The Promise in Marriage

Marriage is not mainly about being or staying in love. It’s mainly about telling the truth with our lives. It’s about portraying something true about Jesus Christ and the way He relates to his people. It is about showing in real life the glory of the gospel. Jesus died for sinners. He forged a covenant in the white-hot heat of his suffering in our place. He made an imperfect bride his own with the price of his blood and covered her with the garments of his own righteousness. He said, “I am with you....to the end of the age....I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5). John Piper

What did you promise your mate when you got married? What was your vow to him/her? Did you say “until death?” How seriously do people take that promise they made at their wedding? They made a vow to each other, but God says that all vows are vows unto Him as well.

In Malachi 2:14, marriage is called a covenant, “the wife of your marriage covenant.” Even though, the word covenant is not used in reference to the marriage of Adam and Eve, their marriage truly represents a marriage covenant, a covenant between them and with God.

Genesis 2:21-22 says, So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, He took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.

This passage is very similar to the scene with Abraham, God caused Abraham to go into a deep sleep when God established the covenant with him.

As described on the other side, a covenant includes the cutting of flesh and the shedding of blood. God cut the side of Adam to bring out the one created to be like him, Eve. He closed Adam back. Eve was birthed from the side of Adam. God established the covenant with them; they made a covenant with each other and with God.

God joined man and woman together in “oneness,” in the same way that we are one with Him. He put two people together, a man and a woman, to become one. He joined Christ to the church to dwell together as one body. Our marriages are covenant relationships, just as God has a covenant relationship with us through Jesus Christ.

"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery — but I am talking about Christ and the church. (Ephesians 5:31-32)

God established marriage as the first covenant in the Bible. God pictured His love and faithfulness to His people through marriage.

God, Me, and Thee
For the past few years I have had a growing concern that the Christian community has passively watched the "dumbing down" of the marriage covenant. Marriage has become little more than an upgraded social contract between two people — not a holy covenant between a man and a woman and their God for a lifetime. Dennis Rainey

The covenant of marriage is the single most important human bond that holds all of God’s work on the planet together. It is no small wonder that the Lord is passionate about the sanctity of marriage and the stability of the home. This covenant of marriage is based on the covenant God has made with us. It is in the power of His promise to her mankind that our personal covenant of marriage can be kept against the forces that would destroy homes and ruin lives." Jack Hayford

By covenant standards, the vows are not consummated or made valid until the groom literally gives all of himself and the bride all of herself in the act of sexual union. As the two bodies become one flesh physically, the two persons become one spiritually, bonding them forever in covenant relationship. Christopher McCluskey

Promises, Promises

Promised by God

"God's promises are like the stars; the darker the night the brighter they shine.”  David Nicholas

Promises are made .... promises are broken. How can you rely on the promise of a person? Will he/she really keep it? Should we sign a contract making sure that they keep it legally?

God gave us a rainbow as a sign of a promise He made to man and to the earth - that He would not flood it with water again.

The Bible calls this promise a “covenant.” But this covenant was not about a promise of a relationship. God “cut a covenant” with Abraham, a covenant with the promise of relationship. God promised Abraham that He would be their (Abraham’s descendents) God, they would be His people, and He would dwell among them.

Requirements came with “cutting a covenant.” The people of that time understood the term. The requirements included cutting open an animal, blood was shed. The two parties that made the covenant would pass between the parts of the animal that were cut in half and laid open on the ground. The idea was that if you broke your promise, the same thing would happen to you - being cut in half!

In God’s covenant with Abraham, the man had to cut the animals and lay them on the ground, but then God put him in a deep sleep. God alone walked through the animals. God alone was liable to fulfill the covenant, not Abraham. God promised to be faithful to Abraham’s descendents, regardless of their unfaithfulness. Later, God made another covenant based on His remembrance of the Abrahamic covenant, a covenant with Moses, the Old Covenant.

For us today, however, we have a new covenant - Jesus Christ. For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant. (Hebrews 9:15)

This covenant also had a blood sacrifice; this sacrifice was made totally by Christ. God said “it is enough.” He keeps His promises of the inheritance to us - our part is to receive.

God will not, cannot break His promise to us. No matter how dark our situation, how deep our sin, the light of the promise will always shine.

What does that mean to me?
 
God didn't promise
days without pain,
laughter without sorrow,
sun without rain,
but He did promise
strength for the day,
comfort for the tears, and
Light for the way.
Anonymous

God’s covenant means that:
  • My God keeps His Word. He has made an unbreakable commitment to me. I can trust Him.
  • My God is faithful, even if I am unfaithful. 
  • My God loves me unconditionally, no matter what my sin. 
  • When I entered into the covenant, I became new, I have a new identity in Christ. 
  • I have His strength and power in me, His grace is sufficient. 
  • He is my defender and my vindicator. 
  • He gives me His Spirit to live out His life in me. 
  • He frees me from the bondage of sin, giving me the ability to face temptation and win. 
  • He is my provider and protector, no need for fear. 
  • He will give me the promised inheritance of a life with Him and His riches for all of eternity and it starts now!