Is Marriage A Covenant Or A Contract
The marriage institution was the very foundation of humanity itself, back at the Garden of Eden God determined that the man he had created should not live his life in this planet alone. God deemed it necessary for man to have a helper, a mate to share all that was given to him.
“But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the Lord God made a woman from the ribhe had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
The man said,
“This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
for she was taken out of man.”
That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.“
When the woman fell into temptation by eating the forbidden fruit it also affected her husband, through his disobedience every single person in this planet would meet death face to face one day even Jesus, the perfect Son of God.
The covenant between the man and the woman was so strong that the actions of one would forever affect the other, they were both taken out of the Garden of Eden from a life of abundance and blessings to a life of pain, hard work, and sacrifice where the man would have to work the soil in a harsh environment so that he would be able to eat and bring provision for his family, and the woman would have to go through a painful process to give birth to her children.
When we look at this whole picture not only we see a covenant between the a man and a woman, but between man and God. Now God reconciled with men by sacrificing his most priced treasure to save humanity from evil and death. We can also see unconditional love, the kind of love that don’t see barriers, the kind of love that forgives without asking for anything in return. What could a fallen man who had lost everything offer to almighty God who had given him everything?
Fast forwarding to our society today, where people have lost the sense of what real commitment is, we tend to think in selfish terms and not take the marriage covenant as something that we should preserve and fight for. We go into a marriage thinking that if it don’t go as we envision that a divorce will be readily available, and all our problems will disappear, but that notion is far from the truth. Getting a divorce do not solve all problems, there are other factors attached to a marriage covenant that a couple should not overlook. Just as with the example of the first man and the first woman a decision to file and go through with a divorce will change dramatically the lives of our loved ones.
There are emotional attachments of the parties involved as well as children born to the marriage, marital properties and assets that the couple will need to be divide. A new life style that each person involved will have to embark. There’s usually a party that is more emotionally wounded than the other, a divorce is often compared with the death of a family member. The emotional and spiritual strings are hard to break and sometimes the bond lasts years after. It is no wonder that God has limitations and boundaries in His Word about marriage, and divorce.
Single parenthood is not a simple task specially if the parent don’t have a good support system. There is also a period of adjustment that children will have to endure even more so once the single parent finds a new partner and decide to remarry. There is a time of emotional stress for the children as well, some children come to see the new person in their parent’s lives as an enemy, and it will be the effort of this new person what will in some cases decide what kind of relationship they will have with the child.
As you can see a divorce is not an easy solution and should not be taken lightly. There are many struggles that a married couple will have to endure. Matters get complicated, circumstances change in areas like finances, adding children to the family, family traditions, personal habits and hobbies, illnesses, changes that come with age, and schedules, etc. Not to mention the many temptations, and distractions of modern life.
Our marriage covenants deserve serious dedication before God, and before men
Don’t be deceived, happiness in a territory that is not ours, which will leave a trail of heartache to everyone involved is not the answer to the challenges in a marriage. A bit of common sense goes a long way, and staying obedient to the Word of God and his commandments can save a good deal of sorrow.
Marriage is not a contract that can just be voided because it is inconvenient, marriage and family are the very fabric of our lives, and society. Our families are one of the most precious treasures that we posses, it is time for men and women to retake what the Lord intended as a foundation and defend it with the honor, honesty, and integrity that it deserves.
“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”
Ephesians 5:25-33 (NIV)
I close my analogy by saying that a marriage is a life long covenant, a promise of love that don’t end when the fallen and ever changing emotions of the flesh fade. Love is a choice and a commitment that we need to learn to clothe ourselves with every morning. A choice to smile, and be our best, to give our best. To forgive, and not be easily offended, to give all without expecting anything in return. To communicate and react with respect, and compassion having the knowledge that we also make mistakes and one day might need to receive the same compassion and mercy. To speak kindly, to stay engaged, to not get involved in inappropriate relationships, conversations, and actions because our husband or wife deserves our respect, and undivided attention. Integrity is key to show how much we love our mates.
This is the challenge, what are you going to do to preserve the unity and love in your marriage covenant? How will you fight for your family, and the ones that depend on you most? Will you live a life of excellence and give your best? or will you join the statistics and struggle with the consequences?
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