what you just said to your wedding if you really like to be with your wife in every years of your life.
2 people like this
• Canada
3 Oct 07
I believe that is "doing what you promise to do." Since we did not vow obedience we are not expected to be obedient. We vowed to love and trust EACOTHER, not one gender vowing differently than another.
23 Apr 07
I will and someone said all guys cheat. Not wise words, but I for one respect them as what they are. something important, not just when you made them but forever. Personally for me if you want to cheat don't get married, because it's not really the "thing" So yes I will. ~Joey P.s I love my wife too much to even consider anything else.
2 people like this
• Canada
8 Jun 07
My question wasn't about cheating (you're right! Why get married if you're going to cheat?) my question was about obedience. Would you expect your wife to be obedient?
@KissThis (3008)
• United States
19 Apr 07
Obey will not be part of my wedding vows. I don't believe that I should obey him nor should he obey me. We are equals. I am the type that if someone commands me to do soemthing I will do the opposite. Or sometimes I even bulk. I am a human that should be asked to do something.
2 people like this
• Canada
22 Apr 07
RIGHT ON!!! I also do the opposite when someone commands me to do something.
• Philippines
19 Apr 07
I did vow to obey and respect my husband when we get married, it is one of God's commandments for a happy and blessed marriage. I did uphold my vow that I obey everything that my husband wanted me to do even obeyed his will to make me his punching bag. Oh, I wasn't bitter with my marriage vows, I always think marriage vows our sacred, it's just that I wasn't lucky enough...
2 people like this
• Canada
3 Oct 07
No human being should have to obey if it means abuse. A few weeks ago I got married and we had a long discussion about this. My new husband and I are both of the belief that to promise to obey another human being is to give up your whole identity and to say in the presence of God that you are not worthy of the common sense that He gave you.
@itkasp (266)
• Australia
19 Apr 07
For me, a wedding vow is more a vow to God. I vowed in front of God that I will obey/submit to my husband, same as my husband also vowed in front of God to love me. While wives were vowed to obey, the husbands were also vowed to love their wives as they love themselves. I submit to my husband, not because who he is, but because I honor the role that God has given to me as a wife. I do not change my surname to my husband's name, but this is not because I don't want to obey my husband, just a more practical and effective thing. In my point of view, if you submit to your husband, it does not mean that you lose against your husband. In marriage, there is no win or lose, there is only your journey together to build a happy family.
• Canada
22 Apr 07
Whatever works for you. I could never do that. My boyfriend and I do not believe in gender roles. For whatever reason I find it ironic that a woman who vows submission and obedience didn't change her surname! Hmmm.... I guess that's because of the way I was brought up, and what submission and obedience have always meant to me. I'm keeping my name too.
@pinay905 (31)
• United States
18 Apr 07
Call me old fashioned or naive, but I have no problem with obeying or submitting to my husband. In return he respects me and honors me. I know it sounds crazy, but if the both of you are willing to devote your lives to each other than there should be no reason not to obey. I trust that he would not have me do anything that would be disrespectful of myself or go against my wishes. I am not going to be stupid either. If it got to a point where what he wanted me to do was something that I just couldn't do then something would be said, but I don't think there is any problem with obeying.
1 person likes this
• Canada
18 Apr 07
If it works for you, OK. You don't strike me as the type who says ALL should, you said that YOU have no problem with it. If it works for the individual, it works for the individual. It's those who think EVERYONE should do something. That's why I put it out there as a question, not as me stating a fact.
• United States
19 Apr 07
You have to do what is right for you...in my case, I guess I have no problem, but you need to do for you what you need to do.
1 person likes this
• Canada
19 Apr 07
AMEN to that!! I like how you answered this question for you, not for the entire world. I really appreciate that.
• United States
29 Apr 07
I believe marriage is a partnership....with both people discussing and compromising.
1 person likes this
• Canada
3 Oct 07
I definitely agree with you about partnerships.