To celebrate wedding anniversaries, some couples renew their vows. They do it to reaffirm that original commitment of “’til death do us part.’” Vow renewals have merit, but perhaps even more significant is the renewal of our faith commitment to our Lord. Many believe that is what the Apostle Paul meant when he urged believers to examine themselves before they partake of the bread and cup at Communion. Reexamination of vows was also on the mind of Ezra. He led a remnant of his people to confess their sins during the Feast of Tabernacle, recorded in Nehemiah chapter nine. In preparation for the renewal, he cited the history of his people in violating their commitments to God. He pointed out how disobedience of their covenant had resulted in many hardships and even exile. As Ezra was reading the terms of their covenant, the people came under such conviction they began to confess their sins. Once again God forgave them and showed them mercy. It takes courage to admit our failures before God, to each other, and especially in marital relationships. But doing so can lead to emotional and spiritual maturity.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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