Have you ever regretted making a vow to a person or to God? In the heat of the moment, we are likely to say just about anything to get ourselves out of trouble or out of a bad situation. We promise God anything and everything to get us out this mess we are in and then rejoice in those moments when He does intervene and work. Most of us, however, quickly forget those vows and promises made to God or before God. While we are not necessarily "living in sin," we are not fulfilling that oath that we made. Jephthah chose to make an "off-the-wall" oath that shocked everyone and ended in tragedy. Why would he do that? He was in the heat of the battle and desperately wanted victory so he made an oath that he would eventually regret. Have we done that with our own children? If they made us angry enough, would we tell them to never come back home, or destroy the relationship with words that cut to the core? I have seen it happen. What about in a marriage relationship? How easy is it to forget our vow and use our words to hurt the one we promised to cherish and protect? If we are not careful, we will be just like Jephthah and offer our marriages and our children as sacrifices to our anger, pride, or selfishness. God tells us to allow our word be all that is needed in the good times and the difficult ones. He wants us to say it and do it without making vows and hurting those around us.

Help me, Lord, to be a man of character who says something and then does it. Help me to stop sacrificing my marriage and my children to my anger, pride, and selfish words and actions.