Amanda & Jason: Third Time Around

Covenant Marriage vs. Marriage

1 Corinthians 7:3-4 “Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband. The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.”


To start out we need to establish what exactly a “Covenant Marriage” is defined as in a legal civil sense. In four states there is a “legal” covenant marriage and a marriage contract. Louisiana was the first state to define these differences in a legal manner. A Covenant marriage is a legal union of Husband and Wife that requires premarital counseling, marital counseling if problems occur, and limited grounds for Divorce. The law mandates three significant requirements for couples who choose to enter into a covenant marriage: (1) the couple must legally agree to seek marital counseling if problems develop during the marriage; and (2) the couple can only seek a divorce or legal separation for limited reasons. In addition, before obtaining a covenant marriage license, the couple must receive premarital counseling from a priest, minister, rabbi, clergyman of any religious sect, or a professional marriage counselor. Once married, a husband and wife are expected to commit to a lifetime partnership. However, the law recognizes that some couples will want to separate or divorce. The covenant marriage provisions require a spouse to first obtain counseling and then prove one or more grounds for separation or divorce as listed in the statute. This is the key difference between the two types of marriage: in essence, a spouse has to prove fault by the other spouse. The grounds for legal separation are: Adultery by the other spouse; commission of a felony by the other spouse and a sentence of imprisonment at hard labor, or death; Abandonment by the other spouse for one year; physical or Sexual Abuse of the spouse or of a child of either spouse. The marriage contract is what most people understand as marriage. You apply for a marriage license, get married and can get divorced without any needed reason.

Now I would like to explain the biblical understanding of a “covenant marriage” which is what Amanda and I are striving for in the eyes of God. The marriage relationship was the first human institution established by God (Genesis 2:24). This permanent relationship was complete and whole with one man and one woman becoming one flesh. God established marriage as a covenant, not a contract (Malachi 2:14; Proverbs 2:16-17). It is important to understand the difference between these two. Three important differences exist:

  1. A covenant is based on trust. A contract is based on distrust.
  2. A covenant is based on unlimited responsibility. A contract is based on limited liability.
  3. A covenant cannot be broken if new circumstances occur. A contract can be voided by mutual consent.

So, a marriage covenant between a man and a woman is a comprehensive and permanent commitment. This marriage covenant was ordained by God to provide believers with a picture of Christ’s love and relationship to His church.  Due to the closeness of marriage, sins of selfishness, pride, laziness, and impatience are readily exposed from time to time. These tendencies are superimposed on marriage, testing our character in the areas of love, respect, submission, forgiveness, and perseverance. Living together in unity requires us to embrace biblical means of resolving conflict and demonstrating love.

Once we embrace God’s primary purpose for marriage, we can enjoy the numerous secondary purposes or blessings of marriage. I for sure will admit I had the tendency to pursue some of the secondary purposes. While secondary purposes are good and worthy of pursuit, I should have viewed them as blessings resulting from God’s primary purpose for marriage - that of modeling Christ’s love for His church through the development of Christian character. Secondary purposes of marriage could include: Companionship. The affection, love, and true companionship which grow out of one another.

plaquenil 200mg greece price Enjoyment. The physical relationship is a reflection of the loyalty and affection shared among marriage partners who have become “one flesh.”

Fruitfulness. The blessing of children in a marriage relationship allows that relationship to reproduce itself physically.

Protection. The husband protects the wife by laying down his life for her if needed. The wife is to protect the home and the parents together protect their children to raise up godly children.

When secondary purposes for marriage are placed above the primary purpose, discontentment, fearfulness, and disillusionment often result. I know this sounds preachy, especially coming from two people who have two failed marriages. We understand that as we strive to model Christ’s relationship to His church, we will be required to mature our Christian character. We will encounter opportunities to demonstrate that character in our marriage. This ultimately will allow us to fulfill God’s intended purpose for marriage—the modeling of Christ and His relationship with His bride, the church.

In both of my previous marriages I never openly put God first in my marriage. I walked around saying I was a Christian, but never fully understood what this meant. When I made the conscious effort to start reading the bible and instill God into my daily life, I still did not understand the difference in “reading” the bible and “building a relationship” with God. Once it was explained they are different, but both needed, I recognized what I was never doing with my previous marriages. Amanda told me that she always looked for a “Godly” husband to have children with and build her family. She admitted that what she had in her previous marriages were based more on secondary purposes. Both of us realize that in order to make the third marriage work we need to follow God’s word, put his good word into action in our marriage, and always remember that even if we might not understand, God has a plan for the two of us. He wouldn’t have put us together to not remain together.

Colossians 3:18-19 “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”




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