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The Institution of a Marriage is a Covenant not a Contract

The Institution of a Marriage is a Covenant not a Contract

Malachi 2:14 Because Yahweh was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

In a time when we can visit a drive-thru chapel in Vegas and get married to a stranger by someone dressed as Elvis, no wonder we get covenant and contract confused. From was God designed to be everlasting (that no man shall tear apart) to being disposable by the end of the weekend. We’ve lost the reverence of the institution of marriage due to bad decisions, lack of wisdom, and direction by God. 

There was a time when most couples received pre-marriage counseling before they got married. However, that is not the standard anymore, as people base their decisions on how they feel in the moment. People are more concerned with infatuation than love, leading to a high divorce rate. In the 60s, the divorce rate was in the 50% range, but there has been a decrease in that number. I’d love to tell you because there has been an increase in God-inspired marriages. But it’s really about just living together now, and when they break up, it’s not recorded as a divorce. But while society may have changed the definition of marriage, God has not.

Contracts and covenants are not the same things. Here are some fundamental differences:

  • While a contract is legally binding, a covenant is a spiritual agreement.
  • A contract is an agreement between parties, while a covenant is a pledge.
  • A contract is an agreement you can break, while a covenant is a perpetual promise.
  • You seal a covenant while you sign a contract.
  • A contract exchanges one good for another, while a covenant gives oneself to the other.
  • You can opt-out of a contract, while a covenant is about having the strength to hold up your part of the promise.

Covenants are a type of contract, but they do not work as a contract. Instead, they are a trust-based promise that relies on your integrity and discipline. While contracts are enforceable by the courts, covenants depend on your values.

Five ways to keep your marriage covenant

  • Pray for and with each other daily – It’s hard to drift away from someone you are praying about.
  • Keep your promises – Do what you said you would when you spoke your vows to each other.
  • Communicate with Truth and Grace – There will be times when you need to work on your communication. There will be a time you need to speak to each other with the Truth and times with Grace.
  • Forgive continually – Always be willing to forgive your spouse as God forgives us.
  • Stay committed – Don’t become complacent, bored, let your eyes wander, and don’t take each other for granted.

There will be struggles, trials, stress, drama, and people that tear at your marriage. Pray for it. Invest in it. Earn your marriage every day! Take it to the throne room and keep God at the center of it.

Truth & Grace

  • You’re going to have to earn your marriage every day. If you think you can ease back and your spouse has to put up with the man you drift into, you will have a difficult marriage.
  • Malachi 2:14 Because Yahweh was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.

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2 Comments

  1. logan3089

    I’m living proof of what a complacent husband looks like, one that stopped trying, got comfortable, let his eyes wander, no longer held God at the center of everything…

    By His grace, I have been blessed with one of the most stubborn women on the planet, one that has stuck it out through (literally) a decade of growing complacency, repeated trust violations, and almost constant disappointments. We’re fighting the tide and both working to improve ourselves, and therefore our marriage.

    To the young bucks that might read this, those in the earlier years of their marriage, those that might be dancing with the devil of temptation and sin but not fully committed to the egregious acts, wake up. Keep God at the forefront of your mind all day, every day. Turn away from sin and temptation and revel in the power that He blesses you with through overcoming. If you have fallen, confess it. Believe me, it WILL come to light one day, better to hear it from you than through the grapevine and throw you on the defensive. And the chains of that bondage lose strength with every person brought in to help you resist it. Tell your spouse, tell your mentor (GET A MENTOR if you don’t have one!), and take it seriously! Don’t let 10 years of what would have been an unbelievably fulfilling marriage slip away into the ether while you’re hiding in the darkness.

    Reply
    • Tj Todd

      Amen Logan!!!! Thank you for sharing that powerful feedback

      Reply

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