I am not the best of husbands. I don’t always show grace where I should, nor do I always love my wife as Christ has taught me to love. I don’t always build her up, and I am not always present (physically or mentally). But I love my wife, and I am committed to the covenant I have made with her. She has been one of the greatest blessings that God has ever given me, and I am eternally grateful that she has chosen to love me back, despite my many flaws.
For a class this week, I was asked to write a brief (500 words) statement on something I believe. Due to the lenghth, this isn’t some great essay that explores every nook and cranny of the subject I chose. Nor is it anything other than pure opinion on my part. Nevertheless, I thought I would share with you why I Believe in Marriage.
This I Believe
I believe in marriage. I know this is a loaded term these days as secular society struggles to define – or perhaps redefine – what marriage is. But despite our society’s treatment of marriage, I believe in it. I believe that marriage represents a covenant between a husband and wife. Covenant can perhaps best be viewed as a partnership in which both sides have committed themselves to upholding their end of an agreement. It is binding. The marriage covenant may have many pieces that make up the whole of the agreement. Some of those might be to work together in raising children, to share resources equally, to build one another up and offer support for each other’s dreams. The parts of this covenant are endless. Sometimes they seem too endless to be practical. And so marriages fall apart; and people break the covenant.
Society would tell us that this is the normal state of marriage – to begin strong, to wane in the middle, and finally to break up entirely. “But no matter”, society would say. You can just start over, and create a new covenant. In fact, you can create a new covenant as often as you like, and with as many people as you wish. Covenants, after all, are made to be broken.
I believe that covenants are made to be kept. I believe that the nature of a covenant is such that, if one is willing to make it at all, they must be willing to abide by it, no matter how impractical it may seem at times. But I also believe that history shows the human inability to keep covenants. Treaties are broken between nations, promises are not kept between friends, and even little children have learned the art of deceit. But I believe there is hope.
I believe that there is a God who keeps covenants. This God has proven throughout history that he even keeps covenant with those who have not kept covenant with him. He has done this through forgiveness. I believe that this God interacts with humanity. I believe that he works with us and through us. I believe that we have access to his power, even the power of forgiveness and covenant keeping. And therein lies my hope for the covenant of marriage.
I believe that a marriage built upon the abilities of humans is doomed to failure. Our history of covenant breaking creates a weak foundation. Just as a house built on a weak foundation crumbles when tremors shake the earth, so also does a marriage built upon a weak foundation crumble when its world is shaken. But I believe that a foundation built upon the strength of God is one that is capable of weathering the storm. Through his strength, we too have the hope of maintaining covenant.
And so, I believe in marriage. But this marriage is not of the world. It is a marriage rooted in the strength of a forgiving God who has a history of covenant keeping. I believe it not only has the potential to survive, but that it can thrive. I believe that it must. For I also believe in my marriage. And because I believe in my marriage, I have built my foundation upon this God of covenants. I believe my foundation is strong. I believe it will prevail.