Marriage Covenant

Discussion and debate not related to prophecy.

Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat Nov 21, 2015 9:19 am

So often I hear people talk about the covenant of marriage. I don't find that concept or principle established in scripture nor is it reinforced throughout the OT and the NT. . Anyone know where it comes from?

I also don't find particular or specific marriage ceremonies or vows other than traditions sometimes mentioned in the OT. I'm not opposed to establishing traditions providing we don't make them into indisputable, legal rules.

Can we discuss this without posting entire chapters of the Bible? References are fine; chapters not so much. Thanks!
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby JohnE on Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:43 pm

Abiding, I love you, but huh??
JohnE
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu May 14, 2009 7:53 am

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sat Nov 21, 2015 6:27 pm

JohnE wrote:Abiding, I love you, but huh??


:lol:

Are you suggesting some clarification is in order? OK. I do (of course) believe in marriage. I'm questioning whether or not scripture calls it a covenant. I hear that so often but have not been able to find it referred to that way.

What I see throughout scripture is people just "taking" or choosing one another and more often than not, "taking" more than one spouse. In view of that, the way we do marriage today seems to be a cultural tradition regarding the church building, officiating minister, vow exchanges, ceremony, etc. Those traditions don't appear to be defined in the Bible.

I have always found the covenant aspect missing but it's often referred to that way so I'm trying to understand where that terminology is coming from.

Hope that helps.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Sunny2 on Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:29 pm

Thanks for fixing my login problems, Abiding.

The only place I've found marriage called a covenant is in Malachi -- maybe only in the KJV.

Mal_2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
Sunny2
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:09 pm

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Jericho on Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:25 am

I'm questioning whether or not scripture calls it a covenant. I hear that so often but have not been able to find it referred to that way.


A covenant is simply a binding agreement, In modern times we do that when we say our vows. I don't know they did it back then, but I'm sure there was some sort of ceremony involved. Since it doesn't go into detail on the marriage ceremony, it tells me how it's done may not be as important. The main thing is that some sort of agreement is made in front of witnesses, and that agreement is kept by being faithful. Perhaps a through look of Jacob's marriage to Rebekah and Leah might be more helpful.
Formerly SwordOfGideon
User avatar
Jericho
 
Posts: 5032
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:05 am
Location: Tx

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Nov 22, 2015 8:17 am

Jericho wrote:A covenant is simply a binding agreement, In modern times we do that when we say our vows. I don't know they did it back then, but I'm sure there was some sort of ceremony involved. Since it doesn't go into detail on the marriage ceremony, it tells me how it's done may not be as important.


I agree in part, Jericho. I agree that the ceremony (if any) is not important but where do we find vows between man and woman mentioned in scripture as a binding feature of the relationship.

The main thing is that some sort of agreement is made in front of witnesses, and that agreement is kept by being faithful. Perhaps a through look of Jacob's marriage to Rebekah and Leah might be more helpful.


Like David was faithful to his eight wives? Or Jacob was faithful to both Rachel and Leah?

I do see a covenant mentioned in that situation, but it's between Jacob and Laban and the heap of stones is called the witness. It's a solemn promise that Jacob will not mistreat Laban's daughters.

Interesting that the relationship with all it's apparent importance is rather ambiguous in it's boundaries or lack thereof. That's the reason for my question about those who insist marriage is a covenant but have provided few references.

:humm:
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Sunny2 on Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:48 pm

Did you see my reply, Abiding?

It looks to me like that means it's a covenant with the man and woman before God.

No public ceremony needed. Like you don't have to have a funeral. It's for family and community.
Sunny2
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:09 pm

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Nov 22, 2015 1:58 pm

Sunny, please check your pm's (private messages). Thanks!
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Jericho on Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:06 pm

I agree that the ceremony (if any) is not important but where do we find vows between man and woman mentioned in scripture as a binding feature of the relationship.


I don't think it necessarily has to be vows per say, but there is always some sort of agreement or covenant involved. Usually it involved getting permission from the potential bride's father and an exchange of gifts as with Isaac and Rebekah. Jacob agreed to work for Rachel's father for 7 years in order to get married.

Like David was faithful to his eight wives? Or Jacob was faithful to both Rachel and Leah?


Polygamy is probably another topic altogether, I don't believe that was God's intent although He seemed to tolerate it.
Formerly SwordOfGideon
User avatar
Jericho
 
Posts: 5032
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:05 am
Location: Tx

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby GodsStudent on Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:56 pm

:dunno:
Jeremiah 31:31-32New American Standard Bible (NASB)

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.
GodsStudent
Supporting Member
 
Posts: 12156
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:36 pm

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby GodsStudent on Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:10 pm

Abiding Said:
That's the reason for my question about those who insist marriage is a covenant but have provided few references.

Interestingly, between the Malachi and Jeremiah verses, it is clear, at least to me?, that covenant is indeed the word used to describe the relationship of marriage. I get what you're saying, too, though, Abiding.
Could it be that the "right to enter into God's Covenant Marriage" was what Jacob was going after with Leah and Rachel's father, and that beyond honoring their legal agreement, it had nothing to do with God's Covenant?

I heard an amazing sermon series by Dr. Tony Evans earlier this year on marriage and why it was so important to God....His Covenant, which was ultimately used by Him to populate the earth, which He desired.

But....I think what you want to talk about is the actual ritual or acts we engage in, and whether or not those were biblically ordained as a part of God's Covenant Marriage.....and/or whether or not God even has a covenant marriage that would be defined as between one man and one wife since we have examples of men in the bible who took more than one wife???? I might be wrong????
GodsStudent
Supporting Member
 
Posts: 12156
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:36 pm

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:18 pm

Jericho wrote:I don't think it necessarily has to be vows per say, but there is always some sort of agreement or covenant involved.


Well, to me agreement might be a secular requirement between two people. The word covenant implies there's a spiritual requirement or aspect associated with a marriage. That's what I'm looking for if there is such a thing recorded in scripture.

Usually it involved getting permission from the potential bride's father and an exchange of gifts as with Isaac and Rebekah.


Jacob agreed to work for Rachel's father for 7 years in order to get married.


Yes, and David had to get permission from Saul to marry Michal and the price was 200 Philistines' foreskins. And Samson had his mother and father go get the Philistine woman so he could marry her. But it's obvious these were unusual cultural practices.

Polygamy is probably another topic altogether, I don't believe that was God's intent although He seemed to tolerate it.


But if faithfulness is required in marriage and marriage is a covenant, surely God would have said so in all the polygamous marriages. If I remember correctly, the primary concern God voiced in the practice was that marriages with pagan women would lead them into idolatry. I could be wrong, but what I'm trying to focus in on is the fact that nowhere I'm aware of does God tell anyone that there must be an agreement or covenant between two people as part of a marital union. Women were taken as spoils of war and taken as wives and the only requirement by God was that they be allowed to grieve being taken from their parents/tribes.

