The Marriage Covenant
In February we celebrate Saint Valentineís Day. He was made a
Saint because he was martyred for marrying couples when the king had
forbidden them to be married. The king wanted to send all the men to
war and he didnít want them to be distracted. He made a law that none
could marry. Saint Valentine, although not married himself, held the
marriage covenant in such high regard that he defied the Kingís orders
to join those longing to marry. He paid for that conviction with his
The marriage covenant is no longer held in high regard by many in
modern day times. But in Godís eyes, and the Bible, it remains a
covenant that withstands all time, because God instituted it Himself.
Ge 1:27-28; 2:18-24. Pastor Jack Hayford said, ďThe covenant of
marriage is the single most important human bond that holds all of
Godís work on the planet together. This covenant of marriage is based
on the covenant God has made with us. ď
The marriage covenant was made between God, the man Adam, and the
woman Eve. It took place in the Garden of Eden. The marriage covenant
still remains between a man. and woman. and God. The marriage covenant
is a holy covenant. God initiated it to bring a man and woman into a
lifetime relationship for the glory of God.
Most marriages that take place today are merely a contract between
two people. Contracts are different from covenants. Contracts are a
oral or written agreement between two parties that is legal, joining
them together in their agreement. Contracts are built on protecting
your rights. Contracts include escape clauses in the agreement or in
the hearts and minds of the parties, so the union can be broken.
Contract marriages include: Iíll meet you half way, you can come and
live with me, I will keep my things and you can keep yours, I will
keep my bank account you keep yours. In other words you will remain
the same person you were, but live together legally. Contract
marriages is one of the reasons that our divorce rates are over 50% in
When a man and woman enter into a marriage covenant with God there
is a lifetime binding promise. It is a promise of union for life. This
covenant was put in place by God for the the multiplication and
happiness of all people. The marriage covenant provided the framework
that made childrenís lives secure as they were growing up. They knew
who they were and exactly where they belonged in their family. Ge
1:27-28; 2:18-24. Many children today donít even try to understand
where they fit into their family frame because they are no definite
lines with so many people involved outside the original union.
Covenant marriages are built on: I will give 100% and cover your
failings, I will follow you wherever you go. Jesus will be the center
of our lives together, and we will both change and come into His
likeness. We will become one person in Him. Everything we have will be
shared for the good of our family and others.
The marriage covenant is a holy, life long commitment between God,
a man and a woman in a bond where they stick together like super glue.
And they let nothing seep in to break that bond. The bond is so sticky
that if broken, it would destroy parts of each person. This bond calls
for the unconditional love found in I Corinthians 13. That is the love
that will carry you through lifeís temptations to walk in
faithfulness. It overlooks suffered wrongs, irritations, and mistakes
made in life. It carries you through sickness and extended physical
care that many have to walk through.
Years ago we were in the Shepherding Movement. During those years
we were able to come to be acquainted with Derek Prince and his wife
Lydia. Their story is a true love story that only God could produce.
Lydia was a single Dutch woman who loved God and received a call from
Him to go to Israel when she was near 40 years old. She sold
everything she had, gave away her inheritance and moved to Jerusalem.
God gave her the purpose He brought her there for after she was living
there for a short while. He brought her babies that were orphaned
during the war that was raging the nation at that time. She ended up
with 12 babies to care for in her humble provision. She walked in
faith with Jesus like few walk, depending on Him for all the needs in
her life and those He brought to her for care.
Derek was a young English Christian solider in his 20ís when he
was stationed in Jerusalem on an assignment. He heard about Lydia and
the things God was doing with her, and he sought her out. By that time
Lydia was in her 50ís. As Derek visited Lydia and the children he knew
that God was speaking to him that Lydia would be his wife. It took
some real convincing on his part and God speaking clearly to Lydia,
but they were finally married. Derek and Lydia raised 9 girls together
and traveled many lands to teach the gospel in the 30 some years they
were married. They had a deep abiding love that was clear and solid.
There were many give and takes on each side in that covenant marriage
that God blessed. With the logistics involved in their marriage in the
natural realm there would be no way for a marriage like that to
survive, but it was a marriage covenant they made and it flourished.
Derek said, ďI look back on my own first marriage and I think that
for over thirty years Lydia and I were continually coming to know one
another more deeply and more intimately. Our marriage grew richer and
fuller the longer it lasted. There was never an anti-climax. I think
sometimes we would sit and travel in the car together for maybe an
hour without speaking and then, when we both began to speak
simultaneously, we would start talking about exactly the same thing.
In other words, the relationship didnít just depend on verbal
communion nor did it depend merely upon sexual relationship but it was
a total knowing of one person by another.Ē
The story doesnít stop there. Lydia died when she was in her 80ís.
Derek was left a widower in his 50ís. The children were raised and he
was alone. I remember one day God gave me a vision for Derek. It was
so impressed on my thoughts that I contacted him. I wrote out what God
had showed me. Little did I know what was going on in Derekís life at
that point in time. He was considering a marriage to a missionary lady
in Jerusalem. The vision I had was very specific and confirmed that
consideration. Later Derek married Ruth and they enjoyed a covenant
marriage and ministry life together for over 20 years before she went
home to be with the Lord.
There are many places where marriage is no longer held in high
regard, and even more so a covenant marriage. Many couples these days
are already living together in sin when they marry. God does not
sanction living together as a blessed union of a man and woman. It is
not the spring board into a covenant marriage. I am always amazed as I
talk with people, even Christians, who think that it is okay to live
together in sin, and that God should bless their actions. God based
marriage on a covenant that includes obeying His Scriptures. The Bible
is very clear any relationship outside of the covenant marriage is
fornication, which is a sinful relationship. The Bible states that
those who practice fornication are not going to be allowed into
Heaven. Re 9:21.
As you celebrate Saint Valentineís Day this year remember your
husband or wife in a special way. If you have never committed your
heart to Jesus Christ open up your heart and ask Him to come in. You
can have a huge mess in your life, but He will change your life and
your marriage. It is never too late to come into a covenant marriage.
When you come to Jesus you are born again. Jo 3:3. Your life is new!
Begin your new life by lining up with the Scriptures so that your life
will be a blessing and be blessed.