Examining what a marriage covenant is and how to make it work
...And they lived happily ever after! This is such a promising and bliss-filled ending that is sought after and hoped for by so many. Who wouldn’t want the prospect of happiness and contentment as a recipe for their married life in all their coming days? The truth of the matter is that at the rate present-day society is going, this dream - even for a Christian marriage - is a mere fantasy for most married couples. I know this sounds harsh, but the reality is, there are two things about marriage that most of us do not understand. First and foremost, it is not a love-driven relationship, but a commitment-driven relationship that is fed by love. Secondly, it is a lot of work. Though it sounds hard, even daunting, it is profoundly worth the effort! So, how hard should we be willing to keep this commitment? How unbreakable and important are the “’til death do us part” vows we took?
The Bible is filled with all kinds of promises
Some are between God and humanity, or between God and individuals. Others are between nations, and others are between families or individuals. These promises can vary in sacredness according to how the parties make them. Rest assured, whenever God makes a promise, it is more solemn than anything we can imagine. So, what about the promises we make to one another?
Sacred promises in the Bible are called covenants
The word comes from an ancient ritual having to do with walking between the two halves of a slaughtered animal to seal the agreement. Afterwards, the animal was eaten in a feast symbolizing the unity of the agreement. Marriage is not only called a covenant in Scripture, it is called a “covenant of God.” This means that God was invited to witness the making of the agreement. It is written in Genesis regarding the union of Adam and Eve that the man and woman became one flesh. Jesus later adds that what God has joined together, let no man separate.
These details make it clear that the Bible defines marriage as the highest and most sacred promise two human beings can make. Sound a bit scary? It should! What are we supposed to do now that we know this? If we are struggling with marriage, what does God expect? What if we have done sinful things to dismantle our marriage, is there a specific path we should take? What do we do if we have lost our spouse? How do we handle the sacredness of what we had?
Check out our February 15, 2021 podcast, “How Vital Are My Vows of Marriage?” for more on Christian marriage. We address all these questions with scriptural principles. We also review the sacredness of several of God’s own promises to model the kind of focus we should have with our covenants. Finally, we look into the depths of what we can do to keep any marriage strong and growing. Marriage is no small task. It challenges you, presses you and changes you. It also can bless you in ways you never thought possible. Find out how!
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