One of the thoughts shared by our pastor seemed equally appropriate to the marriage relationship. He cited theological ethicist William F. May’s definition of a covenant, which according to May contains four elements:
1. a primal gift, a costly sacrifice, that both marks and changes life.
Ideally in marriage, we give to each other all that we are and all that we have, and our lives are certainly changed forever!
2. in response to the primal gift, promises are made and obligations accepted.
In our marriage vows we promised to love, honor, and cherish until parted by death.
3. there is life lived within the structure of gift and promise, a life that has “fidelity” as its prime descriptive quality.
Faithfulness to each other, to the vows we made, and to God is crucial for a lasting marriage.
4. there are occasions and events for the renewal of covenant.
Every anniversary we celebrate can be an occasion to renew our marriage covenant.