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Relational Covenants

Recently I was conducting a wedding, and it lead me to spend some time reflecting on the difference between a Christian and a civil wedding. Below are some of my thoughts*

Covenants are important to God – and they are the way that He works. He doesn’t make us, manipulate us or force us to follow and trust him – he lovingly invites us to do so. Covenant is the state of trust in which all Godly relationships are held together. They are based on love, respect, honor and promise.

In one sense it is possible to simply view marriage as signing the legal paper work that binds people in the state of marriage. But marriage is a whole lot more than this. is It is about a man and a women coming together to make solemn promises before the people who love you the most. I believe this pleases the heart of God because he see’s marriage as more than just a contract, but as a covenant.

While the lines between contract and covenant marriage have become very blurred in our society today, there are some significant differences between contracts and covenants.

Contracts are about you - Covenants put the other person first.
Contracts are about our desire to get something that we want. We enter into a contract because of what we are going to get from it. A Covenant is so different; we enter into it because you consider each other’s needs as being greater than your own. Covenants are about serving each other, not because of what we’ll get, but for the sole reason that we love our partner and want them to become the best they can.

Contracts are rigid – Covenants require grace and forgiveness
Contracts are based on numerous specific terms – “you must do a, b, c and d to make me happy and fulfill the contract we have made. If you do that, I will keep my side of the contract.” But Covenants are different; they are based on unconditional promises and a commitment to love regardless of what your partner has and hasn’t done. Because of this, covenants requires that grace and forgiveness is able to flow freely between both parties.

Contracts have a time limit on them - Covenant relationships view commitments as permanent.
When we get a mortgage or buy a car, there is almost always a time limit on the contract. In the marriage ceremony God is very serious about the words ‘til death do us part’. Covenant marriage is a permanent state that you are to be involved in for the rest of your time on this earth.

Be a person who keeps covenant.

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