Is Your Marriage a Covenant or a Contract? | Enduring All Things

Monday, April 24, 2017

Is Your Marriage a Covenant or a Contract?

This post is part of Alisa DiLorenzo’s Called to Love: Experiencing Your Best Marriage Through the Words of Jesus Blog Tour which I am so honored to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE. To read other posts on the tour CLICK HERE.

This post contains affiliate links. Called to Love will henceforth be referred to as CTL in this post.
First of all, I want to tell you a little more about this 40-day devotional. While Alisa Dilorenzo was sitting in a women's conference in San Diego in 2015, she realized she wanted to dream again in her marriage and in order to do so, she needed to heed the call to love her husband beyond what she was already doing. That's when God called her to read the Gospels again and there she found the blueprint for marriage.

Alisa says, "What I didn't realize until that encounter with the Gospels is that while you may not have a specific manual for your spouse, you do have the only manual you will ever need." (CTL, Introduction, pg. 14).
While I will probably write several posts about this book, today I want to focus on one chapter of the book. "Day 5: I want to do what I want to do," to be exact. And you know what's even better, the points Alisa brings up in this chapter coincide with a point that stuck out to me in The Empowered Wife. I already knew I wanted to blog about this concept so why not blog about it on this blog tour?

This concept has to do with treating your marriage as a covenant rather than a contract. A lot of people in our world today go into marriage with a mindset of...
  • I'll stay in this marriage as long as it works out for me. 
  • I will fulfill my part as long as you fulfill yours.
  • As long as you are meeting my needs and doing what I want, I will stay married to you. (CTL, Day 5, pg. 33)
  • I think you get the picture.
You see? It's a contract. And a contract can be broken. It can be severed if someone doesn't hold up their end of the deal. But that's not what God intended marriage to be.

"God told us to love others as ourselves, not only to love ourselves. God told us to serve, not to demand service. God speaks of covenants, not of contracts." (CTL, Day 5, pg. 34).
It was never God's plan for us to have every need met by our spouse. If we go into marriage expecting that, we will be disappointed. It was God's plan for us to love our spouse unconditionally. In sickness and in health. For richer or for poorer. For better or for worse.

You see, a contract marriage doesn't even logically make sense. You don't need to make vows for a contract. You don't need to promise to love when the times are good. That's the easy part. The point of vowing "for better or for worse" is that you promise to love him or her no matter what. You're not going to break the promise at the first sign of conflict. (or even the second or third - not ever).

"We allow the influences of the world to color how we see our spouse and how we see our marriage. It's no longer about our covenant but rather all about my feelings." (CTL, pg. 34).
Above I listed some concepts that make up a contract marriage. Here is what a covenant marriage looks like:
  • A covenant is initiated for the benefit of the other person.
  • It is unconditional, permanent, and sacrificial.
  • It deals with a lot of forgiveness.
God's way is a covenant. Marriage is to be a covenant between two people and God. We promised before God and friends that we would be committed to one another for life. And we meant it.

"Marriage God's way is radical. It's life giving. It's empowering. It's possible. It's all about the choices that you make. Today choose God's commands over the world's ways and watch what happens to your relationship." (CTL, Day 5, pg. 34)

So today I choose God's way. I choose a covenant over convenience. I choose to love my husband as I have been called to do. What about you?

*Disclaimer: I am in no way condoning that you stay with someone who physically abuses you or cannot stay faithful. So I suppose there are two "conditions."
Bestselling author Alisa DiLorenzo has written a new book about what it means to be Called to Love. Many call this book “inspiring” and “fabulous.” I call it a game-changer. You can grab a copy at HERE.

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