In the same way that sin puts a strain on our relationship with God, sin can fill marriage with struggle and challenge.
I had the opportunity of writing about what a covenant is between God and us a few months ago. Now, I get to write about marriage, and I find it ironic because marriage is the best human example we have for the covenant God has with His people. The truth is still true today that the covenant of marriage is much more than a pinky promise or double dog dare, it is a bond that is not easily broken by a “never mind” or “I don’t want to now.” God created marriage in the beginning with the very first man and woman because He knew that we needed a trusting relationship filled with love, respect, and companionship. But in the same way that sin puts a strain on our relationship with God, sin can fill marriage with struggle and challenge.
I have been married to my beautiful and wonderful wife Rachel for 5 years. I can best describe my five years of marriage with one word, JOY. Having someone by my side no matter what I am going through has been a true blessing, and it reminds me that we have a God who is always there for us. Just like I made a covenant with God, declaring that I will follow him always and love him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength, I also made a covenant with my wife. I told her that I would be her husband to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part. And on that day, we became one flesh. We have a bond so strong that only death could break it.
That is a pretty big deal. People often enter into relationships with the mindset “if it gets hard then I’ll find someone better.” But things don’t just magically get better. We are broken people who have a hard time following through with our commitments. Don’t be fooled by what the world is telling you. These relationships cannot be severed with the stroke of a pen on a legal document. They say it is like ripping off a Band-Aid, but I have walked with loved ones through this recently. I have seen what breaking this bond does; it is more like the ripping of flesh from your body. It will take time to heal, and it hurts.
We need someone that will help us through the times that are hard and celebrate in the times that are great. Every marriage needs to be centered around Christ and in covenant with God. Jesus is perfect and He is what we need to be striving towards. We need to have marriages that are leading toward holiness and not happiness. This is where you will find joy. It is where I have found my joy.
Marriage is wonderful, but just like Michael said on Sunday morning, it can also be hard. If we lift up our struggles to Jesus he will take our burden. Covenantal love can not just be fallen into or out of. It takes hard work. The covenantal love of marriage takes determination, dedication, trust, forgiveness and a whole bunch of communication (as I am always learning!). With these, and by the grace of God, the bond of marriage will bring blessing and joy to our lives and continually grow stronger each day.
I have never regretted the covenant I made with my wife, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for our marriage.