Monday, April 26, 2010
Yesterday, David Hibiske shared with our church a message entitled, "Relationships that Go the Distance". What a timely topic in a world of drive-thru relationships built on convenience and personal benefit. It's rare to find people who have been married for 50 years or who have maintained a friendship since childhood. People come and go, even in some of our most sacred relationships.
David did a great job exploring the difference between a contractual relationship and a covenantal relationship. Some relationships are intended to be contractual and are healthier that way: employer/employee or landlord/tenant. You do your part; I'll do mine. You keep your end of the bargain; I'll keep mine. Everyone's rights are protected. Everyone wins.
But when you try to make relationships contractual that God intends to be covenantal, no one wins. Marriage. Family. Your very closest friends. These are the relationships that you commit yourself to no matter what. If you go through trials, you go through them together. If you file bankruptcy, you rebuild together. If you "fall out of love", you realize that your commitment lies deeper than emotions.
Relationships that are based on a contract leave the door open. If you don't hold up your end of the deal, I'm outta here. But relationships that are based on a covenant close the door, lock it, and throw away the key. There is no out. This is for life and, no matter what comes are way, the only option we have is to get through this together.
On the surface, that type of commitment may sound suffocating...like you submit to being a prisoner. But in reality, it is the most liberating type of love anyone can experience. There's no insecurity in that type of love. Both people are completely free to be who they are without the fear of rejection or abandonment. You can never reach that level of intimacy in a contractual relationship.
David posed an interesting question for us to consider. I'll leave you with this thought: "Is it possible that you've been approaching your closest relationships with a contract perspective?"