Marriage is a Covenant – the fruit of a loving, faithful relationship where partners take responsibility for their actions. The marriage covenant is based on freedom of choice, rooted in actions, based on choices -not feelings. It is a relationship in which partners remain dedicated to nurturing their relationship through commitments that are freely offered. The marriage covenant requires that the partners remain faithful for the relationship to flourish.
The 10 COMMANDMENTS OF MARRIAGE outlines the terms of the marriage covenant; this can significantly strengthen your marriage and allow you to experience it’s joys should you choose to live by it.
THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF MARRIAGE:
Exclusive Loyalty and Faithfulness Towards Each Other at All Times
• When things such as hobbies, work, ex-boyfriends or ex-girlfriends steal the loyalty that is exclusively reserved for your spouse, you are severely weakening your covenant.
• Covenant demands exclusive and unconditional loyalty from both parties that enter into the marriage covenant.
Truthfulness and Honesty Towards Each Other at All Times
• You cannot be unfaithful towards your spouse. You are unfaithful when you build ‘false images’ of them in your mind.
• Many couples are trying to shape their partners into their own image of what a ‘perfect spouse’ should be. This is idolatry!
• Unrealistic expectations have destroyed many marriages.
• Marriage is not about who you are, marriage is about who you become.
Eliminate ‘Words’ or ‘Actions’ that Belittles Each Other in Private or Public
• There is nothing worse than a couple who belittles each other then cuts each other off. Never disrespect each other this way before the children, friends or parents.
• Appreciating your similarities and respecting your differences goes long a long way.
• Respect will cause you to explain your anger, which leads to solutions instead of arguments.
Set aside Regular and Special Time for Each Other
• You are required to show your Love to your spouse by setting aside regular time for him/her. Love is spelt T.I.M.E!
• This means you would have to set aside your work or your personal pleasure on a daily basis.
• Togetherness does not mean “us-ness.” You will have to protect your exclusive time together. Away from the kids, work, family and friends. It is important for your friendship and intimacy.
Honour Your Parents without Allowing them to Come between the Two of You!
• One of the greatest blessings, when you get married, is to have the “blessing of your parents.”
• We are called to relate to our parents, especially our spouse’s parents, respectfully.
• Even when the In-laws become Out Law… Never be disrespectful!
Denounce any Form of Hatred or Hostility that can Hurt Your Spouse
• Avoid physical violence to the body and emotional violence to the soul.
• Verbal abuse can be more damaging to women than physical violence. It is the most prevalent form of marital abuse, which undermines a woman’s sense of worth. It also diminishes her ability to care for her children and participate in the workforce.
Be Faithful to Each Other in Body and Soul
• This will protect you from seeking any sexual experiences outside of Marriage.
• Honour your marriage covenant by being sexually faithful to your spouse, both mentally and physically.
Vow to live in Community of Property
• This is the essence of a covenant agreement: each person gives 100% to the marriage.
• The marriage covenant is not a co-heir partnership (50/50), but a joint heir partnership (100/100).
• Anything less than this is a contract, not a covenant.
• A contract marriage is very different from a covenant marriage:
In a contract: I take thee for me. In a covenant: I give myself to thee. In a contract: You better do it! In a covenant: How may I serve you?
In a contract: What do I get? In a covenant: What can I give? In a contract: I’ll meet you halfway. In a covenant: I’ll give you 100% plus. In a contract: I have to. In a covenant: I want to.
Be Truthful Communicators
• When you speak ill of your spouse, misrepresent their motives, fail to interpret the feelings behind their words or hit remarks that are ‘below the belt,’ you become an untruthful communicator.
• Truthful communication requires you to be: Timely, Patient, Flexible, Intuitive, Accepting and Honest.
Be Content with Your Spouse and Celebrate Their Success and Achievements
• Never compare your spouse’s performances or their talents to that of others.
• It is not wrong to desire good qualities in your spouse, but it is a mistake to compare your spouse’s qualities to that of someone else’s!
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