Some friends in ministry internationally have been discussing with me the topic of Christian (Covenantal) Marriage in an age where North America (and beyond) has developed a predominant culture (and mindset) that believes in contracts (and thus limited responsibility) and maximum rights for self. What has resulted: spiritually and emotionally immature people (seculars and Christians) who have rates of successful marriage that are dismally low and not much different from the secular marriage success rate to the Christian one (50% or so). This is the fruit of our lack, of strong loving multigenerational families and ”villages” where joy and maturity abound! Character curriculums are being re-inserted on a priority basis in many school districts, over, the past 2-3 decades because our problems in schools went from minor issues 50 years ago (think 1963 and the removal of the Bible and Christian prayer from Schools in the USA by Supreme Court Order) to murders, drug crime and human trafficking and the essential need for police in the school hallways.
How do we raise a Christian culture today that understands the diametrically opposite idea of marriage being a covenant and life long commitment of love when most Christians haven’t even heard the word covenant before (unless you are a lawyer or a theologically trained minister)?!
We start to understand covenant with deep and abiding (and ongoing) surrender to our Father God, through the shed blood of Jesus. We do this by faith in what Christ did for us by His paying the death penalty price for our sin and sacrificially giving up His life so, that we, His bride could be reunited with our Father (we lost that intimate relationship with our Creator Father in the Garden of Eden) and His family, forever! This IS the NEW Covenant!
Can you hear the mystery of Jesus’ self-sacrificing love bond with us (His Bride) and the idea of Covenental marriage for believers? We, as husbands-to-be, make the unbelievably difficult, unconditionally loving choice of giving up, our freedom of singleness without the challenges of caring for and sacrificially helping and providing for our soon-to-be wives! We ”die to ourselves” and embrace our wives in every way humanly possible and become One. 1+1= way more than 2! We both commit to helping our spouse to ”be the best they can be” in Jesus and His invisible (yet so lovingly apparent) Kingdom!
Without going into the idea of Covenant with in-depth Bible study, I trust this is some small help in seeing that marriage is a rights-surrendering process that is bound by a love that isn’t mercurial emotion-based Living. Marriage is about self-sacrifice and putting our beloved spouses first and being faithful to them with a permanent commitment to them!
This IS possible if we will mature by abiding in Jesus and allowing for the fruit of His Spirit to develop in us!