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Love Corner: Love is a covenant

Published:Monday | November 23, 2015 | 11:01 AMCathy Risden

Covenant and contract sound similar in meaning and intent, but in reality are much different. From this point, the Love Corner challenges you to consider your marriage as a covenant instead of a contract.

A covenant speaks to a commitment to the marriage instead of thinking of it as a contract that you sign and wait to see how things work out. It is a verbal commitment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and valid for life.

A contract is usually a written agreement which outlines the conditions and consequences if broken.

A covenant is for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has no expiration date. It is 'until death do us part'.

A contract is self-serving and comes with limited liability. It establishes a time frame for certain deliverables to be met and accomplished.

A covenant is intended to be unbreakable. A contract can be broken with mutual consent.

The Bible speaks about several major covenants as part of the unfolding story of God's people. God made a "new covenant" by the blood of Christ, establishing an unending, unchanging legacy of forgiven sins and eternal life for those who believe in Him (Hebrews 9:15).

And then there's marriage, the strongest covenant between two people - the pledge of a man and a woman to establish a love that is unconditional and lasts a lifetime. In marriage, your wedding ring is a reminder of your vows, not commitments you hope to keep, but premeditated promises, publicly spoken and witnessed by others.

 

NO SEVERANCE

 

If your spouse is not in a place of receiving your love right now, keeping the covenant becomes more daunting with each passing day. Marriage, however, is not a contract with escape clauses and exceptions. Marriage is a covenant intended to cut off all avenues of retreat or withdrawal. There's nothing in all the world that should sever what God has joined together.

Every marriage is called to be an earthly picture of God's heavenly covenant with His Church. It is to reveal to the world the glory and beauty of God's unconditional love for us.

Jesus said, "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love" (John 15:9 NIV). Let His words inspire you to be a channel of God's love to your spouse.

The time is now to renew your covenant of love in all sincerity and surrender. Love is too holy a treasure to trade in, and too powerful a bond to be broken without dire consequences.

Your life together is before you. Dare to take hold of it and never let go.

The Love Corner dares you to write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister, with family present. Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God's eyes.

cathy.risden@gleanerjm.com