In fact, the only place I'm aware of where agreement is mentioned is 1 Cor. 7 where Paul is speaking of intimacy and says the couple should not deprive one another except by agreement.

Anyway, I'm not trying to be disagreeable, but I hear that description of marriage so often and have yet to find the scriptural source. It seems to me that if it were a covenant, it would be referenced clearly in scripture. I found the word covenant in the NASB 295 times and most always initiated by God with His people except the one David and Jonathan made to one another.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:29 pm

GodsStudent wrote:Jeremiah 31:31-32New American Standard Bible (NASB)

31 “Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.


GodsStudent, God is a Spirit so He wasn't literally a husband to millions of Israelites, was He? He would have been the ultimate polygamist! He was using the husband analogy as He did when He used the mother analogy by said He gave birth to them. He also speaks of divorcing them as the result of their adultery (pagan worship). He led them out of Egypt, cared for them, nurtured them, fed them, and they turned their backs on Him so to speak.

But I agree that God initiated covenants with various people throughout scripture. As I mentioned above, there are 295 references to covenants in the NASB but I don't find that God calls a marriage between a man and woman a covenant.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Jericho on Sun Nov 22, 2015 7:47 pm

Anyway, I'm not trying to be disagreeable, but I hear that description of marriage so often and have yet to find the scriptural source. It seems to me that if it were a covenant, it would be referenced clearly in scripture. I found the word covenant in the NASB 295 times and most always initiated by God with His people except the one David and Jonathan made to one another.


I don't have all the answers, but Jesus said what God has joined together let not man separate (Matt 19:5-6). Wouldn't that imply some sort of covenant?
Formerly SwordOfGideon
User avatar
Jericho
 
Posts: 5032
Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:05 am
Location: Tx

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:57 am

Jericho wrote:I don't have all the answers, but Jesus said what God has joined together let not man separate (Matt 19:5-6). Wouldn't that imply some sort of covenant?


I certainly don't have all the answers either. But as I said I think we have elevated marriage to a level that isn't warranted in scripture. In the context of that verse, Jesus isn't raising marriage to the status of a covenant, but rather refuting the practice of throwing away wives as though they were yesterday's garbage and often sending them away with little or no resources for survival. He tells the Pharisees that such a practice was not God's intention but that one man and one woman joined (yoked) together was. Discarding part of that union for simply to join to another, was not the original design but they were apparently inventing trivial reasons for sending their wives away and justified this by saying Moses allowed it. Jesus points to the reason Moses allowed it...their hard hearts.

God is always curbing or regulating man's sinful practices.

Marriage is certainly good and honorable but remember that even Jesus didn't marry; nor did Paul. Paul admitted that marriage was a "distraction" (so to speak) from complete devotion to the Lord as their interests are divided and he wished to promote undistracted devotion. And Jesus recognized the underlying intent of those eunuchs who chose that state for the sake of the Kingdom.

The reason I am so concerned about this topic is because I think many today have done to marriage what the Pharisees did to the Sabbath. Some have made it so burdensome with rules and regulations that it's original intent no longer exists nor does it provide the love and unity it was meant to.

So imo if the word covenant can be easily found 295 times in the Bible, but not once referencing marriage, to call it one is an erroneous elevation. And if it is portrayed as such, I challenge those who do so to provide names of those who kept the covenant of marriage in scripture. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby crosimoto on Mon Nov 23, 2015 9:31 am

Abiding, hearing now where (I think) you're mind is as far as a comparison between The Sabbath and 'Marriage as a covenant' - I'm intrigued. Initially, I sat on the sidelines and just read the comments.
I'm hesitant to post since I've been divorced twice an just didn't want to come off as justifying my sin in light of failed marriages. I think I've found a way to comment without raising that concern:

When I think of just how strictly the Pharisees scrutinized 'The Law', it IS interesting that as much as they felt justified to heap weight on The Sabbath (Exodus 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.) - With all that they had, they didn't feel to choose to heap the same weight on marriage and just as Jesus sought to "enlighten" their thinking on The Sabbath, He also added weight to their thinking on marriage.
My point is, I'm actually surprised that the 'thinking of the day' that had to be countered was 'divorce for any reason' - this doesn't sound like the summation of the law by people who toiled over it occupationally if there actually was a documented reason to interpret marriage in a more weighty way.

Sorry, I don't have answers either, other than it seems obvious that we've altered the idea (which I don't doubt was due to what was perceived to be 'good intentions') without biblical basis.
User avatar
crosimoto
 
Posts: 88
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:03 am

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Mon Nov 23, 2015 10:45 am

crosimoto wrote:Abiding, hearing now where (I think) you're mind is as far as a comparison between The Sabbath and 'Marriage as a covenant' - I'm intrigued. Initially, I sat on the sidelines and just read the comments.
I'm hesitant to post since I've been divorced twice an just didn't want to come off as justifying my sin in light of failed marriages. I think I've found a way to comment without raising that concern:


That you would even have that concern, crosimoto, confirms how far from the central message of grace and forgiveness in the gospel we have come. I never hear someone confessing over and over a sin of lying they committed 30 yrs. ago. Or someone agonizing for years about a time they had an impure thought. Or someone ashamed of using the Lord's name in vain once when they lost their temper. But marriage, divorce, and remarriage is used as what I call "clobber verses" from scripture to keep sin in the forefront of the gospel. Some churches encourage groups and transparency and then make sure those sins are never forgotten by the offender. They are never nailed to the cross but must forever wear the big "D" on the front of their shirts much like Hester Prynne had the letter "A" on hers.

And we call that "good news?"

When I think of just how strictly the Pharisees scrutinized 'The Law', it IS interesting that as much as they felt justified to heap weight on The Sabbath (Exodus 31:16 Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant.) - With all that they had, they didn't feel to choose to heap the same weight on marriage and just as Jesus sought to "enlighten" their thinking on The Sabbath, He also added weight to their thinking on marriage.
My point is, I'm actually surprised that the 'thinking of the day' that had to be countered was 'divorce for any reason' - this doesn't sound like the summation of the law by people who toiled over it occupationally if there actually was a documented reason to interpret marriage in a more weighty way.


Excellent observations. I think with a little critical thinking, we might find the Pharisaical outlooks on both (Sabbath & Marriage) were certainly self-serving. The Sabbath for control and recognition; and the Marriage/divorce for entitlement and justification.

Sorry, I don't have answers either, other than it seems obvious that we've altered the idea (which I don't doubt was due to what was perceived to be 'good intentions') without biblical basis.


I'm not sure about the good intentions part. I'm still thinking this through which is why I appreciate the thoughts of other members, but I'm wondering if there isn't a bit of hidden agenda behind attaching the word "covenant" to words like marriage and covenant church memberships.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby HighBeams on Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:24 am

Just to throw something else interesting in here, this passage has been popping up in my mind while reading this thread:

1 Timothy 3New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Overseers and Deacons

3 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine [or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but [k]in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:


He who was revealed in the flesh,
Was vindicated [n]in the Spirit,
Seen by angels,
Proclaimed among the nations,
Believed on in the world,
Taken up in glory



The one-man-one-woman relationship looks to me to be so important to God that He's made this a requirement for the leaders of His New Way. God's people had so far strayed from His original model of Adam and Eve that He knew He needed to emphasize this point again.

