Below is a copy of the Covenant of Marriage to copy and print
WHEREAS, our Heavenly Father has entered into an everlasting covenant with both of us; and
WHEREAS, in light of our understanding of our covenant with the Heavenly Father, we each acknowledge that a covenant is “an unconditional promise and commitment to perform a vow regardless of the other person’s performance” and what we intend to make as covenant vows in addition to our previous marriage vows will expand the foundational promises and commitment to our marriage; and
WHEREAS, we the undersigned bride and groom further believe in the sanctity of the marriage union and that such is a covenant relationship ordained by God and we further recognize and acknowledge that “God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16) and “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder” (Matthew 19:6); and
WHEREAS, we are executing this document as a physical expression of the covenant of marriage in which we have previously entered and of the eternal invisible bonds and spiritual union which now bind us together; ______________ (husband) and ______________ (wife), do hereby intentionally, deliberately, and with full capacity enter this covenant as the written expression of the covenanted relationship of our marriage. Further, it is our intention that this written covenant be given full and complete recognition in all courts having jurisdiction in these matters, having the same legal significance as any valid understanding and agreement in the eyes of the law.
THEREFORE THE TERMS OF THE COVENANT ARE:
1. We understand, acknowledge, and bind our marriage union to the biblical principle of one man and one woman for life until physical death occurs.
2. We agree that despite the fact that the laws of man provide for divorce on a no-fault basis, divorce is not an option or alternative available to either party to ever bring an end to our marriage union.
3. Because covenant marriage is the pattern of Christ’s love for His bride, the church, we commit to base our marriage on love according to the words of 1 Corinthians 13.
4. We both acknowledge that this covenant cannot truly be implemented without accountability. Therefore, as husband and wife, we both agree to submit to the leadership of a mutually agreed upon local church. We further covenant that upon leaving one local church fellowship we will, as soon as it is practical, unite with another local fellowship and that we will provide a copy of this covenant to the pastor or elder, asking that he and the church support us as we seek to abide by this covenant.
5. We acknowledge that we do not have the capacity within ourselves to faithfully carry out the covenant of marriage as expressed herein. We acknowledge that the only way in which we can faithfully carry out our commitments is through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit who called us into eternal covenant with the Heavenly Father and enables us to live in that covenant.
6. Further, in the likely event that a dispute will arise during our marriage, each party agrees to submitting to one another (Ephesians 5:21), preferring one another in honor (Philippians 2:2-4), and expressing love to one another based upon 1 Corinthians 13.
If we are not able to resolve the dispute in such a way that the Lord is glorified, as described in the preceding paragraph, the either party may call upon the appropriate leader or leadership in our local church to sit as mediator, and help us resolve the said dispute in the spirit of Matthew 18: 15-17 and Galatians 6:1.
If for some reason we are still not able to resolve the dispute with the use of mediator(s) from our church, then we both agree to submit to binding arbitration with a panel of three Christians mature in the faith as selected and agreed upon by us, or if agreement cannot be reached, then by appointment by the mediator(s). The arbitrators must agree in principle and practice to the letter and spirit of this covenant. No arbitrator is acceptable who would in any way recommend or counsel toward separation and divorce. According to Amos 3:3, the arbitrators must walk in agreement with this covenant. The arbitrators shall render their decision in accordance with the process as contained in Matthew 18: 1517 and I Corinthians 6: 1-7. We hereby confer jurisdiction on the said arbitrators and submit ourselves to that jurisdiction to enable them to render a final decision in this matter with full and complete authority. We agree to abide by the decision reached in arbitration. We understand that we are voluntarily forfeiting our right to seek redress in or through the courts. We further agree that the decision of the arbitrators cannot and will not be appealed.
FURTHERMORE, we realize that the no-fault divorce laws give jurisdiction to decide marital disputes to the courts of the various states and that potentially either spouse can seek divorce without cause. Further, the courts are limited by the laws as to the relief that they may grant in such a situation. We therefore would request any court which might for any reason acquire jurisdiction over our marriage to recognize the validity of the covenant of marriage agreement as binding, just as other types of such antenuptial or postnuptial agreements, and to refuse to accept jurisdiction, abate any such action, and require the parties to proceed through the steps for dispute resolution, as outlined above. We further release any such court from implementing or applying any divorce law to this marriage relationship or contrary to the covenant, expressed herein.
BE IT KNOWN, to all who read this document of our commitment to the Word of God and our trust in a loving Heavenly Father. Be it further known that we affirm that there is no problem or difficulty so large, no wall of separation so thick, or valley of disappointment so deep it cannot be overcome or bridged by our I Corinthians 13 love for one another.
WE BOTH AGREE, that neither party will unreasonably withhold his / her consent or agreement where such may be herein required.
IN CONSIDERATION, of the promises and other good and valuable consideration flowing from our marriage relationship, this covenant and mutual agreement be bound as one flesh for as long as we both shall live, and was entered into before the Living God and the witnesses listed below on the:
_____ day of the month of _______________, in the year ___________.