Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Love Dare - Day Forty

Love Is a Covenant

Congratulations.  You’ve reached the end of the Love Dare – the book.  But the experience and challenge of loving your mate is something that never comes to an end.  It goes on for the rest of your life.

This book may end at Day 40.  But who says your dare has to stop?  And as you view your marriage relationship from this point on, we challenge you to consider it a covenant instead of a contract.  These two words sound similar in meaning and intent but are in reality much different.  Seeing marriage as a contract is like saying to your spouse, “I take you for me and we’ll see if this works out.”  But realizing it as a covenant changes it to say, “I give myself to you and commit to this marriage for life.”

There are many other differences between covenants and contracts.  A contract is usually a written agreement based on distrust, outlining the conditions and consequences if broken.  A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and good for life.  It is spoken before God out of love for another.

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 for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility.  It has no expiration date.  It is “til death do us part.” A contract can be broken with mutual consent.  A covenant is intended to be unbreakable.

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

As you’ve read numerous times in these pages, keeping this covenant is not something you can do in your own strength. There’s good reason why God was the One who initiated covenants with His people.  He alone is able to fulfill the demands of His own promises.  He alone is able to forgive the receivers of His covenant when they fail to uphold their part of the agreement.  But the Spirit of God is within you by the virtue of your faith in His Son and the grace bestowed upon you in salvation.  That means you now can exercise your role as covenant keeper, no matter what may arise to challenge your faithfulness to it.

Especially if your spouse is not in a place of receiving your love right now, the act of covenant keeping can grow more daunting with each passing day.  But marriage is not a contract with escape clauses and exception wordings.  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.  Your love is based on covenant.

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.  Let His words inspire you to be a channel of God’s love to your spouse.

The time is now, man or woman of God, to renew your covenant of love in all sincerity and surrender.  Love is too holy a treasure to trade in for another, and too powerful a bond to be broken without dire consequences.  Fasten your love afresh on this one the Lord has given you to cherish, prize, and honor.

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

We dare you.

Today’s Dare

Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present.  Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading my blog. I hope you enjoyed it.