“It is because the LORD is the witness between you and the wife of your youth. You have been unfaithful to her, though she is your partner, the wife of your marriage covenant” (Malachi 2:14)

What is a consumer relationship? A consumer relationship is something you have with probably every store that you shop at. In a consumer relationship you will continue to shop at a certain store as long as they provide the product with a certain quality for a good price. As soon as the product, quality or price doesn’t match your standard or as soon as you feel you are putting out more than you’re getting in, you break the relationship. In other words, in a consumer relationship you say, “My needs are more important than the relationship.”

Unfortunately in our society many have carried over a “consumer relationship” mindset into marriage. All live-in situations are really nothing more than a consumer relationship. Even in marriages, if you operate with a consumer mindset, as soon as you feel you are putting into the relationship more than you’re getting out, you want out.

That’s not God’s design for marriage. God has designed marriage as a covenant. You see, in a covenant the relationship is more important than the individual’s needs. A covenant is a legal, binding, promise and vow of commitment. In a covenant relationship you say, “I will adjust to you, I’ve made a vow, a promise, a commitment, my needs are less important than maintaining the relationship.”

That’s exactly what a parent does with a child. You commit to them in spite of your feelings. You get up with them in the middle of the night in spite of your need for sleep. You take care of them when sick, in spite of your need to stay healthy. You sacrifice and give. Why? Because the relationship is more important than your needs or feelings. And what happens? You develop an incredible love for your children- even though they don’t give you much at all in return. If only husbands and wives would treat their marriages that way!

Ultimately God has entered a covenant with you and me. For all of us who have treated marriage like a consumer relationship, in Jesus, God took on our human flesh to forgive our sinfulness so that we’d be in a relationship with Him for all eternity.

Renewed by His covenant to you, keep your marriage covenant,