Simple Definition of contract
: a legal agreement between people, companies, etc.
: a document on which the words of a contract are written
Sometimes denotes an agreement between persons (1 Sam. 23:18) or nations (1 Sam. 11:1); more often between God and man; but in this latter case it is important to notice that the two parties to the agreement do not stand in the relation of independent and equal contractors. God in His good pleasure fixes the terms, which man accepts. The same word is sometimes rendered “testament.”
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the doctrine of marriage is an essential part of the Father’s great plan of happiness.
In order for the children of God to progress, men and women need to enter into the sacred covenant of marriage. Both the man and the woman bring to the marriage relationship different, but equal contributions. The union of a man and a women establishes the divinely designed environment where children can be raised.
The Family: A Proclamation to the World states, “Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.”
If marriage has bearing on our eternal destiny then it cannot be initiated by a simple contract, easily dissolved. The agreement, must be made by covenant. As stated above, God fixes the terms for this agreement.
Elder David A. Bednar taught, “The Lord Jesus Christ is the focal point in a covenant marriage relationship. As husband and wife are each drawn to the Lord, as they learn to serve and cherish one another, as they share life experiences and grow together and become one, and as they are blessed through the uniting of their distinctive natures, they begin to realize the fulfillment that our Heavenly Father desires for His children. Ultimate happiness, which is the very object of the Father’s plan, is received through the making and honoring of eternal marriage covenants.”
There are many challenges in life that can weaken the fibers of a marriage. Money problems, raising troubled teens, the death of a child, job relocations, issues with extended family, all have the potential to take a toll, unless the couple is committed to one another and to the covenant they made with God.
Any one of these problems in a contract marriage could send one or both parties in search of a divorce. Many think they can just get out of the marriage if things don’t go just the way they should. That attitude is the basis of a contract marriage. Easily begun easily ended.
An eternal marriage is a sacred covenant not only for time, but for all eternity. It is not a contract that can be ended when one decides they are done. Covenants are binding commitments that require sacrifice and righteousness. In this world where the value of marriage, and even the definition of marriage continues to be corrupted, children need men and women; mothers and fathers who honor their marriage covenants.
Men and women need a companion that will honor them by honoring their covenants. Think of the world we would have if more marriages were honored and remain in effect for the duration of a couple’s lives. Those marriage, bound by the sealing powers, have the potential to be eternal.
For my own edification I put “Contract vs. Covenant Marriage” into a google search and found some very interesting blogs. Interestingly a couple of the ones that appealed most to me are not LDS. I am grateful to see other faiths embrace and teach the principle of a covenant marriage. For the most part we have a contract-oriented mindset about marriage that actually has the opposite benefit of what the term implies.
Here are a couple links to the ones that I enjoyed:
I would love to hear your thoughts and see the posts on this topic that inspire you to have a covenant marriage.