Every marriage has a main thing. It’s something really big or important that draws a couple together and becomes the glue that holds them together—maybe. The main thing may be chemistry, lifestyle, socio-economics, faith, familial obligation, etc. But the big question to be answered is this: “Will what brought you together be able to keep you together?”

When you ask just about anyone why they marry, it’s very likely that they will say it is because they are “in love.” This is a very reasonable and understandable response! However, there’s a deeper question: “Does this love sit on top of something else?”

What if a couple in love is entering into marriage to satisfy family, cultural, or religious expectations? What if a couple in love wants children (or doesn’t want children)? What if a couple in love is very concerned about economic security or financial success? What if the priority of a couple in love is maintaining sex appeal or a certain lifestyle?

The truth is that couples marry while they are “in love”—but very often there is a secondary objective for each partner that may be quite strong, pragmatic, and self-serving. Many people marry with a very specific outcome in mind. When their expectations are not met, they may lose their enthusiasm to continue in the relationship. (Statistically, this happens about 50% of the time to both Christians and non-Christians.)

When “the main thing” that draws a couple into marriage goes away or is unable to be attained, what remains? Will the relationship be meaningful enough to still make the marriage fulfilling to both the husband and the wife?

A covenant marriage is one where both the husband and wife have made an unconditional commitment for each to act in the best interest of each other. For this to be possible, the main thing that the love in a marriage must sit upon is a foundation made up of respect, humility, honesty, singleness of purpose, personal growth, and forgiveness.

In a covenant marriage, a husband and wife see each other as having significance and value even in the hardest of times. There will always be the desire to recognize, honor, and build up one another regardless of the challenges or circumstances.

…the main thing that the love in a marriage must sit upon is a foundation made up of respect, humility, honesty, singleness of purpose, personal growth, and forgiveness.

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Some things to do for the week

Day 2: Reflect on the message and scripture reading; journal if you like
Day 3: Pray for or meditate on what you think you need
Day 4: Discuss the message and scripture with your spouse
Day 5: Plan how you can best respond to the message
Day 6: Rest; don’t think about the message or the scripture; listen in the stillness
Day 7: Recommit yourself to your marriage

Applicable scripture listed under Discussion References.