Marriage: Covenant or Contract?

I was just at a wedding this past weekend. In his sermon the pastor mentioned that marriage is a covenant not a contract. He mentioned that contracts are based on distrust and covenants are based on trust. I think he is right. When you think of a contract – like maybe your car loan or your mortgage – think how many clauses are in there in case someone does not live up to their obligations. Covenants in the Old Testament were extremely serious and most were considered binding for life, regardless of circumstances.

What are your thoughts about marriage being a covenant or a contract?

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7 Responses to Marriage: Covenant or Contract?

  1. Brian Collis says:

    The best thing I heard on the covenant vs. contract idea is that:
    in a contract, you limit your liability and protect your rights
    in a covenant, you give up your rights and take on liability

    in essence, a contract is about taking, a covenant is about giving.

  2. Julie Sibert says:

    I think the fact marriage is a covenant should remind us once again how marriage is set apart by God… how it indeed is meant to be taken seriously and not easily undone. When I think of marriage being a covenant, I also think about how marriage is unlike any other human relationship… its covenant aspect is what makes it richly unique. Great post!

  3. I agree with Mr. Collins! A contract is an agreement written that provides a way out for the parties involved if certain conditions aren’t met. A covenant is a vow made to God! We must not be quick to pay Him a vow and not honor it.

  4. directedpath says:

    Marriage is a covenant, which brings security to both individuals. While contracts are based on performance and provides ways out, covenant are based on unconditional love and acceptance. (Modeled after God’s covenant with us thru Christ.)

  5. Debi Walter says:

    It’s always helpful to define terms so we see where we fall in how we live. Great post and I love Brian’s additional comment.

  6. Jay Dee says:

    Contracts can be broken, covenants cannot. I wrote my thoughts on this at

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