The Baha’i marriage is predicated on a simple vow that the man and the woman make before each other and two witnesses. The vow is, “We will, all, verily, abide by the will of God.”
That short sentence binds the man and the woman together, not for each other, but for God. While in other places there is much import given to the strengthening of the bond between the husband and wife, there is no concept in the Baha’i Faith “’til death do us part”.
The husband and the wife in the Baha’i Faith bond together as an act of their compliance to the will of God. Yet the human being is known more for non-compliance to the Will of God, than compliance. So the vow become a vow that the husband and wife will acknowledge what they think the will of God is, and then will comply as best they can. And there is a test every Thursday. Well, that last is in jest. The reality is that every moment of a marriage is a test of the level of compliance with the Will of God.
A marriage may succeed and fail then, not on the issue of whether a man or a woman has failed to comply with the Will of God, for indeed they will fail quite regularly. Whether a marriage succeeds or fails will depend on the extent of the imbalance or mismatch between the relative failures of each party to comply by the Will of God.
It is the aspiration of the Baha’i Faith that individuals shall better learn how to ‘abide by the Will of God’ from generation to generation. Thus marriage, the foundation of civilisation, shall become a stronger and more effective institution, a powerful driver of civilisation.