The Marriage Covenant

Scripture: Proverbs 2:16-17, ‘It will save you also from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words, who has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.’

 

Observations: The ‘it’ in this passage is the wisdom that comes from knowing God (v1-11), which will not only ‘save you from the ways of wicked men, (v12-15)’ but ‘also from the adulteress, (v16-19)’ so that we can ‘walk in the ways of good men. (v20-22)’ The issue of adultery, prostitution and promiscuity are large concerns in the Book of Proverbs. Whole sections are devoted to father’s warning their sons about such issues (Prov 5:1-23; 6:20-35; 7:1-27; 22:14; 23: 27; 29:3; 30:20), which is why they are warnings to men, but women also should be aware of men who seduce women and commit adultery. The issue is that such a person ‘has left the partner of her youth and ignored the covenant she made before God.’ They have broken faith with both their husband and God. The word the NIV translates as ‘partner (’aluph)’ can mean either ‘a close business partner,’ or ‘a husband,’ but it usually describes ‘a close friend.’ It’s a beautiful description of marriage as the closest of all friendships. But it’s significant that marriage is more than just a commitment made between two people, but also a covenantal (bĕrith) commitment made between two people and God. While we don’t see marriage as a sacrament as the Roman Catholic Church does, it is nevertheless a significant relationship.

 

Application: The best way to protect oneself from adultery is to work on your marriage. The more you invest in your spouse and your marriage covenant the less likely you are to be tempted by adultery, in whatever form it takes. No one starts married life expecting to get divorced, but often because of neglect that’s exactly where it ends. And remember, we may be able to hide things from our spouse, but we can hide nothing from God. How are you investing in your marriage?

 

Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, You invented marriage to be an expression of the love that You share within Yourself, as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Just as You are One, so a husband and wife become one. Lord, just as Your love never fails or wavers, may my love for my spouse never fail or waver. May my love be filled with grace and compassion. Help me to forgive when I need to forgive, and make me humble when I am tempted to be proud. May my love for my spouse be a witness to others of Your love in Christ Jesus. In His name I pray. Amen.

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