A few months ago, sweet husband and I were involved in a small group that focused on marriage. Particularly, it taught on the Covenant marriage. It was incredibly enlightening. I follow “Marriage” on Facebook, and recently, I thought they defined it best. “Your marriage isn’t just a Contract; it’s a Covenant. A contract is just a piece of paper protecting the rights of two people who don’t trust each other. A covenant is a God-given relationship where two people lay down their own rights for the sake of the other and bind their lives and hearts together in a love and commitment that can never be broken.”
Do you remember your blissful day? You know, your wedding day? I do. It was a perfect April day that called for rain but ended up sunny because, obviously, God knew this was my moment—the day I had waited for since birth. My hair turned out perfect, my dress zipped flawlessly, and every flower was perfection. I walked down the aisle and tearfully vowed to love my husband for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer until death did us part. It was magical. We trekked off to some exotic location where every moment was spent swooning over the fact that we were MARRIED.
And then we got home. Do you know that he doesn’t always rinse his dishes before putting them in the dishwasher? Or that he doesn’t squeeze the toothpaste from the bottom? And God help us, he SNORES. What in the world?? I remember just a few weeks into my marriage confiding to my friend who was also recently married, “It’s just… Well, this is it? I guess, maybe, it isn’t everything I expected it to be.” She sighed with relief, “Oh good, so it’s not just me.”
I have been married for nearly five years now, and while I am by no means an expert, I have certainly gained some wisdom. To answer my question, yes, this is it. And no, it’s not all that I expected. But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I have come to learn that marriage takes work. Just like anything else worth having, it takes effort and upkeep. It requires our focus and attention. Only then can it thrive and be all that God intended.
I’m going to say it. We, as a society, are not doing marriage as God intended. And I’m not inciting a political debate. I’m talking about marriage- husbands and wives are not aware that marriage is a covenant. Too many treat it as a contract that can be dissolved when one or both feels dissatisfied with the other’s services. And y’all, that’s just not what God had in mind.
Don’t you remember? You promised for better or for WORSE. In SICKNESS and in health. For richer or for POORER. Until DEATH. But how quickly we forget… I’d like to challenge you to start treating your marriage as a COVENANT. I love the song by Train that says, “Marry me- today and every day.” Remember the way you felt on your wedding day? When nothing could shake your resolve? CHOOSE to feel that way everyday– to lay down your OWN rights for the sake of your spouse, to love and SERVE each other in a way that binds your lives and hearts together in a love and commitment that can never be broken.
It is only when I truly came to this realization– what can I do for my husband, rather than what can my husband do for me– that my marriage became MORE than I expected. There’s been some better, and there’s been some worse. And sure, the dishes don’t always get rinsed. And the toothpaste tube can get a little lumpy. And yes, he still snores. But he loves me well. He makes the best boiled shrimp, always gets up to turn the air down or grab some water, and changes dirty diapers like a pro. And I fall more in love each day. There is simply no one else I would rather serve and do life with than that handsome man. Confidently, I can say that this is IT. And no, it isn’t quite what I expected– it’s better…