The Vow: Covenant Making

Posted: February 9, 2012 by Josh Kwasny in Drama, Romance
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Reel Thinking desires to be an equal opportunity site (I haven’t really asked any of the other contributors about this, but I am sure that they would agree.).  This means that from time to time we will include films which fit into the “romance” genre.  Check out my post on The Notebook for another such film.  Seeing that Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, I thought this might be the right time to consider the upcoming release of The Vow – starring Channing Tatum (cue throbbing hearts) and Rachel McAdams.  Check out the trailer…

The Notebook 2…I mean, The Vow (sorry, couldn’t resist) promises to be a story about love and commitment.  Leo (Tatum) and Paige (McAdams) are enjoying a happily married life until a car accident puts Paige in a coma which results in severe memory loss.  The Vow is supposed to display the actions of a committed husband working to win back his wife’s heart.  Sounds like a perfect movie for a Valentine’s date.

In the trailer we hear Leo say, “Life’s all about moments of impact and how they change our lives forever, but what if one day you could never remember any of them?”  This is a curious statement because of what it assumes – especially in relationship to love and marriage vows.  Is love based upon emotional “moments of impact” – fond memories that when lost can threaten our vows?  Maybe I am reading too much into this film, but nevertheless this is an interesting issue for us to consider as we watch The Vow.  What is the basis of our marriage vows?  How will this film answer that question?

The Bible is a book of vows.  It is a “covenantal” book.  In it, the God of the universe enters into covenant relationship with his people.  Throughout the story of Scripture, God’s people continually fail to remain faithful to the covenant (more on that tomorrow).  In spite of their unfaithfulness, God is faithful to his vow of love.  This is the gospel: The faithful God redeems his unfaithful people.  Consider Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.”

What is the basis for this kind of love?  Simply this: God’s promise.  God did not choose to love a people based upon the great memories of their courtship.  Deuteronomy 7:6-8 describes the way God relates to his people,

“…The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love on you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples, but it is because the LORD loves you and is keeping the oath that he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery…”

Before you begin your protest let me say this…of course love is emotional too!  I am not saying that love is mere mechanical commitment.  That would be too reductionistic.  The point to consider is that true love is not based upon mere emotion – even strong “moments of impact.”  Vow-keeping love is based upon promise – a commitment to remain in relationship.  Let’s keep our biblical minds engaged as our emotions are stirred up during this film.  And yes, guys, it’s okay to cry.

  1. […] Yesterday we considered one possible theme in The Vow starring Channing Tatum and Rachel Mc Adams.  We asked the question, “What is the basis of our marriage vows?”  (you can check out that post here). […]

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