Is Marriage a covenant or contract?- Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo is yet another important series you don’t want to miss.
Many people are in marriage but don’t really understand what marriage is about. So, today I will be talking about marriage as a covenant. We will live in a world where the word covenant is rarely used; however it doesn’t change its essence. 99 percent of the questions people ask me is because they do not understand what covenant means. If they do, they wouldn’t ask those questions. The book of Genesis 2 tells us that marriage is a covenant. It was instituted by God and not the popular talk shows, bloggers and what have you.
Genesis 2: 24 Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.
This above was the first marriage and the principle is clear. That phrase; one flesh is a covenant term. It simply means one person. In summary, when a husband and a wife gets married, they leave their parents and they cleave together as one. In other words, the two of you have become one. That is what a covenant means. A covenant is the highest form of relationship that human beings can have. Marriage is not just any form of relationship, it is not friendship, dating or courting. It is a covenant relationship. That is why word like “my” is prohibited. Even your body is not your own. You are now become one person.
Ephesians 5:28 Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.  For no man ever hates his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, as Christ does the church,  because we are members of his body
The idea of marriage being a covenant is difficult for an unbeliever to understand it. The covenant is not just between you and your husband but with God as well. When you become born again, you enter into a covenant with God. Being born again helps you to appreciate the mystery in marriage.
Two are better than one,because they have a good return for their labor:10 If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.
11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
The reason why marriages fail is because couples are unwilling to yield totally to their spouses.
Differences Between Contract and Covenant
The following are the differences between marriage and covenant:
1. You enter a contract to seek for your own good but you enter a covenant to seek for the good of the other party
It’s just like a covenant with God where you seek him and his kingdom first before any other thing.
2. You enter a contract with a person because you don’t trust the person but in a covenant, you agree because you trust this person
If you are afraid that they will steal your money, that’s a wrong marriage already.That’s not the way! When a married person dies, the number one suspect is always their partner. You should marry someone that you trust. One you can be vulnerable with. What some married people say, baffles me. Something like marriage is 50, 50. No, it’s not, it is 100, 100. That is why it is paramount that you marry someone you trust.
3. In a contract, there’s limited sharing but In a covenant there is unlimited sharing
Here is an example to explain what this means. If I am in a contract with my landlord, the contract will be around the property. It has absolutely nothing to do with my social or spiritual life. However, if I am in a covenant relationship I share everything and anything with her. He or she has unlimited access to my fund, investments, and whole life. There’s absolutely nothing each one is holding back.
It’s a pity that some couple hide their properties, investments from their spouse. There must be total openness. People ask me questions like; oh pastor, if my wife and mother needs money at the same time, who should I give to first? Well my dear you do not understand covenant. You see, you didn’t choose your parents or siblings but your wife is the only family you are to choose. You should understand that the money is not even your money. It belongs to your wife and yourself. There’s a way you explain the issue at hand to your wife and she will be the one to ask you to give your mother the money. It’s that simple!
I have found out that men struggle with this a lot. They call their mothers, family and their wives something else. Hence they find it hard to dismiss their blood over a woman. Well, she’s now your blood. Blood is thicker than water simply means the covenant blood that you share with your spouse is thicker than the water you broke while coming out of your mother’s womb.
4. A contract is signed by ink whereas a covenant is signed by blood. In ancient days, people enter into covenant by shedding blood
But today, we don’t need physical blood because Jesus has shed his blood for us. Another denotation for blood here is sex. Through sex, you exchange your blood with another. That is why God is very big on premarital sex. In developed countries, there rules and regulations which must be adhered to. Rules like you can’t vote unless you are 18. Don’t drive until you are 18 and a host of others. But, teens of 14, 15 are having sex, committing abortions and no one is saying anything about it.
1 Corinthians 6:16, KJV: What? know ye not that he which is join to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.
God doesn’t want you to engage in premarital sex because he is against your enjoyment. He abhors it because the moment you have sex with someone, a part of them sticks with you forever. You become entangled with this person for life. Science has even proven this. Science posits that emotions still spark up with someone you have had sex with in the past even after 10 years. This is why the Bible posits that we marry as virgins. The appearance of blood in some virgins in the first night is the evidence of a bond and covenant.
5. A contract is breakable but a covenant is not. A covenant is for life
It is till date do you part. Matthew 19: 3. If you are careful about whom you choose as a partner, you will not be careless with divorce.
6. A contract is enforced by law while a covenant is enforced by God
In a contract, the law is a covenant enforcer and human being is the witness. Nevertheless in a covenant God is the enforcer and the witness. This is why if you are a married person, God doesn’t expect you to fight your partner when they are not doing what is right. He expects you to keep doing what is right and leave him to the fight.
1 Peter 3:7, NIV: Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.
if you don’t treat your wife well, God will hinder your prayers.