A question often asked about marriage is whether it should be viewed as a contract or a covenant. To answer this question, let’s begin by defining each term.

A contract is a formal agreement between two or more parties, usually written, requiring each to do something. It has a fixed time limit and is usually terminated either when the parties fulfill the requirements or one party breaks the agreement by failing to perform. As described in the Bible, a covenant is a sovereign pronouncement of God by which He establishes a relationship of responsibility between Himself and individuals, humankind in general, or nations. It is a permanent commitment and human failure is never permitted to invalidate it or block its fulfillment.

Marriage is a covenant relationship, not a contract. It is the first covenant offered by God to His human creatures. This is made clear in the following passages from the Bible:

PROVERBS 2-16Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the flattery of the adulterous woman. 17She has abandoned her husband and ignores the covenant she made before God. (NLT)

MALACHI 2-13Here is another thing you do. You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, weeping and groaning because he pays no attention to your offerings, and he doesn’t accept them with pleasure. 14You cry out, "Why has the LORD abandoned us?" I’ll tell you why! Because the LORD witnessed the vows you and your wife made to each other on your wedding day when you were young. But you have been disloyal to her, though she remained your faithful companion, the wife of your marriage vows [NIV-covenant]. 15Didn’t the LORD make you one with your wife? In body and spirit you are his. And what does he want? Godly children from your union. So guard yourself; remain loyal to the wife of your youth. 16"For I hate divorce!" says the LORD, the God of Israel. "It is as cruel as putting on a victim’s bloodstained coat," says the LORD Almighty. "So guard yourself; always remain loyal to your wife." (NLT)

As husband and wife under the covenant of marriage, you have great security and freedom, and a lifetime to learn how to bond together as one. The "I do" you vowed to each other on your wedding day was not the culmination of your relationship, but the beginning of a new commitment to develop together your husband-wife relationship for the rest of your lives. Covenant provides marriage partners with the challenge and stability of a lifetime to grow together in deep friendship by improving your communication skills and continuing to discover new things about each other. Covenant encourages you to know your spouse in an abiding, intimate way.

Marriage - Covenant or Contract?

Why God Created Women

In the record of God’s creative activity recorded in Genesis 1, five times we read His evaluation of what He created: And God saw that it was good...(vv.10, 12, 18, 21, 25). At the end of the sixth and final day of creation, which culminated in the creation of man, God saw all that he had made, and it was very good (v.31). One of the man’s responsibilities was to name all the animals and birds. After he had finished that task God made a somewhat startling statement: The LORD God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone" (Genesis 2:18). The reason was that ...for Adam no suitable helper was found (Genesis 2:20). God responded by creating Eve as a helper suitable for Adam. Eve was created to be a helper comparable or suited to Adam’s needs, one who complements and corresponds to him, one who fills up his empty spaces.

Adam Clarke notes that Eve was created to be a counterpart of Adam, one formed from him, and a perfect resemblance of his person, possessing neither inferiority nor superiority, but being in all things like and equal to him. Matthew Henry comments that Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to rule over him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.

If sinless man, in a perfect environment and in continual fellowship with an infinite God, needed another human being to fill up his empty spaces, how much more do we. When is the last time you thanked God for the one he gave you to fill up your empty spaces? When did you last tell your spouse how much he or she means to you?

Other Devotionals