We know how to build and maintain a lifelong love in this previous article, but something vital comes before building love can truly take flight. What is it?
Now, I know just a bit about homes and the construction of homes, but you and I both know that a home requires a strong foundation to bear the weight and elements that a house and surrounding landscape experience. If you were building a home, you would want to ensure that the foundation is as strong as possible so that your expensive investment will stand for decades and centuries to come.
Marriage is no different. You need a strong, unwavering foundation as you begin your lifelong commitment. So what is it?
Covenant vs. Consumer
Timothy Keller, in his sermon, touches on the differences between a consumer relationship and a covenant relationship and the difference is incredibly significant:
A consumer relationship is the type of relationship where is all about you. It says, “When you don’t make me happy, I’m out.” There are conditions to this relationship. It’s all about you, truly.
A covenant relationship is other focused. To start, this begins with an attitude towards the relationship. An attitude of “no matter what.” This is an unconditional commitment to your spouse regardless of action (there can be exceptions or safety concerns, of course).
A covenant relationship:
- Thinks “no matter what,”
- Unconditionally chooses
- Trusts the commitment to covenant.
A covenant relationship says, “I choose to love you, serve you, honor you, respect you, cherish you, believe the best in you, support you, pray for you, choose you… regardless if you are doing those things for me.
To note: There are exceptions of abuse or infidelity, however, there can still be a commitment towards the relationship even if necessary boundaries are present to maintain physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual safety.
This is also me assuming that when you said, “I do,” you both committed to “no matter what” forever with each other typically portrayed in reciting vows. If you both of you committed your life to each other and committed to a covenant, you can truly trust that the other will come back to who they are absolutely meant to be as a spouse and partner.
How powerful a foundation for a lifetime of love??
Couples can ride the limerence wave into marriage or believe marriage will come as natural and “easy” as dating, but soon run into issues that have them scratching their heads, guarding, protecting their hearts and/or fighting to the ends of the earth.
Life and marriage requires intentionality and intentionality breeds balance. You would never build a house on a faulty or unstable foundation, build your house upon the rock. Love like Christ – unconditionally.