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