To have and to hold*

*Disclaimer: Claim only applies if the following conditions are met: shower curtain is closed after using, dishes are rinsed and placed in the dishwasher, no open can drinks are left on countertops or refrigerator. Other terms and conditions may apply and be revealed without warning. 

I have known couples who have worked their relationships exactly like an iTunes Terms and Conditions section. One bride had a three-strike list and just one day before the wedding, the groom was teetering on strike two!

It’s these petty disclaimers that have whittled the institution of marriage down to a handshake between two people, but their fingers are crossed. 

Last week, Pope Francis came under fire for saying that “great majority of our sacramental marriages are null because they (the couple) say ‘yes, for the rest of my life’ but they don’t know what they are saying because they have a different culture.” Simply put, people are getting married for the moment and not for life. 

But that is what today’s society has transformed marriage into. “If it doesn’t work out, we can just split up and do our own thing again. No biggie.” However, those couples don’t realize that they are breaking covenant. 

Let’s talk covenant today. Now this is going to be a super simple explanation of covenant. A covenant is defined as an agreement, a bond that requires a certain conduct from those making it. 

Back in Biblical times, covenants were lifelong and sealed with the shedding of blood. Sealers of covenants would slaughter an animal, walk through the slaughter in a figure eight with both parties stating terms and the consequences of not following said terms (which was usually the shedding of…ahem…blood.)

So when does this apply to our marriage talk? Well, I’m glad you asked. Couples begin their covenant agreement by verbalizing their vows to a minister and in front of their family. Later that evening…they are to seal that covenant with the shedding of blood by having sex for the first time. That’s when the covenant has been signed, sealed, and delivered. 

As the Pope plainly put it, our culture has changed. People are having sex out of wedlock, they aren’t forming their covenant bonds with their spouse, but they are forming it with everyone else! Plus, as we said in an earlier post, divorce has become commonplace. 

Couples aren’t being taught the importance of the covenant that they are forming. Men and women are taking the reins and steering their relationships right into the ditch, simply because they don’t understand their roles within the covenant that they make. Titus 2:4-5 says, “…train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” 

Husbands are to love and to treat their wife like Christ treat the church. Check it out.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church.

 Ephesians 5:28-29 NLT

With all that being said, your vows and the covenant that you make with God and your spouse are to be taken with the upmost importance. No disclaimers, conditions, or things that could sabotage the relationship. 

Ben Harper has a song called “Forever” that really fits with this topic. He talks about how he doesn’t want a year or two or four, he wants forever. Go check it out when you have time. 

These marriage blogs have been taking a little time to put together, so please bear with me as they trickle out. Thanks for reading, y’all be safe out there.