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CHRISTIAN FOUNDATIONS FOR MARRIAGE

by DearestChristian - For christian singles moving on to marriage    

The Foundation of Marriage Part 1

i. The Foundation of Marriage

A. A building is only as strong as its foundation.

Just as every building needs a foundation if it is going to stand, so too marriage needs a foundation. It takes significant time and effort to lay the foundation. Without it the house will crack and crumble. A marriage is no different and we need to consider what makes a solid foundation for marriage.

B. Wrong Foundations

1. Contract

A marriage with "contract" as it's foundation results when couples make a conscious or unconscious commitment that is conditional on their spouse measuring up to certain standards or expectations. This hesitancy to commit will undermine the relationship and make the marriage unstable.

2. Compatibility

The notion that successful marriage is based on two people being compatible for each other is false. The reality is that people chose their friends because they are similar but chose their marriage partner because they are predominately opposite. We see in our partner the strengths we do not have and are thus attracted to them. There will be areas where we have similarities but there will be many areas of difference. Successful marriage is not the result of being compatible but becoming compatible.

3. Infatuation

Infatuation is being overcome with the emotion of love for a person but often at it's heart the person is in love with the feeling of being in love. While feelings are important they are not sufficient to sustain a
marriage.. If this becomes the basis for marriage, the relationship will ultimately end when the feelings subside.

 

II. The Foundation Of Marriage: Covenant Love

Successful marriages are based on couples entering a covenant relationship on their wedding day where both individuals make a choice to live in covenant love. Mal2:14

A. What is Covenant?

A solemn freewill agreement between parties made with the whole hearted intention to completely fulfill all obligations undertaken. In this day when promises are so easily made and so easily broken it is difficult for us to understand the true weight of a covenant agreement. In days gone by people were considered only as good as their covenant word, and were held strictly to the words they had spoken in covenant agreement. This demanded loyalty and commitment and there were no loopholes to provide escape from the terms.

B. Components of a Covenant:

1 Covenant Promises

Also called oaths or vows. Gen 17:7

2 Term of the Covenant

Covenants were usually not limited to time. Gen 17:13

3 Table of the Covenant

Also called book or witness of the covenant. Ex 24:7

4 Sign of the Covenant

This was a sign to others that the parties were in covenant relationship. Gen 17:11

5 Ratification of the Covenant

The promises were now acted upon. Gen 17:8

C New Covenant Example: Jesus

1 Better Promises: Heb 8:6

2 Everlasting Covenant: Heb 13:9

3 Table of the Covenant: Heb 8:10

4 Sign of the Covenant: Eph 1:13

5 Ratification of the covenant: Gal 3:17; Heb 13:9

 

D. Components of a Covenant Marriage:

1 Covenant Promises:

a. Gen 2:23 in other words, "I hereby invite you, God, to hold me accountable to treat this woman as part of my own body."

b. We make promises to each other on our wedding day

c . Love, honour, cherish, obey etc.

2. Covenant Terms:

a. We agree to certain terms on our wedding day

b. For better or worse, richer or poorer

c. It is a life long commitment, till death do us part

3. Covenant Witness

a. God is a witness to the Covenant. Matt 19:6 "what God has joined together, let not man separate."

b. The Marriage Certificate is signed & is a witness

c. Others are a witness to the covenant

4. Covenant Sign

a. Rings are exchanged

b. This is a sign to others that you are in covenant relationship.

5. Covenant Ratification

a Consummation of the marriage is the act that exemplifies that the couple intends to keep the covenant. Gen 2:24,25

b. A couple now fulfill their vows to live in covenant love.

Covenant Ratification means we exchange all we previously held separately:

a.. Our bodies

b. Salaries, cars, home etc. are now also held in common

c. All wealth and debts are now held shared in common

d. Strife can result from retaining our own possessions

e. Stepchildren are included in our exchange:

Lack of understanding in this area sets the family up for strife or rebellion. Strife gives the children power to separate parents. Jesus is the perfect example: He submitted himself to them;Mary was his natural mother, Joseph his stepfather


E. What is Covenant Love?

1. In its essence love is not just words or feelings but love is a decision expressed in deeds

2. Love is not focused on the benefit to the giver but is focused on the benefit to the recipient. Unconditional love does not say "I'll love you if you do this or that," or "I'll love you on the condition that I get this or that from you," rather it says "I want the highest good for you no matter if it doesn't benefit me." When both parties in a marriage demonstrate this kind of love a very strong foundation is laid that will stand the tests of time.


F. Covenant of Unconditional Love vs Contract

In the world today there is a move towards Prenuptial Agreements in marriage.

1. This is often symptomatic of a society in which people are hesitant to make commitments

2. An unspoken contract.

When a person begins a marriage with the unspoken understanding that as long as his or her needs are being met, all is well; but as soon as those needs are no longer being met, the relationship will end, they have in fact entered a marriage which amounts to a contract.

3. Making a contract the basis of a marriage is counter-productive to the desired outcome for a marriage.

 

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