As we move into the season of summer we also move into the season of weddings. For the past few years I have had a couple of weddings on my calendar each summer. This past weekend my wife and I attended a wedding and in a couple of weeks I will be performing one. I know of the three other weddings in our immediate sphere of relationships that will take place this summer. Summer seems to be synonymous with weddings.
As I think about weddings, especially as I officiate any of them, I think of the word covenant. When a man and a woman stand together on their wedding day, they are entering into a covenant. There is a difference between a contract and a covenant.
The world in which we live in operates by contract relationships: I am going to give you certain things in exchange for something else. If I give you those things, you are obligated to provide certain things to me. If you break your end of the contract, then I’m able to simply walk away from our agreement.
If I live by a covenant, it’s different. Even when you don’t keep up your end of the bargain, I continue to be faithful to the relationship.
I was reminded of the idea of covenant as I have been reading the book Do Your Children Believe? Author Terence Chatmon talks about the idea of covenant and how God shows us what it looks like to keep a covenant. He writes this in one of the later chapters:
“. . . as you read the grand sweep of the Bible – God’s covenants with Adam, with Noah, with Abraham, with Moses, with David – you keep seeing this theme emerge. His people forget what He’s done for them. His people are contentious and inconsistent. His people sometimes even stumble into outright rebellion . . . yet He keeps reaching out and redeeming a remnant. He never stops seeking His people. He always remains faithful to His covenant.”
It’s a beautiful picture of our Heavenly Father and a great picture for a marriage relationship. To never stop seeking. To always remain faithful. Even when the other blows it.
What a good reminder for those who are getting married.
For those who are already married.
For all those who are contentious, inconsistent, even outright rebellious.
Guess that’s all of us.
“For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”
(2 Timothy 1:9)