Having said that, though, I am in agreement with Abiding that whatever failing (and we ALL fall into this category in multiple fields) has been taken to God and repented of is OVER AND DONE WITH, TOTALLY SETTLED. If God doesn't throw your sin back into your face ("As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." Psalm 103:12) then no one else on earth, heaven, or hell has the right to keep throwing that transgression in your face. God's forgiveness, freely given to the repentent child, is complete and unmoveable.
Cindy

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2 (New American Standard Bible)
HighBeams
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Mon Nov 23, 2015 5:32 pm

HighBeams wrote: God's people had so far strayed from His original model of Adam and Eve that He knew He needed to emphasize this point again.


HighBeams, why do you think it took God 6,000+ years to emphasize this point again? I ask because you seem to point to that passage as His re-emphasizing a one-man, one-woman model. Do you think scripture says marriage is a covenant?
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby HighBeams on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:42 pm

Hi, Abiding! I'm certainly not a Bible scholar; I am an open student, though, believing that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, and is the final authority. I'm not certain that I would exactly use the term "covenant" to describe marriage. I don't place marriage on the same level as, say, the Adamic covenant. But I do see marriage as a "covenant" in relationship to being a legally binding (ideally for the lifetime of the couple so bound) and not to be flippantly tossed aside as is not so uncommon today. My primary study Bible is a New American Standard Expanded Edition Open Bible. In the front of this Bible is a Biblical cyclopedic index that has Biblical references and important points listed by Biblical reference and page number. Here's what that index says about marriage:

A. Described as:
Instituted by God...........................Gen. 2:18-24
Held in honor among all...................Heb. 13:4
Permanent bond............................Matt. 19:6
Intimate bond...............................Matt. 19:5
Blessed of God for having children......Gen. 1:27, 28
Dissolved by death..........................Rom.7:2. 3
Means of sexual love........................Prov. 5:15-19
Centered in love and obedience..........Eph. 5:21-33
Worthy of Jesus'presence..................John 2:1-11

B. Prohibitions concerning:
Blood relative...............................Lev. 18:6-18
Adultery excludes remarriage............Matt. 5:32
Polygamy forbidden.......................Lev. 18:18
Idol worshipers.............................Ex.34:16
Jumping to E. Purposes of:

Man's happiness...........................Gen. 2:18
Continuance of the race.................Gen.1:28
Godly offspring............................Mal. 2:14, 15
Prevention of immoral behavior.......1 Cor. 7:2, 9
Complete satisfaction....................Prov. 5:19 1 Tim. 5:14

I'll stop there, but the list also includes Arrangements for (among Hebrews), Ceremonies of (among Hebrews) Denial of, and Figurative of.

I haven't studied far enough to say that God has actually called marriage one of His Covenants; but from what I've been reading up on here, marriage between a man and a woman is a very important act and commitment in God's eyes. He does not take it lightly at all. But neither do I believe that He expects perfection in our relationships. We live in a broken world, and we are not perfect--yet. God will fix it all in due time, but not yet. Hopefully, that will soon be remedied.

:grin:
Cindy

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2 (New American Standard Bible)
HighBeams
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby HighBeams on Mon Nov 23, 2015 6:52 pm

Sorry, Abiding. I forgot to answer your original question about why God waited for 6,000 years to emphasize the one-man-one-woman point again.

IMHO, the relationship between God and man was taking a very up-close-and-personal turn with Jesus' physical advent to earth, His teaching about God becoming more personalized and then more intimate via the Holy Spirit's indwelling in the new believers. God wanted to emphasize to this new Church this basic that He had established back in Eden with Adam and Eve and connect it with Jesus as the Groom with said Church as His Bride. Israel is not His Bride.
Cindy

"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. Isaiah 43:2 (New American Standard Bible)
HighBeams
 
Posts: 171
Joined: Mon Apr 26, 2010 6:33 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby ampersand on Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:07 am

Hi Abiding,
Interesting discussion you've initiated...
Abiding in His Word wrote:
Jericho wrote:I don't think it necessarily has to be vows per say, but there is always some sort of agreement or covenant involved.
Well, to me agreement might be a secular requirement between two people. The word covenant implies there's a spiritual requirement or aspect associated with a marriage. That's what I'm looking for if there is such a thing recorded in scripture.
...

I agree that "covenant" is not the best term to describe this relationship, but the relationship itself is a binding one that has legal and spiritual components based on the following scriptures. It isn't a contractual agreement, but it also isn't a "mere" friendship (not that anyone implied this). This relationship is a distinct category.

God established marriage as a joining of the man and woman:
Gen 2:24 wrote:Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.


Jesus confirmed to the Pharisees that God is the one that joins them together:
Matthew 19:4-6 wrote:He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”


Paul explained to the Romans that this is a binding relationship in effect for the lifetime of the man and woman:
Romans 7:1-3 wrote:Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.


So, in essence a man and a woman in a marriage relationship are bound to each other by God for life in the "law of marriage". I don't see this as a covenant, but perhaps something more, having legal and spiritual components that are unique to this relationship.

in Christ,
&
ampersand
 
Posts: 502
Joined: Mon Dec 14, 2009 8:52 am

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 24, 2015 6:34 am

HighBeams wrote:Hi, Abiding! I'm certainly not a Bible scholar; I am an open student,


You certainly have treated this topic much like a Berean, HighBeams! And as a good student of the Word, have provided a wealth of support for marriage and all it appears to entail.

I'll stop there, but the list also includes Arrangements for (among Hebrews), Ceremonies of (among Hebrews) Denial of, and Figurative of.


Thank you for adding the phrase "among Hebrews" as I find that we often read of their customs and rituals and try to make them ours when they are cultural traditions rather than commands.

I haven't studied far enough to say that God has actually called marriage one of His Covenants


I haven't found such a designation either. That's why I'm asking others if they have.

but from what I've been reading up on here, marriage between a man and a woman is a very important act and commitment in God's eyes.


Scripture emphasizes the importance of all believers and their treatment of one another. I don't find that exclusive to marriage. There are about 50 "one-another" verses that emphasize how our conduct should reflect our love for one another.

He does not take it lightly at all. But neither do I believe that He expects perfection in our relationships. We live in a broken world, and we are not perfect--yet. God will fix it all in due time, but not yet. Hopefully, that will soon be remedied.


Jesus sympathizes with our weaknesses. Heb. 4:15

Thank you for taking the time to list all those references from your study bible.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:26 am

Hi ampersand!

ampersand wrote:I agree that "covenant" is not the best term to describe this relationship, but the relationship itself is a binding one that has legal and spiritual components based on the following scriptures. It isn't a contractual agreement, but it also isn't a "mere" friendship (not that anyone implied this). This relationship is a distinct category.


