July 7

Written in Ink

I said, "I will never break My covenant with you." JUDGES 2:1

In the summer of 1997, I was sitting at my computer writing an article, praying and asking myself, How can we rebuild the family in America? I wasn't just pondering this because it was my job to do so or because I had spent my entire adult life focused on this calling and endeavor. More importantly and specifically, I was thinking about my oldest daughter's wedding, which at the time was just a few days away. Was there something I could say or do that would help Ashley and Michael begin a marriage that would go the distance?

That's when God brought to mind the concept of covenant, which means literally "to cut." Many scholars believe that in Old Testament days, a covenant between two people was often made by splitting an animal in half, laying the two sides apart from each other on the ground, walking between these bloody pieces and pledging, "May God do the same thing to me if I break my covenant with you" (Genesis 15). Well, I thought that would make a real mess on the church carpet, but I still wanted to incorporate "covenant" into their wedding ceremony in some visible way.

So I took their wedding vows to a calligrapher, who inscribed them on a sheet of pure cotton paper. And immediately after Ashley and Michael exchanged their vows verbally during the ceremony, they signed this marriage covenant. The pastor then asked if anyone in the audience wanted to come forward and sign it as well, as witnesses to the covenant this couple had entered into. A line formed quickly of friends and family members, promising to help hold them accountable to their wedding vows.

Today, their marriage covenant hangs above the fireplace in their home as a constant reminder of the pledge they once made at a wedding altar, just as you once did. May you always be true to your covenant.

DISCUSS

Think of something special you could do—even now—to remind yourselves of the seriousness of your marriage covenant.

PRAY

Come before God today and rekindle your wedding promises.

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