Posted by: Keli | March 20, 2008

Walking in a Covenant Relationship

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Microsoft Word Version: Walking in a Covenant Relationship Document

There are three different kinds of relationship: acquaintance, friendship, and covenant. An acquaintance is someone who knows your name and you know their name, but that is about as far as the relationship goes. If trouble comes your way, they may act like they don’t even know you, and could possibly come against you. A friend is someone you spend time with and you know to some extent, but when trouble comes, they might not stand with you in it; they will not oppose you but they probably won’t stick around when you face the fire for fear of smelling like smoke. A covenant relationship is different; it is like a marriage. No matter what you are facing, those in covenant relationship will face it with you. Sometimes, like in a marriage, you don’t always agree, but you are walking in a covenant relationship so you agree to disagree until the Lord brings you both (or all) to the place of understanding. Sometimes this is hard, and the world and our society would say find some new friends, but by walking together and counting the relationship with my brothers and sisters in Christ as more important than my own desires, then deep fellowship is shared. The Bible talks about a relationship “closer that a brother.” A covenant relationship is what that verse refers to. It is not quick and there is no 12-step program to achieve this. It comes with walking together, day in and day out, and speaking the truth in love.

Back in the late 1980’s our friends (two couples) sat my husband and I down and talked to us about how we were raising our children. Evan, our youngest, was just over a year, Maren 3, Tori 6 and Jason 8. They told us that they had observed what was important to mom (Keli) and what was important to dad (Wayne) was not always the same and appeared contradictory. They told us the kids played us against one another in the mom-said, dad-said game sometimes. They also told us they would walk with us in this and help us raise our children; they weren’t going anywhere. It was hard to hear and I cried about it. I’m sure it was hard for them to talk to us since none of them even had children. But it was spoken in love and we received their word to us. Wayne and I spent a lot of time working together and with our friends about peace in the home. Wayne and I have always had a good relationship but it was time to present a unified front to our children for the betterment of us all. Wayne made sure that what I thought was important was done (like not sitting down at the table until dinner was ready). When Wayne was home and the children wanted to do something or go somewhere I always referred them to him, the head of the household, to make the decision. If I didn’t agree with the decision we would speak privately in our bedroom, and then he could change his mind if he wanted to, but I never verbalized or questioned his decision in front of the kids. This is one of the best choices I have ever made and is, I believe, the secret to a happy marriage. (More on this topic later if you want it.) To make a long story short, our friends walking with us in covenant relationship changed our lives. It was awesome and set the precedent for many conversations about children, families, relationship, etc., for all of us. Working through some of the uncomfortable things like this really strengthened our relationships and prepared us to deal with things like the death of my friend Amy’s mother, businesses going bankrupt, and the death of baby Riley in our home. In walking with one another through all of life, the good, the bad, with all of our faults and shining moments together, we have a bond that is unbreakable in the fullness of fellowship with Christ.

A covenant relationship is not always easy but it is one of the most fulfilling things in my life and has brought me into a deeper relationship with the Lord. I shudder to think of where I would be without my relationship with the Believers God has blessed my family with.

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