Well, how can it be legal and spiritual, but not a contractual agreement? Today we must produce a legal contract or document to prove we are/were married. We must also produce a legal document that proves divorce.

God established marriage as a joining of the man and woman:
Gen 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.


Not to detour from the topic, but it never ceases to amaze me how we love to quote the "become one flesh" part of the verse and conveniently ignore the fact that it was the man alone who is to leave his father and mother. We interpret that to suit our culture by saying they shall both leave their fathers and mothers.

Jesus confirmed to the Pharisees that God is the one that joins them together:
Matthew 19:4-6"He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”


This passage, of course, must be understood in the context of the challenge from the Pharisees who were testing Jesus about the Mosaic Law and the practice of divorcing their wives "for any cause." Jesus is emphasizing the one-man, one-woman aspect of His design as opposed to "one-at-a-time" marriages they seemed to be engaging in. Also note, that Jesus also includes the "man shall leave his father and mother" in His reply. I personally think there is a good reason for that admonition as the practice of discarding wives would not have been so devastating had the woman stayed in her tribe. Her parents are her natural protectors against ill treatment. But that's another topic. :)

Paul explained to the Romans that this is a binding relationship in effect for the lifetime of the man and woman:
Romans 7:1-3 "Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives?


Of course...Paul statement here is just common sense.

For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage.


Where might I find this law? I suspect this is where the "until death do us part" part of today's marriage ceremonies comes from. But Paul is only speaking to a woman being bound "by law."

Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.


Again, common sense kinda. Paul is again referencing a law that binds a woman to her husband when it seems it would have been more correct to say they are bound to one another until the death of one party. We know from history in the OT that men had multiple wives and multiple divorces which would come under the definition of "adultery" but Paul makes no mention of that. My guess is the law that bound the woman only and excluded the husband from being bound to her comes from the Oral law or the Torah.

So, in essence a man and a woman in a marriage relationship are bound to each other by God for life in the "law of marriage".


If that were the case, Moses would not have allowed divorce with the stipulation of the issuance of a Writ of Divorce. btw, God Himself issued a Writ of Divorce when He sent His people away. Jer. 3:8 If so, He did not abide by the "for life" aspect of marriage.

I don't see this as a covenant, but perhaps something more, having legal and spiritual components that are unique to this relationship.


So far, I don't find it to be a covenant either and no one has yet provided scripture that says it is.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby mark s on Tue Nov 24, 2015 1:21 pm

I feel "done" with my wife. Am I free to simply walk away? Is that an OK, Godly action? Might the Holy Spirit be leading me to leave her? Perhaps do some missionary work on my own?

(Not really, just wanting to explore the question from a slightly different angle)

Love in Christ,
Mark

PS . . . I believe that while the Bible never calls God a "Trinity", that nonetheless describes reality. In the same way while marriage may not be called a covenant (I haven't checked the Malachi reference), it is nonetheless treated as such in Scripture. I think marriage transcends covenants, and is a joining of two people together. But this isn't what I want to discuss, rather from the opposite view, that there are no covenantal aspects of marriage.
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
User avatar
mark s
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 14113
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:38 am
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 24, 2015 2:44 pm

mark s wrote:I feel "done" with my wife. Am I free to simply walk away? Is that an OK, Godly action? Might the Holy Spirit be leading me to leave her? Perhaps do some missionary work on my own?


Of course, you are free to simply walk away. Of course it's not an OK, Godly action anymore than any other sin is. Relationships are broken between parents and children; between siblings; friend and co-workers; pastors and church members, etc. Sadly many are damaged without hope for restoration. Forgiveness, yes; restoration, no.

PS . . . I believe that while the Bible never calls God a "Trinity", that nonetheless describes reality.


There is ample evidence for a Tri-une Godhead in scripture. I really don't want to go to listing them as that is detouring from the topic, but surely God, Son, and Holy Spirit are evidenced in the baptism of Jesus among others.

In the same way while marriage may not be called a covenant (I haven't checked the Malachi reference), it is nonetheless treated as such in Scripture. I think marriage transcends covenants, and is a joining of two people together. But this isn't what I want to discuss, rather from the opposite view, that there are no covenantal aspects of marriage.


I've seen scriptural gymnastics trying to prove marriage is a covenant between two people, but so far I've not been convinced.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby mark s on Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:52 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:
mark s wrote:I feel "done" with my wife. Am I free to simply walk away? Is that an OK, Godly action? Might the Holy Spirit be leading me to leave her? Perhaps do some missionary work on my own?


Of course, you are free to simply walk away. Of course it's not an OK, Godly action anymore than any other sin is.


Hi Abiding,

What is it about leaving a marriage in such a way that makes it sin?

Love in Christ,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
User avatar
mark s
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 14113
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:38 am
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:35 pm

mark s wrote:What is it about leaving a marriage in such a way that makes it sin?


Mark, that would depend on the reason for leaving, wouldn't it? Might be greed, adultery, selfishness, etc. Reasons would most likely vary as much as individuals vary.

My point is that we make choices every day; some are good; some are not. But that doesn't change the freedom we have to make them.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby mark s on Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:12 pm

Hi Abiding,

This is why I gave my reason as that I just didn't want to be married anymore. Not that I had my eye on someone else, not that I was tired of sharing my substance with another, no reason other that that I simply didn't want to be married.

If a concrete reason were needed to advance the discussion, let us say that I want to be a missionary, that I believe God wants me to share the Gospel in foreign lands, and that being married would be an hindrance to that, just as Paul said.

Would it be sin for me to leave my marriage under such conditions?

Love in Christ,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
User avatar
mark s
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 14113
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:38 am
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 24, 2015 5:46 pm

mark s wrote:This is why I gave my reason as that I just didn't want to be married anymore. Not that I had my eye on someone else, not that I was tired of sharing my substance with another, no reason other that that I simply didn't want to be married.

If a concrete reason were needed to advance the discussion, let us say that I want to be a missionary, that I believe God wants me to share the Gospel in foreign lands, and that being married would be an hindrance to that, just as Paul said.

Would it be sin for me to leave my marriage under such conditions?


It could be. I really don't know. I have a problem with "let's pretend" situations. :wink:

If you see it as sin, then the real question might be how is that sin different than say...stealing from your employer? Or being addicted to porn? Or shooting someone?

Or are you suggesting that it's more serious because you see marriage as a covenant?
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Tue Nov 24, 2015 7:55 pm

I have a problem with "let's pretend" situations. :wink:


I need to apologize, Mark, for that remark. I realize it sounds condescending and I am sorry for the words I chose.

