Who was president when you got married?
Thank You, Lord, that Your mercies are new every morning.
Exodus 34:6–7 ESV: “The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in covenant love [hesed] and faithfulness, keeping covenant love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.’”
God wants us to have a fresh start, a reset, in our marriage. Marriage is based on “steadfast love” or “covenant love” (hesed in the original language). A marriage covenant has two distinct parts: the legal contract of the marriage agreement and the loving connection that involves mercy, loyalty, and faithfulness. You need the legal contract side of covenant so that sentimentality and feelings do not rule the relationship, and you need the loving connection side so that your marriage does not feel like a debt or an obligation. Let’s look at this element of steadfast love, or hesed, as it relates to our spouse. Remember that marriage should mirror the love and faithfulness of the Lord.
Many people do not value the legal contract of marriage and instead opt to live together in open sin. Why do you think that happens?
When we mirror God’s faithfulness, we respond to our spouse in love and forgiveness. Hesed in marriage declares the following:
Merciful—“I will show you compassion when you are at your lowest point.” Gracious—“I will be generous and give to you whatever you need, even if you don’t deserve it.”
Who shows the most mercy in your marriage: you or your spouse? Share with the group.
Slow to anger—“I will have infinite patience with you, giving you time for God to change you.” Steadfast love—”I will be devoted to you for the rest of our lives, regardless of what we go through.” Faithfulness—“I will be loyal to you and never bring my affection to an outsider.”
Are you easy to approach to receive the loyal affection of your spouse? Share with the group.
Forgive and forget all the retained memories that you hold on to in your mind: the words spoken, the disappointments, the times your spouse was not there for you, the times they failed you spiritually, financially, or even morally.
Why should a disappointed spouse put steadfast love, or hesed, above their own personal feelings? Share with the group.
Everyone fails in marriage. We are frail and human, but through Christ we can forgive and show steadfast love, preserving our marriage covenant. You can have a reset with your spouse only if you have a reset with Lord. Anything is possible with the Lord.
Let mercy be your default response this week. Let your judge and jury take the week off. Be slow to anger, and value loyalty as your highest goal.