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Marriage is More Than a Contract, It’s a Covenant

Day 1 - Jul 6, 2020

Marriage is a Covenant, but our society treats marriage like a Contract.  

You may be thinking, "What's the difference and is it really that important".  Let me explain these two different ways of thinking.

In the Bible, the word covenant means “to cut.” Every time a covenant was made, it involved blood. In Luke 22:20, Jesus said, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” Adam and Eve had a marriage covenant, too.  God removed Adam’s rib to create Eve to be his wife.  In other words, a covenant requires sacrifice.

In our marriage vows, we promise “for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” because we are making a permanent, sacrificial covenant. We roll up our sleeves and commit to the relationship with everything we have. We go all-in!

Take Action

Are you "All In" or are you "Holding back"?  

If you're holding back is it because of past pain? Are you giving just enough margin to have some happiness but remain guarded because of pain?

Give the Lord your pain and allow Him to show you how to open up to your spouse.

Day 2 - Jul 7, 2020

Our culture has begun to devalue marriage and has turned it from a covenant into a simple contract.  A sacrificial covenant says, “I surrender my rights and assume responsibilities.”

A contract takes the opposite approach: “I protect my rights and limit my responsibilities.” That means some people are entering marriage with one foot already out the door.  Many have the mindset of, "I'm in this marriage until the feelings fade, or until the pressure builds past my comfort level".  

Marriage simply doesn’t work that way. It only works as a Covenant, with two spouses committed to sacrificing for each other and doing whatever it takes to succeed. Without this commitment, every significant problem becomes a threat to the marriage. 

Take Action

The best step you can make is to have healthy and consistent communication.  

  • Are there assumptions you have about your marriage that haven't clearly been talked about?
  • Are you demanding something that you should let go of?  

If possible and appropriate, don’t settle on a compromise.  Ask your spouse what they think, and why they think it.  Understanding "Why" is where the true value lies. 

Day 3 - Jul 8, 2020

When you enter marriage with a covenant mentality, there is no question that you’re staying.  

  • You’re in it “for better or for worse.”  
  • Your first thoughts are for your spouse.
  • You lay down your rights and assume responsibilities.

The secret to a lasting marriage is how you view it.  Do you see your marriage as a covenant or a contract?  Be honest with yourself!

Take Action

How did you answer the question?

Does it feel like a Covenant in some areas and a Contract in others? If so, then that sounds like conditional love. Meaning, it’s okay as long as both are in agreement, but when you’re opposed, it feels like a Contract.  Its noticed most when you spend more time defending your position than trying to understand your spouses.  

Contracts can be disputed and argued over. Time is wasted looking for loopholes, rather than working towards agreement and compromise.

In a Covenant, you think of the other person first.  

  • Are you thinking of your spouse first?
  • Do one small thing today that puts your spouse's needs ahead of your own.  

Day 4 - Jul 9, 2020

When Mandy and I first got married, we genuinely loved each other but weren't fully equipped on how to build a healthy marriage.  It was all brand new... especially for Mandy since she never lived in the same home with her mom and dad.  They divorced when she was six months old.

Understanding how to navigate through disagreements in our marriage was the beginning of the journey.   We lived under the false assumption that if we were truly in love, we shouldn't have problems.  Especially any big problems.  Mandy and I want to encourage you, and other couples going through the same misconceptions.  

Take Action

Loving each other doesn’t mean every problem will automatically correct itself.  It also doesn't mean if it’s difficult then we must not be in love. We MUST be intentional about our marriage.

There are NO PERFECT MARRIAGES!  But, there are some great marriages, and great marriages require a great deal of work.  All the hard work is well worth it.  

  • Have you given each other room to be imperfect?  
  • Think of something your spouse does where you need to pull back and give grace.  

Day 5 - Jul 10, 2020

In a Covenan relationship, you’re in full agreement that whatever is mine is yours and whatever is yours is mine.

  • Your focus should never be on what you can get out of the relationship.

In a Covenant relationship, the mindset is always on the other person first.

Take Action

In what way can you put your spouse first today?  

  • It doesn’t have to be big to be meaningful.  
  • Let them make a decision. Go along with one of their ideas.  

It can be as simple as being willing to share that bite of your favorite food.  Mandy tells me it's an act of covenant when she wants a bite of my last bite!  I struggle with this one, but I'm still learning as well.