As I have mentioned earlier in this thread, it is not my intention to minimize or marginalize marriage but at the same time I'm unwilling to elevate it to a covenant without clear evidence that God calls it one. I also don't think that being married makes those who chose to marry holier or more favored in God's eyes than those who are single and chosen not to marry. Or that being divorced reduces God's favor any more than other sins and that once any sin or failure has been recognized, it should no longer label a person's status. The result is hopefully we don't show favoritism or special honor to other believers based on their marital status, single status, ethnicity, age, race, or gender.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby mark s on Wed Nov 25, 2015 9:23 am

Abiding in His Word wrote:
I have a problem with "let's pretend" situations. :wink:


I need to apologize, Mark, for that remark. I realize it sounds condescending and I am sorry for the words I chose.


Hi Abiding,

No need to apologize whatsoever!

I knew exactly what you meant. I was thinking it even as I wrote it, but in my own words, "Hypotheticals aren't real". But it is very dear of you nonetheless.

The best talking points are real life situations. But in looking at this topic, I'm wanting for the sake of discussion to separate the act of leaving a marriage from other factors that would render it to be definitely sinful, such as leaving a marriage for the purpose of avoiding providing care, for instance.

As I have mentioned earlier in this thread, it is not my intention to minimize or marginalize marriage but at the same time I'm unwilling to elevate it to a covenant without clear evidence that God calls it one. I also don't think that being married makes those who chose to marry holier or more favored in God's eyes than those who are single and chosen not to marry. Or that being divorced reduces God's favor any more than other sins and that once any sin or failure has been recognized, it should no longer label a person's status. The result is hopefully we don't show favoritism or special honor to other believers based on their marital status, single status, ethnicity, age, race, or gender.


Leaving the covenant part aside, as far as the part that I've underlined, I'm in absolute agreement, with the one aside that overseers in the church should be married, and have raised a Christian family. And that not because they are better people, but that they have had the kind of practice needed to be an overseer.

But this is why my question, is it OK to leave a marriage for no particular reason at all? If it's not, why is it not?

Love in Christ,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
User avatar
mark s
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 14113
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:38 am
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Wed Nov 25, 2015 10:35 am

mark s wrote:Leaving the covenant part aside...


But that's my focus in the thread. It is the focus because I think some have labeled it as such to elevate marriage beyond what scripture has and thus has shown a distinct partiality for marrieds and relegating singles and/or divorced to a position of lesser importance. So I'm asking for evidence and exploring the reason for the elevation when I see none.

...as far as the part that I've underlined, I'm in absolute agreement, with the one aside that overseers in the church should be married, and have raised a Christian family. And that not because they are better people, but that they have had the kind of practice needed to be an overseer.


I'm pretty sure you and I will get off to a tangent because I disagree with the way this is interpreted by some as well. It is, in fact, a perfect example of the elevation, exclusion, and marginalization I'm concerned about relative to the covenant issue.

But this is why my question, is it OK to leave a marriage for no particular reason at all? If it's not, why is it not?


Interestingly, I think the answer to that can be found by looking at the following exchange:

I have a problem with "let's pretend" situations. :wink:

I need to apologize, Mark, for that remark. I realize it sounds condescending and I am sorry for the words I chose.


Hi Abiding,

No need to apologize whatsoever!


I felt a need to do something and you saw no reason whatsoever for my apology. I thought my "let's pretend" statement was sarcastic and unnecessary. You didn't see it that way or if you did, didn't see a need for my apology.

The moral of the story is just as we saw that situation differently, sometimes people will say and do things "for no particular reason" in our opinion but that shouldn't relegate them forever to a "demoted" state whether it's marriage, divorce, theft, or even murder and certainly not unmarried or childless.

Scripture is replete with believers who are guilty of the most heinous actions, adultery, multiple marriages, murder, etc. and still found favor, forgiveness, and usefulness in the Kingdom. Paul is a perfect example of this.

So the answer to your question is, we might disagree with a decision another makes for an apparent no good reason, but recognize that the person in question may have had a reason we consider frivolous or not valid. And even if it was frivolous and not valid, that does not warrant a forever reminder of a mistake.

Hope that answers your question.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby keithareilly on Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:25 pm

Hi Abiding,

I think a covenant is wrong thinking.

Marriage is a joining, a yoking, a fastening together for common purpose.

Two oxen yoked together are still two oxen.
When yoked they have the strength to accomplish things a single oxen cannot.

Marriage is greater than a yoking. It is also a union of flesh, thus was Eve made from Adam's flesh.
Eve was made as a suitable helpmate.
Adam and Eve were complimenting pairs where the complimental pairing is greater than a simple yoking.
It is a synergistic relationship where the pair is greater than the sum of the two.
This synergy creates something new, a new creation like when Oxygen and Hydrogen combine to form water.

Marriage is the creation of a new being, a family, from multiple individual beings.
This new creation can be at two places at once and can reproduce more of either element of the pairing which can later join, reproducing more of all three creations, man, woman, and family.

A marriage is not a covenant.
A covenant is one of the methods to accomplish the pairing (marriage), that results in the new being.
A covenant is important as it helps enforce the pairing that results in the new creation.
Divorce kills this new creation; as when our bodies return to dust, the individual elements remain, the synergy is gone.

This new being is not more or less important than the individual beings that make it up.
Oxygen and Hydrogen are not less important than water.

Keith
Last edited by keithareilly on Wed Nov 25, 2015 3:02 pm, edited 7 times in total.
keithareilly
Supporting Member
 
Posts: 2217
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:48 pm
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby mark s on Wed Nov 25, 2015 1:32 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:
mark s wrote:Leaving the covenant part aside...


But that's my focus in the thread. It is the focus because I think some have labeled it as such to elevate marriage beyond what scripture has and thus has shown a distinct partiality for marrieds and relegating singles and/or divorced to a position of lesser importance. So I'm asking for evidence and exploring the reason for the elevation when I see none.


Hi Abiding,

For me being a pastor is not a more important role than being a janitor, say, in another "let's pretend", if there were not bathroom cleaners in our church, I wonder how many would come to hear the pastor. But with that said, I will leave that alone, it's not this thread. I see this a specific instruction in Scripture, you do not, we can debate that if we want . . . somewhere else . . .

To your point of elevating marrieds over unmarrieds, I'm in full agreement with you. And if fact, I think the marrieds have the responsibility to not become exclusive, since that can be a flesh thing to do, that is, seek out those who are like you are. But that divides, not unifies.

But this is why my question, is it OK to leave a marriage for no particular reason at all? If it's not, why is it not?


Interestingly, I think the answer to that can be found by looking at the following exchange:

I have a problem with "let's pretend" situations. :wink:

I need to apologize, Mark, for that remark. I realize it sounds condescending and I am sorry for the words I chose.


Hi Abiding,

No need to apologize whatsoever!


I felt a need to do something and you saw no reason whatsoever for my apology. I thought my "let's pretend" statement was sarcastic and unnecessary. You didn't see it that way or if you did, didn't see a need for my apology.


