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Marriage Is a Covenant Before God

My son asked my husband to speak at his wedding. This is his transcripts (but he is not pictured here).

Marriage is a unique relationship established by God, symbolic of the union between Christ and his Church, those who have accepted His gift.
MARRIAGE IS ESTABLISHED BY GOD
Marriage is NOTan institution that man dreamed up.
If marriage was man-made, then man could ignore it when he grew tired of it.

But, marriage IS God’s idea. 
In the beginning God created man.  Gen 2:18
Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”
God made Eve to complement Adam; to be his help-meet.

When God is obeyed, and men and women fulfill their God-given roles, man shows the world what Christ did for His Church. 
And the woman demonstrates how the church should serve Christ. 
That’s where the man and woman find their greatest fulfilment—when they do what God created them for.

MARRIAGE IS BEFORE GOD.
Although performed in public before friends and family, marriage actually takes place before Almighty God. 

And some day, every couple will stand before Him to give an account of their response to His Son and their fulfillment of their marriage obligations.

MARRIAGE IS FOREVER
Marriage was established by God to last forever.
It is a life commitment.
That means divorce is not an option.
When you enter marriage with the possibility that “if things don’t work out…” then marriage won’t work out.
That’s like saying, “we’ll live in this house as long as everything works.”
And every house takes work. 
Marriage takes WORK. Things don’t just work out.
It takes two people committed to obey God together
Commitment is essential.

MARRIAGE IS A COVENANT.
Marriage is a covenant with God. Mal 2:15

Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?
And what was the one Godseeking?
Godly offspring. So guard yourselvesin your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.
 

Today, Jonas and Jane you will exchange your marriage vowsto each other in a covenant withGod.
It’s a covenant of companionship.
The Bible says, A threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ec 4:12
The man and his wife are united with God in a promise to do God’s work.

Many couples today enter into a marriage contract.
However, marriage is not contract between two people, but a covenant between a man and a woman before God.
A contract is an agreement you can break
A covenant is a perpetual promise.
Today we are surprised when someone actually keeps his word. We have become promise breakers.
In a covenant, God requires man and woman to keep their promise daily.
It’s not simply an endurance test to stay together.
It’s a daily promise that you will unite to obey God together.

A contract exchanges one good for another.
A covenant is giving oneself to the other.  
This covenant is a promise that takes work and trust.

How is this covenant established?
Through VOWS

This covenant that you both are about to enter will be made by giving your vows.
Vows are not your feelings. 
Vows are acts of the will.
You choose to do these things.
There’s a reason why traditional vows have lasted so long. 
The words have been carefully chosen because they mean something.
You make a promise to each other. 
That binds you to each other.
You will be asked these questions of intent:
“Do you want to get married?”
Will you love, honor and cherish her? Will you respect him?
Consider carefully your answers.

It’s hard for couples to believe on their wedding day that these questions are necessary.
Of course I love him with all my heart! 
Of course I will cherish her with all my strength!

But when the car breaks down, the kids are whining, and your wife may not be looking her loveliest, do you cherish her? 
When your husband won’t ask for directions, when you know you’re lost again, will you submit to him?
That’s when we trust what the Bible teaches.
We submit ourselves to the truth of God’s Word.
We acknowledge the Originator of marriage, and fulfil His purposes.

What are the three purposes of marriage?
1. The first purpose of marriage is for life long companionship.
Man needs help.
A man won’t ever tell his wife he needs help.
But God knew that he needed it.
So He made woman.

When we consider how marriage reflects what Christ has done for the Church, we don’t have to ask, “does Christ love us?” 
He died for us!
He’s looking out for our very best.
Everything that He does benefits us.
There’s no doubt of Christ’s love for us.

That’s how the husband should love and treat his wife.
I Peter 3:7 tells the husband to honor his wife; 
He puts her needs first.
He considers her interests before his own.
He finds his greatest joy in seeing her blossom within marriage to the fullest of all that God intends for her.

What should the church’s response be to Christ’s love and sacrifice?
Complete devotion and service.
So for the wife, it means becoming husband oriented in all that she does; being that helpmeet God made her to be.

When a man and a woman commit to that kind of honoring one another, it fulfills God’s intent.
They discover the wonderful mystery of the “two becoming one.”

2. And by becoming one, we fulfill the second purpose of marriage…to have children.
Marriage was designed to be blessed by children.
God commanded Adam and Eve to be “fruitful and fill the earth.”
God has never told us that the earth is full. 
When man interjects his thoughts, we get into trouble. 
When we obey God, we are blessed.

Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.
Ps 127:3

They are a gift from the Lord.
But they are a gift to be trained to love and obey God.
That takes work. It doesn’t just happen.
Just like the house that needs cleaning, so a child must be trained to know and obey God.
That brings the greatest blessing. 

3. By raising children to follow God, we create responsible citizens, which fulfills the third role of marriage—the welfare of society.
Society is only as strong as its marriage and family.
Wonder why we are having so many problems today?
Look at the family and how husbands and wives do not obey what God has said. 
Society reflects how we obey God’s commands to honor marriage.

