We have all heard it said that we shouldn’t make a promise we cannot keep. I agree completely. We also shouldn’t make a promise we don’t understand. That’s why we are supposed to read the fine print on the bottom of contracts. When it comes to spiritual or religious promises, often called vows, it is even more important to understand what we are doing. One shouldn’t say their wedding vows without understanding them, and no responsible wedding officiant would marry a couple if they had reason to believe that couple didn’t, or couldn’t, understand the promises they were making to one another. To do so would be unethical. How can you tell if someone understands the vows they are about to make? It’s really quite easy, you ask them to explain them. If they cannot do so, whoever is hearing the vows is obligated to work with whoever is making or taking the vows until they understand what they are promising to do. If they cannot get to that point, the person hearing the vows must withdraw the invitation until such time as the person can understand what they are doing. I have seen cases where this is not done, and it is really quite sad.