I see this as the outworking of our Christian love for each other. You were concerned for me, and wanted to make sure I was not offended, I took your words as not against me, because I know you aren't that way.

And if husband and wife both continue in Christian love for each other, I believe that any question of leaving becomes moot, as that won't happen.

The moral of the story is just as we saw that situation differently, sometimes people will say and do things "for no particular reason" in our opinion but that shouldn't relegate them forever to a "demoted" state whether it's marriage, divorce, theft, or even murder and certainly not unmarried or childless.

Scripture is replete with believers who are guilty of the most heinous actions, adultery, multiple marriages, murder, etc. and still found favor, forgiveness, and usefulness in the Kingdom. Paul is a perfect example of this.

So the answer to your question is, we might disagree with a decision another makes for an apparent no good reason, but recognize that the person in question may have had a reason we consider frivolous or not valid. And even if it was frivolous and not valid, that does not warrant a forever reminder of a mistake.

Hope that answers your question.


I believe we are in complete agreement on these things.

Love in Christ,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
User avatar
mark s
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 14113
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:38 am
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby keithareilly on Sat Nov 28, 2015 1:43 pm

Matthew 22:20
For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

Luke 18:29-30
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers[a] or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.”

It is foolish to argue marriage is greater than the individuals involved in the marriage.
The individuals are eternal; marriage is a uniting of flesh; corporeal thus temporary.

Keith
keithareilly
Supporting Member
 
Posts: 2217
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 2:48 pm
Location: Mineral Bluff, GA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby sacredcowbasher on Sat Nov 28, 2015 10:08 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:If that were the case, Moses would not have allowed divorce with the stipulation of the issuance of a Writ of Divorce. btw, God Himself issued a Writ of Divorce when He sent His people away. Jer. 3:8 If so, He did not abide by the "for life" aspect of marriage.


The 'for life' aspect of marriage remains as long as there is fidelity between both parties. Once one is unfaithful and commits adultery, the 'for life' part of the marriage no longer applies unless there is repentance, forgiveness, and a desire to remain with the once unfaithful spouse.

In our Lord's case of divorcing His people, they were unfaithful and had committed adultery, in serving other gods. Also, after being spoken to of there errant ways, they refused fidelity to the God who loved them and persisted in their adulterous ways. God is right to divorce them in this as any spouse would be right as well.

So the 'for life' is conditional and based on each spouse's faithfulness to one another. We could bring up the once saved always saved here, but not appropriate to open up this here.
Gal 2: 14-19 But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter before them all, "If you, being a Jew, live in the manner of Gentiles and not as the Jews, why do you compel Gentiles to live as Jews? We who are Jews by nature, and not sinners of the Gentiles, knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is Christ therefore a minister of sin? Certainly not! For if I build again those things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law ( the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus ), died to the law ( the law of sin and death ) that I might live to God. Parenthetical remarks added are mine.
sacredcowbasher
 
Posts: 1243
Joined: Sun Mar 12, 2006 12:37 pm
Location: southeast Louisiana

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Keeping Alert on Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:11 am

sacredcowbasher wrote:
So the 'for life' is conditional and based on each spouse's faithfulness to one another. We could bring up the once saved always saved here, but not appropriate to open up this here.


Obviously not... Because salvation of the soul is so much more than a marriage that can be annulled... It is the creation of a new creature, an adoption into the family of God whereby we are his children nd we call God "Abba Father!"
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Keeping Alert
 
Posts: 2485
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:48 am

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Mrs. B on Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:10 am

Marriage Covenant...

Paul wrote....two in a bed....one taken the other left....

Marriage is to replenish the earth....we will stand before God as individuals.....
One taken the other left.....

Mrs. B
Mrs. B
 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:19 pm

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Keeping Alert on Sun Jan 03, 2016 8:23 am

I have been intrigue by this topic... And after doing some study, I am of the understanding that the marriage is indeed a covenant in the eyes of God. Sexual union does not constitute marriage but the promise of two people before God to cherish each other for good or bad is covenantal behavior before God.

The priest or pastor naturally fulfills the role of bringing two people before God but in the absence of the priest or the pastor, where 2 or 3 are gathered to commit their lives as husband and wife to God, that is viewed as covenantal behavior too.

There are a few passages that clearly show that marriage is a covenant. They are

Proverbs 2:17 which forsakes the guide of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God

Malachi 2:14 .... Yet she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant

The interesting thing to understand in the context of the Malachi passage is that the Hebrew men where divorcing their wives to marry heathen women i.e. they were legally divorcing their Hebrew wives and legally marrying their heathen wives. But God says "Because The Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously"

So why was God upset? Because the Marriage Covenant is Not broken by divorce and a subsequent remarriage. It is clear that God regarded marriage to be a lifelong covenant broken only by the death of one of the partners.

And then there are various passages like in Matthew 19:6 which says "God has joined together (as one flesh)"... This is clearly covenantal language where in a covenant all that I am and have is yours and vice versa... Your friends are may friends and your enemies my enemies...

The Marriage is a Lifelong Covenant and it is only so that it makes sense for Jesus to say in Matthew 19:9 "Whosever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, AND SHALL MARRY ANOTHER, COMMITS ADULTERY: and WHOEVER MARRIES HER WHICH IS PUT AWAY COMMITS ADULTERY."

They can legally divorce but they cannot remarry (until one party is dead) because the covenant is still binding.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Keeping Alert
 
Posts: 2485
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:48 am

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Mrs. B on Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:54 am

Marriage Covenant......

My commit.....

On December 30, 1957....I married my Husband and the father of My seven children....21 grand children and 10 great Grand children.....we have just celebrated our 57 years of marriage.....Praise the Lord.....I'm still alive to enjoy our Large Family....when we all get together......My cup runs over....Glory! Gloey!

Love you all But Best of all JESUS....Mrs. B
Mrs. B
 
Posts: 2062
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 1:19 pm

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Jan 03, 2016 12:26 pm

Mrs. B wrote:On December 30, 1957....I married my Husband and the father of My seven children....21 grand children and 10 great Grand children.....we have just celebrated our 57 years of marriage.....Praise the Lord.....I'm still alive to enjoy our Large Family....when we all get together......My cup runs over....Glory! Gloey!

Love you all But Best of all JESUS....Mrs. B


:wow:

Congratulations and a belated Happy Anniversary, Mrs. B!
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:32 pm

Keeping Alert wrote: And after doing some study, I am of the understanding that the marriage is indeed a covenant in the eyes of God. Sexual union does not constitute marriage but the promise of two people before God to cherish each other for good or bad is covenantal behavior before God.


Hello Keeping Alert,

The question is...where do we find such a declaration in scripture? Where do we find even one reference to a man and woman making such a promise or vow before God? And last but not least, where can we find even one such relationship between just one man and one woman other than that of Joseph and Mary?

The priest or pastor naturally fulfills the role of bringing two people before God but in the absence of the priest or the pastor, where 2 or 3 are gathered to commit their lives as husband and wife to God, that is viewed as covenantal behavior too.


