Traditional Family Values Part 7: The Covenant of Marriage and Overcoming Challenges

Traditional Family Values A 12 Part Series

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Introduction

In our previous discussions, we have explored the foundational principles of traditional family values, and all parts are listed on the page: SERIES.

This week, Part 7 we will delve into the concept of marriage as an eternal covenant and how to overcome challenges within marriage. Understanding marriage as a covenant helps us appreciate the depth of commitment required and the importance of perseverance and counseling.

Marriage as a Covenant

Marriage is more than just a legal contract; it is a sacred covenant designed by God. This covenant signifies a lifelong commitment that mirrors the relationship between Christ and the Church. A covenant, unlike a contract, is an exchange of persons and not just promises. It creates a profound kinship bond between the individuals involved, making them family.

Galatians 6:2 teaches us, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” This verse highlights the importance of mutual support and burden-bearing within a marriage. Just as Christ is committed to His Church, spouses are called to be committed to each other, supporting and uplifting one another through all of life’s challenges.

The Seriousness of the Marriage Covenant

In the Bible, covenants are established by making an oath, an act that God takes very seriously. The Hebrew word for “oath” is “shevah,” meaning “to seven oneself,” signifying the solemnity and completeness of the promise made. When a couple enters into a marriage covenant, they are invoking God’s presence and committing to a bond that is meant to last a lifetime, ending only with death.

Ephesians 5:25 states, “Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.” This level of love and commitment requires perseverance, especially during difficult times.

  • Breaking this covenant is not just a breach of promise but a profound spiritual failing that disrupts the divine order established by God.

Commitment and Perseverance in Marriage

The concept of commitment is central to the covenant of marriage. This commitment involves a promise to love, honor, and cherish one another, regardless of the circumstances. Perseverance in marriage means working through problems together rather than giving up. It involves a willingness to forgive, to communicate openly, and to make sacrifices for the sake of the relationship. 1 Corinthians 13:7 reminds us that love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” This enduring love is the foundation of a strong and lasting marriage.

Counseling and Working Through Issues

Every marriage faces challenges, and it is crucial to address these issues constructively. Seeking counseling can be a valuable resource for couples struggling with communication, trust, or other problems. Professional counseling provides a safe space for couples to express their feelings, understand each other better, and develop effective strategies for resolving conflicts.

In addition to professional counseling, spiritual guidance can also play a significant role in overcoming marital challenges. Pastoral counseling and prayer can help couples realign their focus on God’s design for marriage and find strength in their faith. James 5:16 encourages believers to “confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” This approach fosters healing and reconciliation within the marriage.

Conclusion

The covenant of marriage requires a deep level of commitment, perseverance, and a willingness to work through challenges. By understanding and embracing these principles, couples can build a strong, lasting relationship that reflects God’s love and purpose. As we continue this series, let us strive to uphold the sanctity of marriage and seek God’s guidance in nurturing and preserving our marital relationships.


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Call to Action

As we reflect on the covenant of marriage, let us commit to honoring this sacred bond in our own lives and communities. By embracing the principles of commitment, perseverance, and counseling, we can strengthen our marriages and create a supportive environment for those facing marital challenges. Let us pray for wisdom, patience, and strength as we uphold the sanctity of marriage and support one another in our journey of faith.

Conclusion

Marriage is indeed challenging, but with God at the center, couples can navigate their differences with love, respect, and wisdom. By seeking the Kingdom first, submitting to one another, loving unconditionally, forgiving, communicating honestly, seeking counsel, and praying together, a Christian husband and wife can grow closer to each other and to God, reflecting His love and grace in their relationship.


 

Overcoming Challenges that Threaten the Covenant

Marriage, from a Biblical perspective, is a sacred union designed by God to reflect His love and commitment to His people. When Christian husbands and wives face challenges or disagreements, the Bible provides clear guidance on seeking the Kingdom of God and relying on His wisdom. Here are some insights into how couples can navigate these difficult times:

1. Seek First the Kingdom of God

Matthew 6:33: “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

  • Prioritize God: Both spouses should prioritize their personal relationship with God. Regular prayer, Bible study, and worship can help align their hearts with God’s will.
  • Unity in Purpose: Understanding that their marriage is part of God’s Kingdom work can help spouses see their union as a ministry and a partnership in serving God’s purposes.

2. Submit to One Another

Ephesians 5:21: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”

  • Mutual Submission: Marriage requires both partners to submit to each other, valuing each other’s needs and perspectives, which fosters respect and love.
  • Servant Leadership: Husbands are called to love their wives as Christ loved the church (Ephesians 5:25), and wives are called to respect their husbands (Ephesians 5:33).

3. Love and Respect

Ephesians 5:33: “However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.”

  • Unconditional Love: Husbands should demonstrate Christ-like, sacrificial love.
  • Unconditional Respect: Wives should show respect, acknowledging their husband’s role and efforts.

4. Forgiveness and Grace

Colossians 3:13: “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

  • Forgive Quickly: Holding onto grudges can destroy a marriage. Forgiving each other as Christ forgives is crucial.
  • Extend Grace: Understand that both spouses are imperfect and in need of grace, just as God extends grace to us.

5. Communication and Honesty

James 1:19: “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry.”

  • Active Listening: Truly listening to each other without interrupting fosters understanding and empathy.
  • Honest Communication: Being open and honest about feelings and concerns helps prevent misunderstandings.

6. Seek Wisdom and Guidance

Proverbs 15:22: “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

  • Biblical Counsel: Seeking wisdom from God’s Word is paramount. Proverbs, for instance, offers practical wisdom for daily living.
  • Pastoral Counseling: Sometimes, issues may require guidance from a pastor or a Christian counselor who can provide Biblical insights and mediate conflicts.
  • Community Support: Being part of a Christian community where couples can share experiences and support each other can be very beneficial.

7. Prayer and Dependence on God

Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

  • Pray Together: Couples should pray together regularly, seeking God’s guidance and strength for their marriage.
  • Depend on God: Trusting in God’s sovereignty and provision can help couples navigate the uncertainties and challenges they face.

 

References for further and deeper study:

 

SERIES LINK

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Jeff Bayard
Diligent Content Manager and composer at the Virginia Christian Alliance, curating and managing articles that uphold Christian values, conservative ideals, and the enduring principles of the U.S. Constitution. With a keen eye for detail and a heart for truth, ensuring that our content resonates with our readers and stays true to our mission. Work: A seasoned professional at a leading freight forwarding company, dedicated to helping logistics and supply chain professionals eliminate disruptions, increase shipment visibility, and accelerate sales growth. With his extensive experience and expertise, Jeff ensures seamless and efficient operations, driving success for his clients.