When I asked my wife to marry me, I was asking her to strike covenant with me, a marital covenant. The God we worship, God our Father, put His stamp upon our marital covenant, sealing it with His Name and His Spirit. He, alone, is our Witness. The covenant of marriage we struck has no “back door options”. It is fact. It is real. It endures. It is yesterday, today, and well into each tomorrow.
Covenant is not an agreement. It is not a business deal, nor is it a legal contract. It’s never a “quid pro quo” arrangement, wherein two parties bring to the table their best, but only on the condition that their best is reciprocated with the best of the other, and should either party fail to meet the expectations of the other, the arrangement is off. No. Covenant says, “As for me, I will __________________, even if you do not reciprocate, or uphold your end of this covenant.”
Covenant is never based in emotions of the moment. It is not a false promise made in the heat of passion, nor is it the desperate lip service of a person who wants something, and then loses interest in it once they have it. In a true marital covenant, there is no, “I fell in love with you!”, because if a person believes they can “fall in love”, they can also easily fall out of said love.
Covenant is never established in our human grasp of what we think love really is. The fallacy to believe otherwise is why divorce is so prevalent today.
In this marital covenant, my bride is my first priority. I pray for her, she prays for me, thus we are both covered by the other. I am instructed to love her as Christ loves His Bride, and she is instructed to respect me above all others. I do not wish to be the bride, and she does not wish to be the groom. A brilliantly structured ordering of roles. In my covenant of marriage, my bride and I have equal worth in m Father’s eyes, but vastly different responsibilities according to His will. Remember, marriage this side of Heaven is the prototype of what Christ has with His Bride. However, unlike what Jesus has with us as His Bride, my marital covenant is not forever, but it remains living until the death of myself or my bride.
I have been asked, “So, there’s no way to break this little ‘covenant thing’ you got going on?” Actually, there is a way to break it. One word: Adultery. Adultery means one person has brought another person, not in the marital covenant, into the marital covenant bed. Adultery breaks the covenant. (It can also be readily forgiven, depending on the posture of heart that the person who was cheated on has. But that’s another post for another day.)
In closing, let me reiterate that marriage is more than a legal and taxable institution. It is more than something we do because we are “in love” and “can’t live without” someone else. It is more than any of the knee-jerk reasons most people rely upon.
Marriage is covenant. Trust me on this.