So, Jonas and Jane, as you give your vows to each other today, you commit together before God to be the companion that enables your marriage to reflect what God has done with the Church. 
You will show the world what it means to obey God. 

Do you know what God does when that happens?
Jonas and Jane become one. 
Not just physically, but emotionally, spiritually, in all avenues of your very existence.
You ARE one.
That’s a mystery!

You will start to look like each other.
Jane will anticipate what Jonas needs, even before he even knows he needs it! 
Jonas will pursue how he can love Jane better with all that you are.
By doing that, you will serve God more effectively & efficiently than you could ever do it by yourselves. PAUSE

Storms, struggles, and temptations will pound against your marriage and tempt you to forget what you promised to each other—to destroy what you have committed to do.
So it is important for you both not to forget the third cord.
Because you can never do this on your own.
No man or woman could.

It takes God.
He’s that third strand, united with both of you, that will make a chord strong enough to defeat any problem this world can throw at you. 

You see, those vows of marriage reflect the promise of God.
When you trust God’s way, and make the commitment before God to obey Him, it is He Who will enable you to do it.
You trust God to work it out.

Jonas, when you struggle to even know how to love Jane, and Jane, when you can’t imagine obeying Jonas to do that,
you will find by trusting God, that He does the work.
That three strand cord blends into one.
You can’t tell where one cord ends and the other begins. 
You are inseparable—united— one.
And God is pleased.

When God is pleased, there is no greater happiness that can be found. 
Marriages aren’t made in heaven. 
They are made of imperfect people who sin. 
Even you two.
But marriage can reflect what God intended.
Because when you do what you were created to do, you imitate what Christ did for His believers.
And how the church should serve Christ.
You show a watching world—Who—God—is.

The world is full of broken people searching for how to find that companionship only God can give. 
They turn to their dog or their horse, or a cause—something that will take that loneliness away.
But when they see your marriage, they see a glimpse at what God wants for them—TO MAKE THEM WHOLE.
Wholeness can only come from accepting God’s way in all things.
But Christ loved us so much, like a husband should do for his bride, that Christ died to take away our sins. 
He did what it took to make His Bride whole again.

We, like the wife, must accept His love and sacrifice.
Ever know someone who just won’t accept love. 
They think they don’t need any help. 
Or they must earn their love.

It’s a commitment to trust Him—for everything.

By trusting, we come to know God.
By knowing God, we find that God takes away that loneliness and longing and makes us whole.
So Jonas and Jane, as you take your vows, 
do it with careful consideration at what they mean.
And by fulfilling your vows, you show the world what God has done for His believers and that gives great blessing. 
And may God bless you both.

I write about what matters...to you---
women, wives and moms---
about your family, faith and future.
I write about what's hard, what helps and what heals.
I show you how it's done. And not done.
I hold your hand as you find what matters to the Savior.
And let go of those things that mattered to you, but not to Him.
I write about what matters...to Him.
               Sonya Contreras

Women's Roles
Find other articles about women's roles here:
Marriage Is a Covenant before God
Are You Precious?
What's a Mother-In-Law To Do?
A Promise Is a Promise
Happily Ever After
Point Lobos, Monterrey
Where You Go, I Will Go
Protecting Our Men
What Makes a Marriage Work?
And the Two Shall Be One
Do You Let Your Husband Love You?
An Added Resource for You
Is Jezebel in Your Midst?
Can You Say, "No"?
Are You Losing Your Mind?
Expect Great Things from God
The Making of a Man part 4
The Making of a Man part 3
The Making of a Man part 2
The Making of a Man
What Kind of a Crown Are You?
Do You Like Your Husband?
Is Your Husband a Pushover?
Did You Marry a Crazy Man? 
Is Your Husband Crushing You?
Are You Dependent?
Male vs Female: Is It Equality We Seek?
Are You a Nag?
Do You Have a Picky Eater?
A Way to a Man's Heart Is through His Stomach
Are You Challenged by Your Man's Challenges?
Happily Ever After
Are You Appreciated?
Do You Feel Loved?
Valentine's Day: A Day for Love?
Valentine's Day: Help Your Husband Out

Submission
Created for Him
Do You Help Your Husband?
Made To Conquer

Women Working
How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Work?
How Much Does It Cost for Moms To Stay at Home?
Margaret Thatcher, She Changed the
    World, But What about Her 
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Biblical Manhood
Find more articles about Biblical Manhood here:
What Is Man?
Where Are the Men?
What Should a Man Do?

Biblical Womanhood
Find more articles about Womanhood here:
What Is Your Choice?
Letting Him Protect
Are You a Friend?
Who Controls the Money?
The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving: How 
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The Power of a Smile: How To 
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Control
Superwoman: Is She Believable?

Author of Biblical fiction, married to my best friend, and challenged by eight sons’ growing pains as I write about what matters.

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