Marriage as a Sacred Covenant

marriage
Marriage by Kumon licensed under Creative Commons 2.0

Marriage is a topic that is close and dear to my heart. I suspect it’s because of the longing I have in my heart, or maybe I just find the idea simply fascinating. Or maybe because it reminds me of God’s immense love for His bride and the wonderful relationship between them. Why am I writing about this? Simply put, I wanted to emphasis marriage as a very sacred covenant between two people and God. I also wanted to encourage people (believers and unbelievers) to treat it as such.

Marriage is a very special gift from God. It creates a safe space where man and woman open up their hearts and connect with each other in a powerful way – physically, emotionally and spiritually. Where two flesh becomes one. In addition to this, marriage is a safe environment for raising children. Of course, this special gift comes with a great responsibility and commitment.

Matthew 19:4-6 (ESV)
4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

Yes, I realize that there aren’t much fairytale marriages out there but single folks can learn from them, whether good or bad, before making one of the biggest commitment in life. Don’t laugh at me, but I do enjoy reading books and articles on marriage so I can learn from them. So I’ll just share what I’ve learned from what I read and observed in real life =)

Firstmost, marriage involves opening yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually to your spouse. That is a very vulnerable position to be in! Yet it’s powerful and special at the same time.

There’s a good reason why God commands us to wait until marriage before fully committing ourselves to other person. It’s not to take away our joy, but instead to protect us from heartbreaks associated with causal dating/relationships. Seeking love, physically and emotionally without a commitment and for selfish reasons is a sure recipe for painful heartbreaks. Imagine opening yourselves up and then getting rejected. It’s very painful. Our hearts are not meant to broken repeatedly. For each heartbreak, it generally gets harder and harder to open up as in the beginning. Marriage is a safe environment for people to express their love fully. The commitment of marriage protects people from being heartbroken.

Matthew 7:6 (ESV)
6 “Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it.

Your heart is a precious treasure just like pearls in the verse. It’s designed for loving one another and receiving love. Take your time getting to know a person, don’t open up everything at once. A healthy relationship consists of respecting one another and being considerate of others’ feeling. Relationship also takes time to grow and develop.

The Holy Scripture clearly states there should be no divorce except on the ground of adultery. Why?
First, let’s look at these two bible verses –

Mark 10:10-12 (ESV)
10 And in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. 11 And he said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her, 12 and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.”

Hebrews 13:4 (NIV)
4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Divorcing would mean breaking your sacred oath of commitment to your spouse and to God. It would mean undermining what marriage stands for. If people treated marriage as causal relationship then it ceases to be safe place of commitment and love.

If we hold these above-mentioned verses to our heart then we would give careful consideration before marrying a particular person since we are treating marriage as an once-in-a-lifetime choice!

And simply put, divorces cause untold sufferings and pains to spouses and children. Custody battles. Bitterness. Regrets. Children going back and forth between parents. Spouses and children feeling abandoned and rejected. It’s a ravager of hearts.

Additionally, I’ve put together a simple list of what helps and hurt a marriage as listed below. These traits doesn’t have to be only for marriage, but can also be applied toward any type of relationships – friendships, families, etc..

Things that helps marriageforgiveness, love, being sensitive to your spouse’s feeling, communication, understanding your spouse, faithfulness, commitment, respect, nourishing the relationship.

I wanted to expand a little bit on two things – nourishing the relationship and forgiveness. Don’t stop with nourishing, keep on connecting with each other! Nourishing the relationship is similar to watering plant. If a person neglects watering the plant then it will wither. Give love and time to each other on regular basis! This also applies to friendships and people you meet. As for the forgiveness, that is very important!! It removes bitterness, resentment, and gives you a CLEAN SLATE with your spouse. God gave you a clean slate, so you do likewise for your spouse!

Things that hurt marriagelack of commitment, not considering others’ feeling, contempt, marrying for selfish reason (money, physical intimacy, social status, etc.), not loving one another, rushing into marriage, resentment/bitterness, lack of forgiveness, being unequally yoked (believers with unbelievers).

Rushing into marriage is a dangerous endeavor since you won’t know whether if you are compatible for each other. It requires having a good understanding of who you are and who the potential spouse is. That includes positive and negative traits. Know what you’re getting into, ask questions but in a loving way of course! Compatibility is an important aspect of marriage. Look no further than the Bible. Remember when Israelites married foreign women, prior to entering the Promised Land AND during their ongoing presence there? Believers with unbelievers. And what about when Solomon had many foreign women during the latter part of his reign? What happened afterwards? Foreign women lured them away from the LIVING GOD who gave them everything, to idols who can’t see or hear or walk.

Ultimately, what ties these hurtful traits together is lack of love and it deprives the spouse from the love and respect they seek. It’s very painful. We cannot change other person, but we can choose how we conduct our actions!

Your hearts are precious treasures. God created marriage to protect and nurture our hearts with love. He doesn’t want to see His precious children getting hurt. Marriage helps us understand more about the loving relationship between God and His bride, how immensely God loves His bride, His faithfulness to us, and how He just want to simply spend time with us!

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