Writen by: Jennifer Schwickerath On October 18, 2013

Covenant VS Contract

My husband and I have started going to marriage counseling. This is such a difficult thing for me. It isn’t something that I ever thought my marriage would need. I will admit to arrogance on my part. I will admit that my pride was blinding me so that I thought that I didn’t need as much help as my husband did.covenant-marriage

I even played the “we do not have the money for counseling” card. I didn’t want to spend money on counseling,  I wanted to spend money on other things. (Yes, I know I am selfish. I am a work in progress).  I will say though that investing money in my marriage has been worth it. There are other ways to invest in marriage. Quality time, communication, talking to your spouse in their love language. But, sometimes money needs to be spent.

Counseling has opened my eyes to how I was viewing my marriage and I did not even realize it. The counselor asked me if I see my marriage as a contract or covenant? He then explained some of the differences:

  • A contract can be broken. If a person does not honor it, then there are clauses that allow you break the contract.
  • Covenants are not meant to be broken, they are meant to last a lifetime. A covenant says you will honor your vows no matter what and you will not look for a way out.
  • Contracts can specify that damages need to be paid if the other party is in the wrong.
  • Covenants do not expect restitution.
  • A contract can make you feel like the victim. It can have no thought to the other person. In a word, a contract can be selfish in nature, even if it is meant to serve as preservation.
  • The marriage covenant is selfless in nature and not self-seeking. (1 Corinthians 13:5)

I need to stop playing the victim. Yes, my husband has hurt me with actions and words (not physically). However, our wedding vows didn’t have stipulations/clauses/exceptions. Scripture doesn’t either. God makes covenants, not contracts. A couple of examples:

I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. (Genesis 9:13 NLT)

After supper he took another cup of wine and said, “This cup is the new covenant between God and His people—an agreement confirmed with my blood, which is poured out as a sacrifice for you. (Luke 22:20 NLT)

 A covenant before God should be my standard for my marriage, not a contract.

I am not excusing any abuse or repeat infidelity. I have never been in harm’s way in my marriage. This is not what this is about. If you are in an unsafe environment, then please, go somewhere safe and seek help.

I wanted out of my marriage when I started counseling, but I now have a new perspective. I want to serve God by honoring my covenant.

Be blessed:)

There is a great debate in perspectives of covenant vs contract… how do you view marriage?

Jennifer Schwickerath

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Jennifer currently resides in The Buckeye State with her husband and son. She loves God, her husband, and her son--in that order. She is a daily receiver of grace and loves to encourage others.

Join The Discussion, Leave A Comment Below!

  • wife

    A few months ago my husband cheated and totally broke my trust. Continues to keep things a secret, possibly still communicating with the other woman. Now God had blessed us with another baby on the way. I would ♥ to have my husband&I to go to marriage counseling.He says he doesn’t need it.I am the one with the problems.He says he can take care of it on his own. Praying that we will come to an agreement and go to marriage counseling. We do attend church&bibles studies with other couples.I just feel sometimes we r being fake. Right now trusting and believing in God.

  • keltrinswife

    I really do hope counseling helps heal your marriage. I am glad that this post served as an encouragement for you.

  • cathy

    My husband and I went to counseling and the counselor told me to divorce my husband. This was after 4 visits. I was shocked. The reason we were there was to try to avoid divorce. It took a lot to get both of us to the point to seek counseling. Needless to say we haven’t been back to that counselor (or any other). In a way it has brought us closer.

  • Jim Lewis

    COVENANT for Christian marriage– but very often for one who is not a Christian, or not living their faith, and seduced by a secularist worldview that says life is about “being happy,” it’s often a “contract.” I use the car fixing analogy a lot too– just just like you’ve got to be careful finding a good mechanic, same’s true for marriage counselors– IF that marriage counselor also follows that secularist worldview, they’re just as happy to be a divorce counselor as they are being a marriage counselor!
    Anyone needing a mechanic, anyone needing a counselor– ask around with those you trust first!
    Jim–
    author of “Marriage SOS: Spiritual, Obcordate, SEXY First Aid for YOUR Marriage!”

  • Gaelia Hunt

    Do you wait til your car breaks down …….or do take it for a yearly service?
    Do you wait til you’re sick……….or do you get an annual health check?
    Do you wait til your house is falling apart ….or do you conduct regular maintenance?
    Counselling can be like a yearly service, annual health check or regular maintainacne. Strenghten it before it is broken!

  • Shaina

    My husband has previously wanted out, but has slowed down. We are hoping to start counseling next month. Was just thinking this evening about doing so or not, and then read this! Thanks for the encouragement!

  • keltrinswife

    I agree–a non-bias 3rd party professional is definitely a help to us! Thank you for your encouragement.

  • Cassie

    Love your honesty ! My husband and I went to marriage counseling via are church a few years ago and it was good to get a neutral party to help us see both sides. Please continue to write it is such an encouragement!

  • keltrinswife

    Thank you so much!

  • keltrinswife

    Thank you!

  • http://soifoundgod.blogspot.com/ Jamie

    Marriage counseling also helped my marriage and highlighted my own weaknesses and sins. It made our marriage stronger and gave us a wider foundation to rest upon. So often, people are ashamed to seek counseling or feel like a failure – not so! Seeking help for your marriage is taking charge. Thank you for this article – I will pray continued blessings and wisdom over your union. :)

  • http://www.trueagape.com/ Cassie

    Way to see new light. That is amazing. Crazy how our focus can be completely changed when we listen to God! I pray that your journey in counseling continues to help you both grow!

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