Last spring I had the honor of standing up in my cousin Rebecca’s wedding. Don’t you just love weddings? Marriage is one of God’s greatest blessings and I always feel so inspired and joyful (and okay maybe a bit sappy) when I’m able to attend one. Seeing her walk down the aisle with her veil over her beautiful face is so symbolic. She walks not just towards her husband-to-be but towards a new life. She walks towards a new covenant and in that, a new covering.
I’ve thought about the word “covenant” a lot lately. Passover is an awesome reminder of the covenant God made with us—to stand beside us, to work within us, to forgive us, to protect us and to cause us to grow. He has pledged Himself to each of us. What an awesome and inspiring thought! When her veil was lifted and she turned towards her betrothed, it struck me—this is how we are when we kneel before our Creator: unveiled, revealed and open. Glowing with love and anticipation of the communion ahead. A basic and core element of our covenant with God is our ability to be unveiled before Him. We must be honest about who we are, what we struggle with and the sins we commit. Exposed, laid bare, unveiled.
The marriage covenant is the beginning of a bond, a life-long team, in it together for better or for worse. I can remember how special that day was for us and how much I longed to be united and bound to Alex. As a woman it is a comforting thing to know you will forever have someone who will look after you, lead you, take care of you and cover you from the outside world. It is also a high calling to devote yourself fully to helping and encouraging your husband to become the man God has called him to be. To sacrifice and to submit your own desires to show him the agape love He has called you to. That is how a covenant works: it is a binding agreement between two parties where each gives something to the other. God has promised us so much in His covenant. The question I really must ask myself each Passover season is: “What am I giving back to Him? How well am I doing at fulfilling my end of the covenant? Am I devoting my life to serving Him?”
The only way a marriage covenant will work is if both parties recognize the need to fulfill their end of the bargain. It is a daily choice—to give more than to get. We must choose to sacrifice our desires for theirs. In so doing, each one fills the other. It is the same with the covenant we made with our Creator at baptism. God has poured His Holy Spirit, grace, understanding and law into me; what am I pouring back out to Him and to those He has created? That is an essential question I think we all should ask: “Am I fulfilling my end of the covenant?”
“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Peter 2:9 1 Peter 2:9But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light;
American King James Version×, NIV, emphasis added).
Editor’s note: This blog was published with permission by the author, who originally published it on her personal website on March 14, 2013, at http://awisewomanbuildsherhome.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/covenant/