Some things stand out here. Twice God says “Do not break faith” with your wife. I suppose it is important if God says it twice. Another sobering thought, “the Lord is acting as a witness between you and the wife of your youth.” Wow, you mean that it wasn’t just my pastor, family, and friends that were witnessing our marriage vows, but the Lord? What does that mean about how seriously they should be taken? Another place it says, “the wife of your marriage covenant”. What does it mean that marriage is a covenant?
I studied this a little bit during our separation. I want to do more research about what a marriage covenant means and to reference more resources.
From what I remember studying, part of the concept was that covenants were extremely important in Biblical times, both between men and God, and between men and men. They were also unconditional lifetime promises and they lasted even if one party failed to keep their side of it. They were also often sealed by blood. God continued to love Israel, not necessarily bless her, even when she wandered from Him.
The key concept that got hammered home to me was that whereas in contemporary society we view marriage as a contract, just like house contracts, loan contracts, or employment contracts, God looked at marriage as a covenant.
We are all familiar with the outs to contracts. I promise to buy your house, here is my deposit of $5000, if I change my mind and don’t buy it, you keep the $5000. I agree to pay you $x per month for a loan for my car; if I don’t you can take my car.
Wow, if marriage is really a covenant, what does that mean to me if my spouse and I are not happy, or if my spouse says they want out? If they want out, does that mean it is okay for me to quit also?
I’ll write more on this later after I have refined my thinking some, but I think this whole concept of marriage as a contract or a covenant has huge implications for how we view marriage and divorce.