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The Love Dare: Day 40

  • Day 40

    Love is a Covenant

    Where you go, I will go, and where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.  – Ruth 1:16

     

    Congratulations. You’ve reached the end of the Love Dare – the book. But the experience and challenge of loving your mate is something that never comes to an end. It goes on for the rest of your life.

    This book may end at Day 40. But who says your dare has to stop? And as you view your marriage relationship from this point on, we challenge you to consider it a covenant instead of a contract. These two words sound similar in meaning and intent but are in reality much different. Seeing marriage as a contract is like saying to your spouse, “I take you for me and we’ll see if this works out.” But realizing it as a covenant changes it to say, “I give myself to you and commit to this marriage for life.”

    There are many other differences between covenants and contracts. A contract is usually a written agreement based on distrust, outlining the conditions and consequences if broken. A covenant is a verbal commitment based on trust, assuring someone that your promise is unconditional and good for life. It is spoken before God out of love for another.

    A contract is self-serving and comes with limited liability. It establishes a time frame for certain deliverables to be met and accomplished. A covenant is for the benefit of others and comes with unlimited responsibility. It has no expiration date. It is “til death do us part.” A contract can be broken with mutual consent. A covenant is intended to be unbreakable.

    The Bible contains several major covenants as part of the unfolding story of God’s people. God made a covenant with Noah, promising never to destroy all flesh with a worldwide flood (Genesis 9:12-17). He made a covenant with Abraham, promising that an entire nation of descendents would come from his family line (Genesis 17:1-8). He made a covenant with Moses, declaring that the people of Israel would be God’s permanent possession (Exodus 19:3-6). He made a covenant with David, promising that a ruler would sit on his throne forever (2 Samuel 7:7-16). Ultimately, He made a “new covenant” by the blood of Christ, establishing an unending, unchanging legacy of forgiven sins and eternal life for those who believe in Him (Hebrews 9:15). Never once has God broken any of these covenants.

    And then there’s marriage – the strongest covenant on earth between two people, the pledge of a man and woman to establish a love that is unconditional and lasts a lifetime. In marriage, your wedding ring represents your covenant vows – not merely commitments you hoped to keep but premeditated promises, publicly spoken and witnessed by others.

    As you’ve read numerous times in these pages, keeping this covenant is not something you can do in your own strength. There’s good reason why God was the One who initiated covenants with His people. He alone is able to fulfill the demands of His own promises. He alone is able to forgive the receivers of His covenant when they fail to uphold their part of the agreement. But the Spirit of God is within you by the virtue of your faith in His Son and the grace bestowed upon you in salvation. That means you now can exercise your role as covenant keeper, no matter what may arise to challenge your faithfulness to it.

    Especially if your spouse is not in a place of receiving your love right now, the act of covenant keeping can grow more daunting with each passing day. But marriage is not a contract with escape clauses and exception wordings. Marriage is a covenant intended to cut off all avenues of retreat or withdrawal. There’s nothing in all the world that should sever what God has joined together. Your love is based on covenant.

    Hundreds of years after the prophet Malachi recorded these words, people are still wondering why God withholds His hand of blessing at times from their homes and marriages. “You say, ‘For what reason?’ Because the Lord has been witness between you and your wife of your youth, against whom you have dealt treacherously, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant … For I hate divorce, says the Lord, the God of Israel, and him who covers his garment with wrong, says the Lord of hosts. So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:14, 16).

    Every marriage is called to be an earthly picture of God’s heavenly covenant with His church. It is to reveal to the world the glory and beauty of God’s unconditional love for us. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9 NIV). Let His words inspire you to be a channel of God’s love to your spouse.

    The time is now, man or woman of God, to renew your covenant of love in all sincerity and surrender. Love is too holy a treasure to trade in for another, and too powerful a bond to be broken without dire consequences. Fasten your love afresh on this one the Lord has given you to cherish, prize, and honor.

    Your life together is before you. Dare to take hold of it and never let go.

    We dare you.
     

    Today's Dare

     

    Write out a renewal of your vows and place them in your home. Perhaps if appropriate, you could make arrangements to formally renew your wedding vows before a minister and with family present.  Make it a living testament to the value of marriage in God’s eyes and the high honor of being one with your mate.

     

    He has remembered His covenant forever. (Psalm 105:8)

     

    Congratulations, you have completed The Love Dare! We pray it was a blessing to you and that it will help you live in God's will with the relationships in your life!

      

     Click here to buy a copy of the Love Dare book.

     

    Material taken from The Love Dare by Stephen and Alex Kendrick, copyright © 2009 by B&H Publishing Group. Used by permission.  Unauthorized reproduction in any format is strictly prohibited by law.


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9 comments
  • 2
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Last day of the Love Dare! Congratulations on all who finished it :). I pray that it was a blessing to you and your loved ones!
March 11, 2016
  • 2
Cheryl Wilson
Cheryl Wilson Although I'm single, I enjoyed each day of the Love Dare, thanks again!!
March 13, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd I think it's a great journey for a single person and may help prevent mistakes from happening in the first place, which is always best :). Thank you for participating, Cheryl, God bless :)!
March 16, 2016
  • 2
Joseph Krell
Joseph Krell I have thought about the Love Dare ever since I watched Fireproof a few years ago, the Kendrick brothers put out some awesome Christian inspiring movies. Now thanks to RHM I have completed it as well purchased the book for the future reference. Thank you Sylvia, all who participated will indeed be blessed by it, the amount and frequency of the blessing to be determined by our walk with the good Lord! We serve a wonderful God! Be blessed as you are a blessing to us!
March 11, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Praise God, thank you so much for sharing, Joseph, and very happy tha tit blessed you!
March 11, 2016
  • 2
Deborah Alexander
Deborah Alexander PRAISE GOD, Thank you Sylvia for sharing this Love Dare 40 day devotional with us. It was truly a Blessing I look forward to another of it's kind...
March 12, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Thank you so much, Deborah, Dion and I enjoyed it as well!
March 12, 2016
  • 2
Mark Duell
Mark Duell Again this book was written with guidance of the Holy Spirit. I know I will be buying copies for all the kids and one for my self. Like I have commented before, there are areas where this stuff applies in your daily life at work. Going back and rereading these will keep you in perfect step with the Lord and your spouse. Thank you for listening to the Lord and providing this 40 day challenge, even though it took some of us longer than 40 days. lol
March 13, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Haha, Mark, it's a journey for a lifetime anyway, so it doesn't matter if it takes longer than 40 days :). Thank you so much for all your participation! It was truly a blessing for us, and I know it will be for all who end up starting this journey later :)
March 13, 2016