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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Difference between Love, Trust and Drawing Boundaries

Should the Christian wife allow her husband to continue to physically beat her because she has the love of Christ in her? In other words, is it an act of love to stay with someone who physically harms you?

First, let me say that love is not conditional upon the circumstances. Love is a gift from God in which we love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). However, love does not demand remaining in an abusive situation. Why would Jesus say that divorce is possible under adultery if this was not the case? Why would Paul say that you should allow a spouse to leave if he or she wants to leave?

Paul wrote this about love:

1 Corinthians 13:7 (NIV) 
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Someone taking a cursory examination of this scripture could justify staying with an physically, abusive husband, continuing on with a wife who continues to commit adultery or following the wife or husband who keeps leaving. It must have a deeper meaning or it makes no sense at all.

(Let me give my own translation of this verse. "It (love) always puts up with, always believes, always hopes always endures." No, this word for word translation doesn't help much but I think that "protect" instead of "puts up with" is reasonably significant.)

Love does all these things mentioned, however, love does not need to end when actions seem contrary to love. In other words, a child may say he is not loved when he is punished while the parent is truly acting in love for the child when punishment is being administered. A spouse may claim that drawing boundaries around the relationship is not love when it really is.

If loving relationships are void of boundaries why do we put, ". . . and I pledge to you my faithfulness until death do us part," in our wedding vows. That boundary is an act of love. It is trusted when it is stated because there is no reason to disbelieve the one saying it.

Does God have boundaries? Of course! They can be seen throughout the Bible when God says that He will allow for bad things to happen if His people are unfaithful to Him. Yet, His love never disappears.

 Exodus 34:7 (NIV)
7 maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."

Obviously, God administers punishment with no loss of love. He loves us with an everlasting love while maintaining boundaries in the relationship.

Should we expect to act in a manner that God Himself is not willing to act?

But what about trust? What does it mean when Paul says that love "believes all things?" The New International Commentary on the New Testament says of this phrase, "Paul does not mean that love always believes the best about everything and everyone, but that love never ceases to have faith; it never loses hope." (New International Commentary on the New Testament; The First Epistle to the Corinthians; Gordon D. Fee, p. 640) You can love someone and trust them to act as they have acted in the past. You can love someone a believe that God will work in their hearts and change them. Love never stops believing this. Love never stops hoping for this. Love continues in the face of all of this.

Boundaries are drawn tighter when trust is lost. Take the example of a teenage daughter who has been caught smoking pot with friends late at night. Should her parents allow her to continue to go out late because love is defined as "believing all things?" No, they should draw the boundaries. (Of course, there are a lot of other things they will need to do if they want to express their love to her.) They should allow her to win back their trust by living faithfully within the boundaries.

The same would be true for the unfaithful spouse. He or she should make sure that the spouse knows exactly what is going on at all times. It is after a period of faithfulness within the boundaries that trust is increased and some boundaries are loosened.

Therefore, truly love one another. Celebrate clear boundaries which will allow love and trust to increase.

10 comments:

high-expressions said...

Ps Prentis, I find this entry of yours, a little difficult to follow. It might be better to make the distinction between marriage and love.

Marriage and love is NOT one and the same. Marriage is first of all, a commitment, taking the form of a vow taken by both parties. It is a “contract” to jointly bind each to the other, of their lives, and together, live a joined life. In Genesis, it was put in this way: The man will leave his parents, and be joined with the woman. It is a vow, committing one’s entire life; and so, it incorporates “till death do us part”. In this sense, marriage and love is NOT equated. In other words, marriage is NOT love as such, and love is NOT marriage as such. It only appears that marriage is love, but if one starts with love, then one realizes love is NOT necessarily marriage. In the actual, it is love, is to be found in a marriage, in a sibling relationship, in a family, in friendship, in relationship with God, etc, etc. When Jesus spoke about the joining together, Jesus reiterated that it is an institution by God, and such joined life, no one is to separate. In other words, the vow to undertake life together in that special relationship of marriage is for life; only when one dies, does the vow cease.

