In looking at our short series on marriage, we come to a subject that I think has very little thought or conviction in today’s marriage union, and that is seeing your marriage as a covenant between you and your spouse until death do you part.
I believe there is a serious crisis on the status of what a true Biblical marriage is all about. What was the norm is now an oddity. It now seems odd to see a married couple remain married for over 35 years, let alone 50 years or so.
What has changed? Why do so many discard their marriage vows? Whatever happened to “I DO” or “until death do us part?” Whatever happen to the words committed, love and loyalty?
It is not hard to look at today’s marriages and not be totally discouraged. Is this what God intended marriage to be like? Absolutely not. And not for one second can any of us blame God for this outcome. No, He is not the deserter. We are! We are the ones who turn our backs on our spouse and on God’s truth.
God said this to the sinful Israelites who treaded on God’s covenant of marriage when He said in Malachi 2:16, “FOR I HATE DIVORCE.” In that same passage God links the marriage between a man and woman as being a covenant between the two and should not be broken when He rebukes their sin by saying, “…Because the LORD has been a witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant” (Malachi 2:14).
Beloved, marriage is a very serious issue with God. He designed it. He supports it. He blesses it. So much so He creates marriage and gives it the extra umph to cement it in our hearts by making marriage a covenant of companionship. A covenant where now man is fully complete and complemented by his spouse. Full and complete in every area of life. A covenant that is not to be discarded for another relationship.
When you said “I Do,” it sealed this covenant for a lifetime.
So what does this covenant mean?
A “covenant” is made up of conditions (terms of agreement) that each party has agreed to uphold, otherwise, there is no covenant. Covenants are legal documents or verbal agreements whereby oaths of faithfulness are expressed between two or more parties.
When it comes to the marriage covenant, our culture symbolizes this covenant has been cut and made by the giving of rings. And these rings tell the world that we belong to our spouse, that “we are off the market” and that we are committed to our spouse for life.
We see throughout Scripture where God makes covenants with man, (i.e. Abraham, Noah, etc.), and where men make covenants with each other (i.e. marriage, Ephraim and Assyria, etc.). Covenants are sealed with terms of the agreement and with the “yes” of those who agree. To break such covenants is a serious offense, and consequences follow.
Keeping such covenants points to the character and faithfulness of the parties involved. In essence, there is a yoking that takes place. And in the case of marriage, God shows us this yoking by proclaiming “they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 1:24). It is a uniting of two hearts into one.
So beloved, remember your marriage vows. Do they mean as much now as they did then? Stay committed to each other. Love each other. Serve each other.
Until next time, go and kiss your spouse!
Bear Morton is pastor of Magic Valley Bible Church in Twin Falls.