Mark and Helen were ready to call it quits. They were in a marriage of eleven years that was in serious trouble financially, emotionally, and spiritually. Both were born again and knew the importance of a strong marriage but were miles apart in goals and expectations. An invitation to attend a Bible Study on Covenant radically transformed their marriage and restored the “years the locusts had eaten”. What transpired was nothing short of a miracle! Although, one cannot promise a miracle, but if your marriage is in need of transforming grace, it might just be that the power of Covenant is the truth that could be used to revitalize, revive, or restore your relationship.
Marriage can never be a one-sided relationship. It’s two people coming together in a covenant relationship. Covenant as defined by the Scriptures is a solemn and binding relationship which is meant to last a life time. A covenant before God binds souls together as “One body, one spirit, one hope of calling…,” Ephesians 4:4. When both experience failed expectations, the easy way is to walk away. Unfortunately, if you do, the law of covenant will be broken. Hosea is an example of how God wants us to walk in forgiveness and obedience. God ask him to marry a prostitute and even when she walked away, he was to take her back. When we live for His divine purpose, one will keep taking a spouse back without judging her/him but respond in a loving way. A relationship with one’s spouse is an expression of worship toward God. Seeing it through God’s eyes of love and forgiveness changes the climate and softens one’s heart. There can be purpose in suffering if there is no physical or emotional abuse. Suffering builds commitment, character, and steadfastness so a spouse may see what true love looks like; loving like God loves us when we fall short. Doing the right thing, even if it is one-sided, is worship unto the Lord. If your spouse has no response toward acts of service and love, then become an offering of sacrifice unto the Lord. That sacrifice moves the hand of God to redeem and restore all brokenness.
Think about it this way, God is married to mankind even knowing that the fall would begin in the garden. But he was committed to love unconditionally and to wait patiently for restoration in His family. Marriage is God’s design to love a spouse, even when they aren’t showing love toward you. Just as God’s love causes us to repent and to turn back to him, so unconditional love for a spouse will often soften a heart and first love will be restored.
The Lord is telling both husband and wife to be committed to and to love like Hosea loved the unfaithful wife. She or he may return if one’s sacrifice becomes an act of worship unto the Lord. Commitment to love unconditionally is power to stop the pattern of broken marriages and defeat. I Kings 8:61, “And may your hearts be fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands.” Covenant then comes with determination and authority in decreeing:
- I’m in a covenant relationship with my wife/husband. Everything I have I give to her/him and receive whatever she/he can give to me without demands.
- I will guard every word and thought that comes from my mouth. My words have power to release life or death. I choose to speak life and love. Proverbs 18:21; Deuteronomy 30:19.
- I cover our marriage with the Blood of Jesus every day and dedicate my thoughts, deeds, and words to release unconditional love found in I Corinthians 13.
- If my spouse speaks words that are negative, I choose not to participate by defending but seek to understand and to love unconditionally.