So when a wife and her husband are being referred to, as in the case cited of the husband beating up the wife, from the viewpoint of marriage, the institution stays valid. The bashings do NOT invalid the vow or we say the joining is NOT broken. It is quite apart from love or forgiveness.

Can we use it as ground to break the vow? Basing on God’s Word, “No”. But it does NOT mean that the wife cannot have a restraining order taken against the husband. And the restraining order also does NOT break the vow. In other words, the restraining order does NOT make the woman and man no longer husband and wife.

Now, if Mr A is in USA, and his wife is in Singapore, distance too, does NOT break the vow, and it does mean that the wife can join with another man, or Mr A could join with another woman. Marriage is a special relationship and it is exclusive.

What I am saying is that it is NOT against God’s Word to have the wife temporarily NOT staying with the abusive husband; FOR, AND the marriage, still holds. People got to remember that; strictly speaking, the marriage still holds, and the parties are to live with that mindset and heart-set.

It is the same for many situations and factors; until there is a divorce, the 2 parties are STILL married, and they are to live their lives with that mindset and heart-set. The exclusivity of that special marriage relationship cannot be emphasized more.

Of course, the word, “marriage” is the word we used to described that joining; even if Mr A, for example (or his wife in Singapore), lives joined lives with another WITHOUT proper legal status, it is still a violation of the exclusivity, or we say, adultery has been committed. Actually, that joined life that we understand it as instituted by God, is NOT just sexual intercourse, but that is the threshold used legalistically for the crossing of line, and we termed that as adultery.

But under the Woman Charter, is it NOT ground enough to divorce another, when the husband beats up the wife? Yes, but the Woman Charter is NOT the Word of God. Invoking the Woman Charter on this is, men deciding to put asunder what God has joined together. So, one must be prepared to answer to God for this, if she invokes, and secures the divorce. The Words DOES say “no one shall put asunder”; you got to explore all other avenues that can prevent you from being beaten up by your husband, including living away for a season.

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high-expressions said...

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I do NOT want to answer the question of whether or NOT, God could ever accept your divorcing your husband. Yet, I am saying that you do NOT need to or should allow your husband to beat you up, again and again. Marriage does NOT mean that you have to do that, allowing your husband to continue to beat you up.

Do you have to forgive your husband for having beaten you up? Yes, but you do NOT necessarily have to go back and stay with him if you think that he will continue to beat you up. Forgiving and trusting are separate matter, also. Remember this: Your forgiving of another is NOT dependent on the degree of trust you going to have for the person, afterwards; and your trust of the person, is also NOT dependant on whether or NOT you have forgiven the person. Forgiveness is always about a past act, and it got nothing to do with the future. And trust has got to do with the future, and so, it has got nothing to do with your forgiveness. You do NOT need to fall for this:”But you forgave me-what; so you have to trust me, right?” Wrong. As Christians, we MUST forgive but trust, once lost, needs to be earned back. Minimally, time is needed.

What about boundaries? There are always boundaries; and the loosening of boundaries goes hand in hand with maturity, goes hand in hand with trust. I will always have boundaries around me, for I have NOT fully matured, and because I am NOT fully trustworthy.

What about love? Where does it come in, in all of this? In the first place, the love talked about by the Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 13, is what is called “God-kinda” of love, or the love of God. So, it is NOT any kind of love, but the love of God. And so, unless one has some understanding of what the love of God is, apart from what is said of it, in 1 Cor 13:7, one cannot appreciate, there is absolutely nothing wrong with what the verse said.

Very simply, if we have our (kinda of) love in mind when we read that verse, of 1 Cor 13:7, we, most inevitably, conclude this: “No-lah, it is NOT like that-lah!” It is because our love is inferior, and it is inferior because it has NOT fully taken the form of love that is “God-kinda” of love. We are only learning to love with love of God; all of us are NOT yet perfect, still learning.

