Thursday, August 02, 2018

Marriage Is a Covenant, Not a Contract


A couple met with me to talk about doing their wedding ceremony. I said I would consider it, given two conditions:

1. If they attend our church. 
2. If they meet with Linda and I for six premarital counseling sessions.

The man asked me, "Will you marry us if we have a prenuptial agreement?"

"No," I replied.

I don't do contracts.

I want the premarital couple to jump all the way in, without reservation. That's called covenant.

Marriage is a lifelong covenant that depends on a person's pledge and honor, not their partner's perfect adherence to a contract.

Seeing marriage as a covenant, not a contract, can make marriages last longer. Everett Worthington says that "people who enter marriage thinking of it as a contract will usually be disappointed... [A] covenantal understanding of marriage promotes devotion. Partners expect to be together. Therefore, a covenantal view of marriage actually results in fewer breaches of the implicit contract." (Worthington, Hope-Focused Marriage Counseling, pp. xxiii-xix)

My two books are:

Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God

Leading the Presence-Driven Church

I am writing...

How God Changes the Human Heart

Technology and Spiritual Formation

Linda and I will then co-write our book on Relationships