Marriage Covenant

In this day, when rights are so strongly emphasized, it is easy to lose sight of one of the most fundamental rights we have as human beings made in the image of God. It is the right of every human being to be able to look into the eyes of at least one other person whom he can absolutely and completely trust, knowing that he or she would never deliberately do him harm and would only seek his good. Every married person should be able to do this. This trust reflects the nature of God Himself and His heart towards man. There are ways this trust is established and there are ways it is broken down.

Virginity was once a sign of normal, wholesome goodness. It was seen as cheap and tawdry to trade it in for self-centered pleasure instead of reserving your whole being for your spouse. A woman bears a sign of virginity in her flesh, a covering over her most private, intimate place. Behind that sign lies the essence of her identity in creation — she is the bearer of life. That was the name of Eve, the mother of all living.

Grave Consequences

When a woman kept herself pure for her husband, it was a sign that she was also reserving for him her whole self, her whole life, her love for him alone. All over the world this was once seen as a noble thing, that a young woman would so guard her heart. Today, of course, it is seen as a light, inconsequential thing to lose your virginity. Actually, it has grave consequences.

When a young man kept himself pure for the day of his wedding, he showed that he wasn't going to be 'one of the boys'. It showed he'd become an adult. An adult is someone who has learned to put aside his selfish nature and is capable of looking out for the good of others. Some people never grow up. Make no mistake about it, all sexual relationships outside that of a husband and his wife are selfish and without foundation. A man who keeps himself pure would only desire a woman who kept herself pure. Such a man shows that he fears and honors his Creator.

The loss of the honorable and essential place of virginity in society today signals the loss of the birthright. There is an inevitable cost to violating your conscience in such a fundamental matter — it does irreparable harm to your ability to form deep relationships. Sexuality before or outside of marriage, or not between a man and a woman, twists something in the very nature of a man or woman. It damages the most godlike aspect of humanity — people's ability to make and keep a covenant.

Men and women need friends. They need other human beings who don't fear the cost of being their true friend. There is a cost, because when you get involved in someone's life, you get the whole package. Casual friendships, casual sex, and living together all avoid the lifelong commitment of friendship. The demands of friendship are too high for the selfish heart, but without such friendship, men and women do not fully develop and become whole. Their personalities and character remain fragmented and immature. You can see the sad results all around you in society. It is a tragedy.

Mutual Selfishness

The very word covenant is all but meaningless today. A contract is the closest concept most of us have. Instead of entering the covenant of marriage, couples now sign prenuptial agreements, dividing up their assets in anticipation of the time when their mutual selfishness no longer allows them to live together.

But in reality, in the truth that we all know, there is something deep in the heart of every person that longs to make a covenant with another person. A blood covenant is the closest, most enduring, most solemn and sacred of all contracts. Those who make a covenant will be loyal to it to the point of shedding their own blood. That is why there is blood shed at the time you make a covenant: it means that this agreement is made at the expense of your life.

This desire to be bound together in covenants — to promise your life, love, and protection unto death to another human being — is inborn in all men and women. It is in them because it is in their Creator. They are like Him. This desire is behind their longing to marry. Marriage is a blood covenant that is sealed by the shedding of blood upon the union of a man and a woman. The marriage covenant is a covenant unto death. The one who breaks it deserves death.

The man who would lie with a virgin and then forsake her is a treacherous man — never to be trusted again. The virgin who would lie with a man and forsake him has taken on the nature of a harlot — whether she chooses to be paid in money or other wages. They have both turned their backs on the true meaning of a man and woman becoming one flesh in the sexual union. That union is meant to establish the bonding of marriage. It means that all other aspects of their relationship are right and ready. That union enhances the personalities of both the man and wife. It is the foundation for all trust between them. It is the basis of a moral society. Where that trust is lacking, men and women have turned their backs on their birthright — the potential to be like their Creator. Like Him, men and women who enter into a covenant will never break it, no matter what the cost.

When a man and woman come together in physical intimacy, it is the most profound statement by the two, that "my life is yours — just as I give my body to you, so I give my whole being and all my love to you." This is the absolute standard in every person's conscience. If the moral nature of man breaks down, the physical nature follows. That is why sexually-transmitted diseases are rampant in the world today. But if there is a right foundation for sex, then the life and fruit from such union will be good.

Good Fruit

You will see the natural outcome of such a union — a happy married life, and wanted, desired children who grow up to be moral, responsible adults who respect other human beings. This is the basis upon which human society exists. Apart from this foundation, human society will crumble as it is doing today.

Yahshua, the Son of God, said, Every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit (Matthew 7:17). The wanted and the unwanted child are both marked for life. They will live lives in accordance with the security and authority they have either known or not known. The breakdown among families today inevitably points back to the bad beginning — that the sexual intimacy between the parents was less than the highest expression of love between them. Selfishness fathers selfishness; insecurity mothers insecurity. How hard is it to straighten a tree allowed to bend in its youth.

So how serious is unfaithfulness in the sexual relationship? How serious is it that a child would not even know his father because he didn't love his mother enough to marry her? How serious is it to violate the covenant of marriage?

As serious as anything gets. What was lost can never be regained. It is like a deadly virus that infects the whole body. Once triggered, it sets in motion a chain of events that feed off one another until the end result is reached — destruction and death. To acquire the disease is to be doomed. Sin is the same way.

There's only one remedy for the deadly virus of sin. It is found in the New Covenant of our Master Yahshua. He has already shed the required blood to seal this new covenant. He did it out of His love for us so we could live and give our lives to Him. The peace of His forgiveness is very real. It's priceless; it's worth everything. Giving Him everything is the only proper response:

He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf (2 Corinthians 5:15).

Read a newspaper article about one of our weddings

The Twelve Tribes is a confederation of twelve self-governing tribes, composed of self-governing communities. We are disciples of the Son of God whose name in Hebrew is Yahshua. We follow the pattern of the early church in Acts 2:44 and 4:32, truly believing everything that is written in the Old and New Covenants of the Bible, and sharing all things in common.

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