On Ps Prentis’ statement of “However, love does not demand remaining in an abusive situation”, I would rather it, be said as: “Marriage or joined life from the marital vow, does not demand remaining in an abusive situation.” In other words, when you put yourself away from the abusive situation (apart from divorce), you are NOT going against God’s command of “No one shall put asunder, marriage”.

Is there anything wrong with Ps Prentis’ declaration? The declaration per se, there is nothing wrong with it, when the perfect love of God is being referred to. But as a link-back, to the case at the start of the article, it is NOT a question of love, as such, to remain or NOT, in an abusive situation!

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high-expressions said...

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First, we got to be clear that it is an abusive situation, the bashing of the wife by the husband; and it is NOT the same as parent caning a child, for a valid reason. And so, when it is an abusive situation, the love of the wife is NOT called into question, if she so decides NOT to remain in the abusive situation. Which is the apple, which is the orange; abusive husband and battered wife; disciplining parent and a wayward child? There is no doubt if we apply God-kinda of love, the disciplining parent is still loving, and the child is to remain in that love; but where is the love of the abusive husband battering the wife (there was no valid reason given for beating up the woman)? And so, it is NOT a case of the wife is to remain in that love of the husband. The love of the wife is NOT called into question; and there is NOT love, in the man battering his wife. It is therefore, in my opinion, better to leave out the question of love, and address the more immediate issues of protection for the woman, of avoiding the raising of divorce, as far as possible, and of addressing the hurt inflicted, and her eventual wholeness which necessitates her forgiving of her husband for having beaten her up, of rendering proper understanding of nil-relationship between forgiveness and trust.

Having said above, still it is valid to pose the question of which is greater, commitment (marital vow or “contract”) or love? It is, of course, love. When perfect love meets with perfect love, there is NOT even the need of any contract or vow. Currently, only God is of perfect love, and so, in the relationship between us and God, as much as we say it as a love relationship, there is the covenant, there are the boundaries, for this simple reason, i.e. that we are NOT yet perfect, and NOT yet perfect in our love.

For now, for us to go, as near to perfect love or the love of God, we have to rely and depend on God, for He is the source of that kinda of love, and He is the only one with all the “means” to pursue that kinda of love. For us, we can only grow (in love) from measure to measure or from glory to glory, in tandem with such things as our faith. Because we are NOT there yet, we have to act commensurate with our faith and favor of God. For this very reason, we observe there is, at times, subjectivity or we make allowance for people, to ultimately, to do or NOT to do, certain matter.

There is both the corporate and personal dimensions to the Christian faith; and there is such a thing as each is with a personal level of faith and favor from God. No, the saying in Scripture, of “God is without favoritism” does NOT mean everyone is the same in all respects; it is NOT like that. It is along the line of there is justice but there is NOT equality. We can help build faith, we can encourage faith, through giving of understanding, facilitating the working of the Holy Spirit, etc, etc, but ultimately, a person moves with his measure of faith and favor, if he/she is moving singly.

As I have said before, the battered wife’s love is NOT called into question; but if she wants to help the husband, and so, there is added into the picture, another dimension (attempt to help the man with the problem). It is these other dimensions, that at times, issues of love of the woman come into the picture; but it is quite separate from her being beaten up, and what she is to do, for her condition.

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high-expressions said...

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If she wants to remain or go back, and it is out of her love for husband, and she wants to see that her loved one be changed or healed, she got do that, in tandem with her faith and her favor of God, and she got to sense God’s direction for her, as to how she could be of help in the transformation or healing of the husband. One must understand that we need the blessing of God to do extraordinary exploit; we need God’s help; but God does NOT want us to be foolish. God uses foolish things, but foolishness is NOT meant to be the hallmark of a believer. Scripture exhorts wisdom and NOT foolishness. Loving with the love of God is NOT foolishness, but we do often need God’s grace and help, in doing that, especially it is to love the unlovable, and more so, to love those intent to harm us.

If you want to stay to love him who intents on harming you, you got to be wise and watchful, and you got to be prepared to even, back away, if initially, it is the wise thing to do (to stay).