Do we find such a practice, ritual, or tradition in scripture?

There are a few passages that clearly show that marriage is a covenant. They are

Proverbs 2:17 which forsakes the guide of her youth, and forgets the covenant of her God

Malachi 2:14 .... Yet she is your companion, and the wife of your covenant


Scripture relates God's covenant with His people as a marriage and refutes their unfaithfulness as adultery. He also metaphorically divorces His people for their adultery and gives them a "Writ of Divorce" to prove the end of the marriage. Now given that analogy, we must find such a restriction or boundaries governing the marriage of one man and one woman somewhere in the Bible.

We do find clear references to a Certificate of Divorce both in the OT and the NT so we would assume two people couldn't get divorced if they couldn't prove they were married, and yet I find no such documents required let alone a covenant made between two people who made vows to one another.

The interesting thing to understand in the context of the Malachi passage is that the Hebrew men where divorcing their wives to marry heathen women i.e. they were legally divorcing their Hebrew wives and legally marrying their heathen wives. But God says "Because The Lord has been witness between you and the wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously"


Throughout scripture we find the practice of polygamy, treacherous treatment of women, and "sending away" wives for "any cause" with no regard for the burdens and lack of resources that caused them.

So why was God upset? Because the Marriage Covenant is Not broken by divorce and a subsequent remarriage. It is clear that God regarded marriage to be a lifelong covenant broken only by the death of one of the partners.


No...God never has more respect for a law than for those affected by those who circumvent it for personal gain. Just as the Pharisees tried to criticize Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, touching lepers and other outcasts, they tried to justify putting away their wives for any cause. They in essence, cared more for their agenda than for those affected by their rigid interpretation.

And then there are various passages like in Matthew 19:6 which says "God has joined together (as one flesh)"... This is clearly covenantal language where in a covenant all that I am and have is yours and vice versa... Your friends are may friends and your enemies my enemies...


Meaning one man and one woman in marriage as was the intent in Genesis as opposed to treacherous treatment of their wives, sending them away for any reason, to take another.

The Marriage is a Lifelong Covenant and it is only so that it makes sense for Jesus to say in Matthew 19:9 "Whosever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, AND SHALL MARRY ANOTHER, COMMITS ADULTERY: and WHOEVER MARRIES HER WHICH IS PUT AWAY COMMITS ADULTERY."


The references Jesus makes in this regard is in response to the Pharisees justifying the practice of sending away their wives because Moses allowed it. Jesus makes it clear that the Certificate of Divorce was implemented because of their hard hearts and without one, a woman who remarried would be committing adultery. In other words, that Certificate proves that one is no longer married so adultery would not be an issue.

Regulations regarding the treatment of wives was necessary for obvious reasons. You can check out Deu_21:15, Deu_22:13; Exo_21:10 to see some other regulations that were implemented for the well-being of those women who were at the mercy of husbands who cared little for their welfare.

They can legally divorce but they cannot remarry (until one party is dead) because the covenant is still binding.


Evidently Moses, David, Solomon, Isaac, Jacob, Samson, etc. were unaware of such a covenant. Or they ignored it. Or they circumvented it by marrying many women. And God Himself dissolved the covenant He made with His people with a certificate of divorce.

"And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce ...."Jer 3:8

Thus says the LORD, "Where is the certificate of divorce By which I have sent your mother away? Isa 50:1


So...bottom line is (for me) how can people legally divorce (so they are not guilty of adultery) without proof they are married in the first place? Where do we find evidence of a covenantal marriage in scripture between one man and one woman? God's covenant with His people is recorded and reflects His perfect love and devotion to them but I find no such reference between two individuals other than David and Jonathan.

So the two of them made a covenant before the LORD; 1Sam 23:18
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Keeping Alert on Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:50 pm

Hello Abiding :grin: Happy New Year!

I am thinking in terms that the fact that Jesus did not overturn any of the traditional marriage ceremonies or legal arrangements but in Matthew 19 confirmed that it is between a male and female and it is between two. He clearly brings the marriage ceremony to the true spiritual implication as he does for many of the other laws, but saying that God is the witness (not just the priest) and holds both parties in a lifelong covenant.

While there is no clear instruction to do so, Jesus as God was not opposed to the legal arrangement but rather to reinforce the sanctity and seriousness of the marriage covenant and that it is not just a piece of paper that you can just tear up.

There are other such examples of things that God did not particularly instructed... baptism made popular by John the Baptist, and Hannakuk which Jesus attended (John 10) comes to mind...

I am not sure if this helps to answer your question but in short, what I am saying is that while God did not particularly instruct in scriptures but we do see the practice being prevalent in Jesus' time (Joseph and Mary) and the fact that Jesus did not condemn it tells me that it's all good...

Love-in-Christ,
KA
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Keeping Alert
 
Posts: 2485
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:48 am

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby mark s on Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:10 am

Hi all,

I don't see the marriage covenant explicitly spelled out, however, I do see it implicit in the passages KA referenced. Without there being a covenant of marriage, these passages don't make any sense.

Love in Christ,
Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
User avatar
mark s
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 14113
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:38 am
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:37 am

mark s wrote:Hi all,

I don't see the marriage covenant explicitly spelled out, however, I do see it implicit in the passages KA referenced. Without there being a covenant of marriage, these passages don't make any sense.


Hi Mark,

There are a lot of passages in scripture we don't fully understand and the meaning is ambiguous at best. But to assign a definition to one of them and speak as though it were God ordained as such, is making a sweeping assumption from a very small premise imo. To call marriage a covenant based on these two verses does not measure up to the standards of correct hermeneutics which should include context, grammar, history and I would add theological analysis. When we arrive at difficult passages, we must interpret them within the whole counsel of God to hopefully arrive at a correct understanding. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but I don't think we've applied the process correctly if based on these two verses warrants calling marriage a covenant.

If two verses justify a marital covenant, then we should be calling God "mother" based on the imagery that portrays Him with motherly characteristics:

"Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel, You who have been borne by Me from birth And have been carried from the womb Isa 46:3

But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me, And the Lord has forgotten me." "Can a woman forget her nursing child And have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Isa 49:14-15

"Was it I who conceived all this people? Was it I who brought them forth, that You should say to me, 'Carry them in your bosom as a nurse carries a nursing infant, to the land which You swore to their fathers'? (Moses- Num 11:12


Or should we teach that women are saved by bearing children otherwise that verse (1 Tim. 2:15) makes no sense?

So, I find it difficult (if not impossible) to label marriage a covenant when in the near 300 times in scripture, we find not one example of a covenant mentioned between two individuals other than David and Jonathan but not a man and woman far as I know. Could we call marriage an alliance? an agreement? a union? a partnership? a relationship?

OK, let's call marriage a union/agreement/partnership/alliance/relationship between one man and one women (even though there is a noticeable absence of these recorded in scripture. But I have a problem elevating this union to that of a covenant without clear scriptural support or evidence.

