Feb 14 2010

Love Dare - 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)

 

 

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

Click here for a free online journal for the full 40 day challenge.

 

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.

 

Comments (22) -

2/14/2010 1:25:19 AM
Michael Corbin United States
Michael Corbin
I would do this if I could. God knows. Thank you all, those of you who have prayed for me. I don't think my wife is in my future. God won't force someone else to do anything they don't wish too anymore than He forces us, He gave us all free will. Just as we can choose not to love or obey Him, others can choose not to love us. This was as long as I can look for hope and see none. Valentines Day, then I have to serve her with the papers. I can't risk my being in Zoe's life (my newborn), I filed and haven't given Shira the papers yet, I keep looking for hope, I keep waiting for Gods' Hand to been seen, but nothing. I want to do the right thing, I just don't know what to do.
2/14/2010 5:14:33 AM
booklady
booklady
Starting the Love Dare Devotional book for Couples tomorrow.
2/14/2010 9:41:10 AM
dgamez United States
dgamez
i took the love dare and am happy to say that my marriage has never been any happier! i went about doing the dares and immediately noticed that when i put God first in my marriage that everything else was child's play.  we had been having a rough patch for the past few years but with counseling and the love dare and an a.c.t.s. couples retreat, which by the way, i recommend for any couple that really wants to experience God come into their lives. we have been happier in the past month than in the past five years!! we pray every night and morning as a couple and are regularly attending church and have even enrolled our children in religious education classes.  things are better than ever thanks to God and k-love and the love dare and the couples team on our retreat! love is out there you just have to fight for it and make your wife/husband know that with God and work you two can be so happy for the rest of your lives together. God bless and happy valentines day to all of you!!
2/14/2010 6:00:44 PM
John United States
John
Dear K-Love,  My wife and I would like to thank you all for this wonderful opportunity that you have placed before us for the past 40 days.  We truely hate to see this end.  We have devoted our past 40 nights to this,and have worked very hard at each and every dare.  We are both writing this together tonight and are both very sad,yet re-joiced at the same time.  This has been a huge blessing to us both,and we will always treasure this.  We will continue with the many lessons and devotions that we have learned from this.  We have both realized just how much we love each other,and have totally re-dedicated our lives to each other and to the Lord.  We cannot thank you all enough for this,and will continue to pray for you all.  Thank You all again, John, and Jenny Goddard
2/14/2010 9:24:29 PM
Laura United States
Laura
We enjoyed this 40 Day Love Dare again so much! We had the time of our lives the second time going through this....Tonight we have had a wonderful dinner, and now we have set up the church power point in our living room to watch a movie on yes, the church big screen here at home....thanks to our loving congregation.Smile Agape, Pastor Dave and Laura

2/15/2010 8:10:11 AM
kay United States
kay
God has called me to wait.  My husband accepts the love I pour on him.  He is unwilling to let go of past hurt and forgive, not hurt from me.  God will heal his wounds.  I will love.  God will bless.  I take my pain to God.   I pray that my husband will work on rebuilding trust and truly be honest and commit to me.  I pray that as he sees God working in me, changing my attitude, he will choose love, that he will know God.
2/15/2010 7:34:51 PM
Robert Malaysia
Robert
I love your blog
2/16/2010 1:21:01 PM
Deborah Geyer United States
Deborah Geyer
The LOVE DARE was sort of fun to do these past 40 days. Mostly I did it to esteem my sweet husband, our marriage isn't (at the moment!) in trouble ... and I believe it never hurts to do things that strengthen and improve relationships, no matter how good they are. Plus, the idea of doing a LOVE DARE with other KLOVE listeners really appealed to me. I didn't tell my husband I was doing this, and I did get some strange looks and reactions to certain questions we were supposed to ask. In particular, I was frankly quite relieved that my husband not only didn't have an answer but absolutely refused to respond to: "Name 3 things I do in public that irritate or bother you." Whew! Wink  What really intrigued me, though, was probably around day 20 (?) when we were encouraged to examine how the LOVE DARE was affecting our relationship with GOD! While I believe whole-heartedly that being "right" with God contributes strongly to helping us have healthy relationships with our loved ones and friends, it hadn't been obvious to me that by seeking God's best and doing my best for my husband, it would also strengthen and deepen my relationship with GOD. Now THAT was remarkable. All in all, the LOVE DARE journey was a delight and I thank KLOVE for encouraging us to take the dare!
2/18/2010 5:25:13 AM
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2/25/2010 4:13:08 PM
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2/26/2010 7:08:43 PM
Hyun Kujath Australia
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2/26/2010 7:08:44 PM
Felicidad Drahota Australia
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2/26/2010 7:08:45 PM
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2/28/2010 4:15:14 PM
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3/1/2010 10:09:05 PM
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Eli Wilner Master Framer
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3/2/2010 12:39:05 PM
Lori Dinesen United States
Lori Dinesen
Started the Love Dare a few weeks ago.  When I married my husband, I thought he loved me and he told me so, then after a month of marriage he told me he didn't love me, he didn't know why he married me.  He never moved in to my bedroom he took the spare room, his excuse was insomnia and he is unemployed and I work full time.  We have been married 7 months and made love 3 times, last time was two weeks afer we got married.  I had prayed for 20 years for God to give me a Godly husband and before we were married he fit all the criteria, it wasn't till after the marriage did things change.  The second month of our marriage, I wanted to end it, but everytime I would try to file for divorce, something would happen to prevent it.  So then I fasted and prayed and God said "Be still and know that I am God".  God has been sending people and resources to keep me encouraged to stay in the marriage.  I had to change me and allow God to work in me so he can work in our marriage.  So far nothing has changed other than my husband has a constant look of confusion on his face.  I know God is working in me.  God is the God of the impossible.  I am in it to win it but I can only do it with God's guidance and help.
3/3/2010 2:34:57 PM
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johnny solar
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3/3/2010 7:13:01 PM
johnny solar Australia
johnny solar
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1/24/2011 4:13:39 AM
Jeff United States
Jeff
Thank you God, Klove, and Love Dare for saving my marriage!
2/13/2011 10:38:17 PM
Tom United States
Tom
Well, completed the 40 days of the Love Dare coordinated with my son at the same time.  We have been able to share our thoughts as we have gone through this, and it has been a real blessing for both of us, and hopefully for our wives.  Thank's KLOVE for making this available.  
4/6/2011 3:02:15 AM
Heather United States
Heather
For micheal corbin!!!! wait and have patience god does not grant children to people for no reason trust me and you sound very devoted to her women just take awhile to come around patience is always a virtue
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