It was NOT a marriage thing, but there was the commitment and there was the love involved, although, it was NOT, love between a man and a woman (nevertheless, it was love), the case of David’s relation with King Saul; but we are able to see parallel issues: there was a relation between David and King Saul, there was the love David had for the King, there was commitment of David to the King, there was the constant threat of harm by King Saul on David; and there was great reluctance on the part of David to break that relation he insisted as instituted by God – the Kingship of Saul over him; despite it all, David still recognized Saul was his King. In it all, when we study how David acted with King Saul trying to harm him, we see David’s honoring of the relation, and commitment; we see David’s exercise of wisdom, and watchfulness, we see David’s perseverance in his love for the King, and yet, we also, finally, see David’s leaving King Saul, so as to protect himself. David said he had better to do that, if NOT, one of the days, he would die at the hand of Saul; and he (David) went off, into the Philistine land. David maneuvered through it all, commensurate with his faith in God, with his favor with God, and when it was time for him to go, he went, instead of allowing himself to be foolishly harmed or killed by Saul.

We exhort love and I exhort love, but to walk in love, and nothing but love, is NOT something we can do easily, without the grace and help of God. Even as we love, we are to be wise. To accept Jesus can be easily done, but to live the Christian life of love is NOT. We got to unlearn a lot, and we got to learn so many things; we need to learn His ways, for we need His wisdom, his favor, his grace, his mercy, and his help. There is no short-cut, like we can try do it by own strength or our own ways or through the ways of the world; we cannot make it. Be diligent to get to know God, and to learn His ways, so that, we can truly walk in God’s kinda of love.

Specifically, for 1 Cor 13:7 that said that love, it always protects {bears}, it always trusts {believes}, it always hopes, it always perseveres (NIV); that love, as I have already mentioned, is referring to God-kinda love or love of God. And yes, we are exhorted to love with the love of God, but it is NOT that we are perfectly loving God and people, with the love of God; we are growing (you are supposed to) in doing that.

Firstly, if we do NOT talk about actions, then there is nothing to talk about; it is all emptiness, a “beating of air”, inconsequential. When it is said that love always protects (or bears), it really is saying that love will lead to actions that protect (bears), NOT harm.

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high-expressions said...

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In the first place, how could a Christian man bash up his wife? Of course, it can happen, it is because it is NOT the norm for a person, when he enters into salvation, he, immediately becomes perfect in his love. It is WRONG to teach that all we need is one act, just accept Jesus Christ, and we are done, set for life, no need to do anything in order to live a life pleasing to God – no need, even, to please God; no need to grow in perfection; instantly perfect or volitionally righteous! No, it calls for life-long growing in righteousness, in perfection, in loving with the love of God. Some believers just don’t grow enough, and he still ends up, a wife-basher!

When we say that love is a gift (Often, I tried NOT to say this, unless, I spell out the context), it is really referring to this: The love is given out as a gift, and a person receives it as a gift. When a baby is born, it has NOT done anything, yet the mother loves the child. The mother’s love of the child is a gift; the baby did NOT merit or earn it. Now I love this woman, but NOT that woman, of course, we are referring the special category of love; it is a gift, meaning, the other woman or women just have to accept it, that they are not having it, for it is NOT a thing they can merit for.

Now, it is NOT “love that I love another with”, is a gift from God, as such. I know the way Ps Prentis put it, sounded like that. Let me explain: It is WRONG to think this way - that I really do NOT love this brother or this sister (brotherly love), it is NOT my fault, for love is a gift from God; it is God’s fault, NOT mine! To love is a commandment for us; meaning we are commanded to love; it is NOT a commandment for God to love. If you do NOT love your Christian brothers and sisters (1 John 4), it is NOT God’s fault; it is NOT you did NOT receive, and so you could NOT pass on.

Secondly, it is also NOT a gift, this God-kinda of love (or love of God), in the sense that if it is a gift, then I ought automatically love another with that kind of love. Many if NOT all of us love, but we are NOT practising God-kinda of love fully. And I am sorry, you cannot blame it on God, either; you cannot say, “Yah, my love is somewhat selfish, it is NOT my fault, it is God’s fault; love is a gift-what, from Him; it turns out like that (somewhat selfish), NOT my fault, His fault!

What is this God-kinda of love, anyway? It is unconditional, but it is NOT just that it is unconditional, it is also “unto righteousness”. The love of God, God-kinda of love is love unto righteousness. We will need to grow, in God-kinda of love or love unto righteousness (`ahab love), and the onus is on us. I am NOT saying that one cannot argue that it is still a gift and we are still to grow in it; but often enough, when one sees the word, “gift”, the mind just switch to “have or don’t have”, NOT “need to grow in it”. Preachers, especially the overly grace ones, who tell us that there is no onus on us, fail to see, Scripture exhorts US to love, NOT God. If the onus is on God, no need to write to us; God only needs to tell Himself; if He needs to read, write to Himself, then! When Scripture are saying, “We are to do this or that, then the onus is on us”; it is as simple as that.

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high-expressions said...

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A one-liner depiction of the nature of God’s love, apart from being unconditional, that I have given, is that, it is love unto righteousness (`ahab love). Some expansion of this is found in 1 Cor 3 itself; for example 1 Cor 3:6 reads:

{It} Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; (KJV)

As love unto righteousness, it rejoices NOT in iniquity [iniquity: adikia (G93) - 1) injustice, of a judge 2) unrighteousness of heart and life 3) a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness] When it said that it rejoices NOT, it means it takes no joy, and therefore, also it condones NOT, and participates NOT, in unrighteousness. Instead, it rejoices in the truth, and the truth here, includes the righteousness and justice of God.


The KJ version of v7 reads:


Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1 Cor 3:7)


Now, how do we read this? It is to be read with verse 6 and even earlier verses. Now, “all things” or “all” even, often times, in Scripture might NOT be referring literally to “all”. It was usually all within a boundary or all within a certain class/category. Here, for example, love does NOT beareth all situations! For example, if you want your wife to seduce your business associate so that the latter would award you the mega contract, your wife’s love would NOT condone, or do it. Why? It is because `ahab love or love unto righteousness, of your wife, cannot participate in iniquity; it is stated there, in v6 – it rejoices NOT in iniquity. The “all things” are being subject to the boundary drawn, in this case, by v6, and even earlier verses. Now, is husband bashing wife, iniquity or NOT? Yes, it is NOT righteousness, it is NOT justice. And so, does the wife need necessarily remain? She is of clear conscience as far as her love visa-vis the act in question (bashing). That is why I said earlier on, too, that the love of the wife is NOT called into question.


Now for the rest of the 3 items in the list in v7, the “all things” likewise, falls within the boundary of righteousness, and when they being so, it is then NOT difficult to see how one asked to love, can be expected to be without unbelief, to be hopeful and be enduring when it is concerning another, whom he/she is loving.

In other words, we are to act consistent with sharing the belief of the one we are loving. It is NOT something new or on top of what, we are already being exhorted to be having, in heart. As a believer, we have faith, but Scripture does talk about some are with unbelief, and such unbelief hinders our Christian walk. By this (1 Cor 3:7), the dimension is merely enlarged to, we who love, are to agree with the belief (NOT any belief, but belief as prescribed in Scripture, and so, within boundary of righteousness) of the one being loved by us.

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high-expressions said...

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For example, if your wife believes that her chronic back disorder can be healed divinely by God, and she would like to travel to the next state, where a healing rally is being conducted, to be ministered and be prayed for, there; you are to believe with her, and support her decision to go. Or in ministry, if a brother comes to me, and ask that I pray for healing for him for his terrible backache of many years, consistent with my brotherly love for him, I should be more than willing to pray for him for that, for my love for him calls for my sharing in his belief that God could heal him. If you never thought of your ministering and praying for the people in afflictions, as love, you should; you may be pleasantly surprised that when you agree with the sick, for God’s healing, you see miracle.