Forgive my rant...it's upsetting to me when new movements appear without solid scriptural evidence.

I think we have done the same thing to marriage that the Pharisees did to the Sabbath. Both were designed to give rest, joy, love, support, and provide spiritual, emotional and physical benefit to all adherents.

I'll go take a much needed nap now. :mrgreen:
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby mark s on Mon Jan 04, 2016 11:54 am

Maybe the issue lies in what we mean when we say "covenant". To me that simply means a contract, and when I promised my bride to love and cherish her til death parts us, this is a verbal contract, a covenant.

And when God says that we are joined together, and are not to be separated, to me it seems so simple. And when God talks about the wife of my covenant, I know exactly what He means.

But, that's just me . . .

Much love!

And I hope your nap is restful and enjoyable!

Mark
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
User avatar
mark s
MODERATOR
 
Posts: 14113
Joined: Tue Oct 17, 2006 11:38 am
Location: Southern California, USA

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Keeping Alert on Mon Jan 04, 2016 1:22 pm

Abiding in His Word wrote:So, I find it difficult (if not impossible) to label marriage a covenant when in the near 300 times in scripture, we find not one example of a covenant mentioned between two individuals other than David and Jonathan but not a man and woman far as I know. Could we call marriage an alliance? an agreement? a union? a partnership? a relationship?

OK, let's call marriage a union/agreement/partnership/alliance/relationship between one man and one women (even though there is a noticeable absence of these recorded in scripture. But I have a problem elevating this union to that of a covenant without clear scriptural support or evidence.

Forgive my rant...it's upsetting to me when new movements appear without solid scriptural evidence.

I think we have done the same thing to marriage that the Pharisees did to the Sabbath. Both were designed to give rest, joy, love, support, and provide spiritual, emotional and physical benefit to all adherents.

I'll go take a much needed nap now. :mrgreen:


Ah, Abiding, I now know what all this rant is about. I think you can rest well... It does not seem too be too popular and the people maintaining the website does not seem to have anything to write since 2012!

Nevertheless, I am not sure why would thinking of the marriage as a lifelong covenant to each other not bring "rest, joy, love, peace, support, and provide spiritual, emotional and physical benefits to all adherents"? Would thinking of marriage as a "union/agreement/partnership/alliance/relationship" help in these aspects? My own gut feel is that those who think of the marriage as something that can be broken are living in a constant insecurity.

But looking at it from another angle... Even though there are no words that say marriage is a covenant in your opinion, would you not say that the idea of two coming together and promising to bring "rest, joy, love, peace, support, and provide spiritual, emotional and physical benefits to all adherents"? Is indeed already a covenant? Where it says the two shall become one... is it not a covenant? Is it not something more than just "union/agreement/partnership/alliance/relationship"?

I don't know about you but maybe I am perhaps more sensitive to covenant language... God is a covenant keeping God... God is faithful even though we are not...
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.

πατερ δοξασον σου το ονομα
Father, glorify thy name.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Keeping Alert
 
Posts: 2485
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:48 am

Re: Marriage Covenant

Postby Abiding in His Word on Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:41 pm

Keeping Alert wrote:Ah, Abiding, I now know what all this rant is about. I think you can rest well... It does not seem too be too popular and the people maintaining the website does not seem to have anything to write since 2012!


KA, trust me when I say it's not just that site that promotes a covenant marriage. Look around the web and listen to some very well-known "scholars" who have used the term in referring to today's marriages with little to no scriptural support. They do, however, skillfully string numerous verses removed from their context in an attempt to prove this concept. I've posted this before, but I think you can see how stringing verses together can form erroneous misconceptions.

Ten Ways to Find a Wife (according to scripture)

10. Find an attractive prisoner of war, bring her home, shave her head, trim her nails, and give her new clothes. Then she’s yours. – (Deuteronomy 21:11-13)
9. Find a prostitute and marry her. – (Hosea 1:1-3)
8. Find a man with seven daughters, and impress him by watering his flock.- Moses (Exodus 2:16-21)
7. Purchase a piece of property, and get a woman as part of the deal. – Boaz (Ruth 4:5-10)
6. Go to a party and hide. When the women come out to dance, grab one and carry her off to be your wife. – Benjaminites (Judges 21:19-25)
5. Have God create a wife for you while you sleep.-Adam (Genesis 2:19-24)
4. Kill any husband and take his wife. -David (2 Samuel 11)
3. Cut 200 foreskins off of your future father-in-law’s enemies and get his daughter for a wife -David (I Samuel 18:27)
2. Even if no one is out there, just wander around a bit and you’ll definitely find someone. -Cain (Genesis 4:16-17)
1. Don’t be so picky. Make up for quality with quantity. – Solomon (1 Kings 11:1-3)

It's funny, isn't it? But it's the result of taking verses out of context and stringing them together to form a desired outcome.

Nevertheless, I am not sure why would thinking of the marriage as a lifelong covenant to each other not bring "rest, joy, love, peace, support, and provide spiritual, emotional and physical benefits to all adherents"? Would thinking of marriage as a "union/agreement/partnership/alliance/relationship" help in these aspects? My own gut feel is that those who think of the marriage as something that can be broken are living in a constant insecurity.


I think you've missed (or maybe I wasn't clear) the reason for the comparison between the Pharisees' teaching about the Sabbath and some current teaching about the "marriage covenant." To elaborate on the topic of marriage without scriptural evidence is the same as their elaborating on the Sabbath which changed it's purpose as it was designed...as a rest and refreshment from their daily labor (Exodus 23:12). So when we elevate the union/relationship/agreement/partnership/contract/marriage to a covenant "status" we ought to have the evidence to back up that label and it's intended purpose. After all, both Jesus and Paul said some less-than-flattering things about marriage and seem to elevate the single state. Have you ever heard a sermon encouraging staying single so you will have fewer distractions? :mrgreen:

Even though there are no words that say marriage is a covenant in your opinion,


It's not my opinion per se...I started this thread looking for evidence and am still happy to stand corrected should someone show me where we might find solid scriptural evidence.

would you not say that the idea of two coming together and promising to bring "rest, joy, love, peace, support, and provide spiritual, emotional and physical benefits to all adherents"?


Sure! Can and should bring those things.

Is indeed already a covenant? Where it says the two shall become one... is it not a covenant? Is it not something more than just "union/agreement/partnership/alliance/relationship"?


:lol: We're back to square one I think! Just saying it doesn't make it so, does it?

I don't know about you but maybe I am perhaps more sensitive to covenant language... God is a covenant keeping God... God is faithful even though we are not...


And as such, He surely makes His covenants known in pretty clear words to us in scripture so we know what's involved in those covenants and to whom they are directed.
User avatar
Abiding in His Word
SITE ADMIN
 
Posts: 29336
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Location: SW Florida


Return to General Bible Study & Debate

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests