God is not a Fun Killer but a Relationship Protector



Valentine’s month and love is in the air. As a therapist counseling hundreds of couples over the past 30 years, I can tell you, love can be a challenge no matter what the calendar says. And as a counselor, I have the unique perspective to evaluate which couples seem to struggle more than others. I found it goes back to the original agreement regarding the relationship and how it began.

Many couples these days have chosen to cohabitate without actually being married. They often state that they don’t need a contract to tell them that they are married. But, in reality, they are forgoing marriage and entering into a contract relationship.

It goes like this:

“I will do this, and you will do that. We will have sex; my money is mine and your money is yours; those are your chores and these are mine; I’m not entertaining your relatives when they come into town.”

This type of arrangement becomes two people living under the same roof having a sexual relationship. Later, when this couple decides to marry, there is nothing unique about the marriage, it’s just a piece of paper; nothing has changed. They still abide by the original contract mindset.

A covenant marriage is very different. That is why in scripture the sexual and co-habiting part is forbidden outside of marriage. When you wait to have sex out obedience to God, it changes the parameter. You practice restraint and self-control for the benefit of the relationship and the other person. You are in essence saying we have chosen to live under God’s standard, not our own.

However, if you are not willing to live under God’s standard before the marriage, why would you after the “I do’s” are said? You have not practiced self-denial or placed obedience to God as the priority it deserves.

Character is developed through denial. Realize that same spirit that you live by before the marriage is the one that will guide you during the marriage. If the standard is based upon emotions and feelings, then you will use those as a decision making factor in the marriage, which often ends poorly for the relationship.

However, if the spirit of obedience to God and self-denial is how you make decisions before the wedding ceremony, it only makes sense that it will be your guiding factor thereafter.

When couples decide to begin a relationship in a spirit of self-control and restraint, then marriage will be an extension of the marriage covenant, rather than a contract that can be easily broken through difficult seasons in life.

Of course we serve a God of grace who wants to make all things new. In order for this to occur there needs to be repentance and a recommitment to doing things God’s way. This self-denial (not sexual for the married), will have to be learned and practiced. This is where prayer and counseling come in, to teach new ways of thinking and acting in a covenant marriage.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *