But the people said to Joshua, “No! We will serve the Lord.” (Josh. 24:21)

 I DON’T KNOW HOW MANY weddings I’ve officiated, but one part of the ceremony remains memorable for me. After the couple takes their vows, I usually ask the family and loved ones a few questions. The first is a common one: can anyone here show just cause why the couple should not be married? Check. Next, I ask them all to stand and agree that they will not lift a finger or say a word against the couple, but will work to nurture their marriage and honor their union. This question is often met with varied responses of blank stares and excitement as I ask them all to respond by saying, “Yes, we will.”

When Joshua challenged his people, he did not take their pledge to turn away from their idols, nor to serve God alone lightly. He went on to tell them that they were witnesses against themselves if they reneged on their agreement and they ultimately would be held responsible. The challenge with keeping promises—and the same with folks at the weddings I’ve conducted—is that we forget and move on if we don’t build into our lives each day a reminder of what we’ve pledged. This reminder is not to be legalistic, but to promote accountability.

We must remember we proclaim oaths in the presence of witnesses for a reason.

Consider promises made to God that require more accountability on your part.

Santes Beatty is director of multiethnic ministries for The Wesleyan Church.

 © 2019 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission.