Marriage 2 – covenant

The aim of this devotional study is to consider the nature of the marriage relationship.


Malachi 2:14-16

14  But you say, “Why does [the Lord not answer our prayers]?” Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. 15  Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. 16  “For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless.”

Proverbs 2:16-19

16  So you will be delivered from the forbidden woman, from the adulteress with her smooth words, 17  who forsakes the companion of her youth and forgets the covenant of her God; 18  for her house sinks down to death, and her paths to the departed; 19  none who go to her come back, nor do they regain the paths of life.


Definition: A covenant is a formal, binding agreement by which one party binds itself to another for life.

  1. Consider Malachi 2:14-16.
    1. What is God’s main accusation against the religiously devout Jews in this Text? Can you discern what practice he was countering?
    2. With what words does the prophet define marriage? What do you learn about marriage from this text?
    3. What are the results of defiling the marriage covenant from this text?
  2. Consider Proverbs 2:16-19.
    1. In one short sentence summarize this Proverb.
    2. What are the results of defiling the marriage covenant from this text?
  3. Both the Texts quotes above place the words “companion” and “covenant” next to each other.
    1. How does those two terms relate to marriage?
    2. What does that suggest about the nature of marriage?
    3. Notice that in the one Text “companion” and “covenant” is refers to the husband, and in the other Text these two terms are used in reference to the wife. What does this teach you about the nature of marriage.

Personal reflection and prayer

In essence, marriage is a covenant of companionship by which two people bind themselves before witnesses and God “until death do us part”.

The standard contemporary wedding vow reads as follows:

Do you [John] take [Jane] to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage?  Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her, for as long as you both shall live?

  1. Considering the Texts above, how does this typical wedding vow correspond to the “covenant of companionship” in the Texts above?
  2. For the married person:
    1. Was your wedding vow similar to this? Did you understand the impact of what you were doing when you made those vows before God and witnesses?
    2. In which ways have you been tempted to make an end to this marriage since your wedding? Why did you not do it?
    3. Malachi refers to God’s intervention once the wedding vows have been made. In which ways have you experienced God’s intervention into your marriage in your marriage?
    4. Partnerships are formed because “two is better than one” (see Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). What benefits have you and do you receive from this “covenant of companionship”? (You will enjoy this article on the Benefits of Marriage )
    5. Pray for grace to be faithful to “your spouse by covenant”.
  3. For the unmarried person:
    1. Why would you / would you not want to be married?
    2. Considering today’s devotional reflection, how does it impact your perception and expectation of marriage?
    3. Pray for your marriage partner and grace for faithfulness to one another.
  4. So you know someone close to you whose marriage is falling apart? Pray for them!


Marriage 1 – companionship

The aim of this devotional study series is to reflect on the nature and original intent of marriage.


Genesis 2:15-24

15  The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16  And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17  but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

18  Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”  19  Now out of the ground the LORD God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20  The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him.

21  So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22  And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23  Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” 24  Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.

Observations and reflections

  1. Who was the first person to realize Adam needs a mate? (v18)
    1. Why is this significant? [hint: the Garden of Eden, no flaws, God Himself walked with Adam…]
    2. When did God express the need for Adam to find a mate?
    3. When did Adam realize the need for a mate? (v19b-20)
    4. When did God start making a mate for Adam? (v21)
  2. What does the writer call Adam’s mate? (v18, 20b)
    1. What was the need that Adam’s mate had to fulfill? (v18) [hint: “it is not good that man should be…”]
    2. Considering this, what was the core responsibility of Adam’s mate? What did she have to “help” Adam with?

Application, personal reflection and prayer

God made Adam and gave him a job. Before Adam realize his need for companionship God said “it is not good for man to be alone” and made him a helper, a mate to rid him of his loneliness. So Essentially your marriage vow is a promise to be a companion, to help the other not feel alone again.

  1. When did you realize you need for companionship? How did it happen?
  2. When you think about marriage, what stands out most for you?
  3. If you are married: Talk to your spouse honestly and ask him/her whether he/she feels lonely at times in the marriage. Discuss your needs for intimacy and how you can better fulfill the other’s emotional needs.
    1. Pray that God will help you to selflessly fulfill the emotional needs of your spouse.
  4. If you are unmarried: We all have ideals about our future marriage partners, some valid and some silly. Taking today’s Biblical lesson into account, what is the most prominent thing your spouse ought to fulfill in you, and you in him/her?  How dis this affect your search for a mate? (i.e. appearance, education, financial acumen, abilities etc).
    1. Ask God for a companion, a mate, so that you may not walk alone. And ask Him to rid you of any silly ideas about such a person.