A Solemn Oath
You are familiar with a solemn oath if you have been called to be a witness in a court trial, or you have been binging on old episodes of Law & Order. Every person who is called to be a witness is asked by the bailiff to raise their right hand and affirm a solemn oath. The oath made by witnesses in the United States is, “Do you solemnly swear that you will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God under pains and penalties of perjury?” Or, “I swear that the evidence that I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God.” Or, “You do solemnly state that the testimony you may give in the cause now pending before this court shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God.” Every person giving testimony in a court has to make a solemn oath before they sit down in the witness stand.
The witness’s solemn oath was designed to remind men and women to…
- Tell the truth. A witness is not supposed to lie when giving testimony.
- Give the entire truth. A witness is not supposed to hold back any part of the truth or exaggerate or embellish the truth in any way.
- Only give firsthand testimony. A witness is not supposed to give hearsay or assumed testimony.
- Consider at all times that God is watching them and they are accountable to Him for their every word and action.
- Remember that giving false testimony while under oath is perjury, which is a punishable crime.
I believe married couples should remember the solemn oath witnesses make when they are entering a confrontation. When things get hot, husbands and wives need to remember…
1. They are to be completely honest.
So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth… Ephesians 4:25 NLT
When the Apostle Paul tells us to stop telling lies, he is commanding us to throw out all of our methods of lying. Paul wants us to speak only the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Husbands and wives are not supposed to outright lie, give half-truths, exaggerate, or manufacture truth.
2. God is watching.
The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3 NLT
For the Lord sees clearly what a man does, examining every path he takes. Proverbs 5:21 NLT
Husbands and wives need to be mindful that God is watching every one of their arguments. He is listening to what they say, how they say it, and determining if they are trying to be helpful or hurtful!
Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Ephesians 4:29–5:2 NLT
3. Dishonesty causes distrust in a marriage and it never goes unpunished.
Husbands and wives who repeatedly lie and cheat end up in “marriage jail.” Some times that means sleeping on the couch for a month, and other times that means having their privileges stripped from them. Liars have their credit cards taken from them and are held accountable every day that ends in “y”. Liars are checked on throughout the day to make sure they are where they are supposed to be and with whom they are supposed to be. Liars have their text messages and emails read. They are on probation until they earn back their mate’s trust and respect!
I want to end this post with some Tips For Testifying In Court (United States Attorney’s Office). These tips will help you and your mate when you having a disagreement.
Refresh Your Memory – Before you testify, try to picture the scene, the objects there, the distances and exactly what happened. This will assist you in recalling the facts more accurately when asked a question.
Speak Clearly – Present your testimony clearly, slowly, and loud enough so that the juror farthest away can easily hear and understand everything you say.
Tell the Truth – Do not stop to figure out whether your answer will help or hurt either side. Just answer the questions to the best of your memory.
Do Not Exaggerate – Don’t make overly broad statements that you may have to correct.
Do Not Lose Your Temper – A witness who is angry may exaggerate or appear to be less than objective, or emotionally unstable. Keep your temper. Always be courteous, even if the attorney questioning you appears discourteous. Don’t appear to be a “wise guy” or you will lose the respect of the judge and jury.
Respond Orally To The Questions – Do not nod your head for a “yes” or “no” answer. Speak aloud so that the court reporter or recording device can hear and record your answer.
Think Before You Speak – Listen carefully to the questions you are asked. If you don’t understand the question, have it repeated, then give a thoughtful, considered answer. DO NOT GIVE AN ANSWER WITHOUT THINKING.
If you’re considering marriage, or you want to improve your marriage, I encourage you to purchase my book The 10 Habits of Magnificent Marriages. It is available in paperback or eBook through Amazon.