You can share any belief of the one you are loving, so long as the belief is within (by virtue of v6) the boundary of righteousness. Similarly, you are to hope with the person, as long as the hope is within the same boundary of righteousness. For the sake of love, we are to endure for another, when the situation is of righteousness. But, please, getting bashed up for no good reason, by the husband, is NOT within the boundary of righteousness, and so, for that, the love of the wife does NOT call for her to endure the bashing.

Suppose your wife is a lousy cook, and your income only permits you to live from hand to mouth, no saving at the end of each month, and your wife really wants to attend a special seminar on Divine Healing which your wife feels God would like her to attend, and then God would use her to pray for the sick; and so, she suggested that, in order that she will have the money to pay for seminar, she would cook and the family would eat at home for the next one month, saving 66% of food money for a month, enough for her fee; what do you do? Her cooking was and is awful, but she is making the effort for the fee; your love, if truly of love unto righteousness, should have you agreeing with her, believing her belief, sharing her hope that indeed God would anoint her with a healing ministry, and you bear with all the washing, daily, after meals, since the family eats at home, and you endure the food she cooks; eat them all, and give thanks to her and the Lord! When it is within the boundary of righteousness, God-kinda of love calls for you to act according to 1 Cor 3:7; in fact, it exhorts that we should always act that way.

Is it NOT like that? It is; God, in loving us (God’s kinda of love), when we are within the context of His righteousness, always bears with us, and protect us, even, always be accommodative of our beliefs, always NOT giving up hope on us, and always enduring, being longsuffering with us, including all our idiosyncrasies. God can ignore us, and none of us can do anything to Him, yet He chooses to love us according to v7.

We are NOT as great and as powerful as God, but we can follow after the example of Jesus. Jesus, removed of His deity, living as a man on earth, was in no way as great and as powerful as God, the Father; yet He loved God, and so He beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things (1Cor 13:7); and God granted favor and grace and power for Him, Jesus, that what Jesus did in love, came to fruition; Jesus just did His part, and He knew His inadequacy and relied on God to come to work, so that God’s will could be completed.

What more we? But it is we are NOT to love (that we are weaker), but we are to be bold to imitate Jesus, love with the love of God, and rely on God even more, to do the impossible. Jesus could NOT resurrect Himself, He could only agree to die, die in love and for love; God did the miracle of resurrection. May you, when you follow after Jesus in love and for love, receive empowering from on High, and you see miracles for your situations and situations involving others.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions

Prentis said...

I don't agree that marriage is a "contract." Marriage is a covenant. That is why it is so necessary that forgiveness be a part of the marriage. A contract can be made null and void by one or both parties failing to agree to the marriage "contract."
The point wasn't about marriage but about love. Marriage was merely an example.
Some people have said that a spouse must remain in a marriage no matter how much he or she is abused. I think this is unloving for both parties. Boundaries are necessary in any relationship. Marriage is a relationship which demands boundaries. These boundaries make for a good loving relationship.

high-expressions said...

I do agree that marriage is NOT exactly a contract, that is why I have used " ". Well, is it a covenant? I too, would put " ", if I put it down as covenant. The mark contrast between a covenant and a contract, is, as I see it from Scripture, this: A covenant is a special kind of "contract" (if I may still use the term), in which, the terms of the contract is specified by one party; in the case of covenant between God and us, God, solely; the other party has to just accept the terms and conditions specified to come into the covenant. A normal contract or commercial contract usually have the terms and condition specified or negotiated between the parties. Is it NOT so, God draws up the entire covenant, and we just choose to step into it - that is a covenant in the faith. The Old Covenant and the New Covenant are like that, for the former, the Israelites, each marked their stepping into the Covenant by the mark of physical circumcision; and New Testament believers enter into the New Covenant by profession of Jesus as Lord and Savior, with a circumcision of the heart. Well, what about a marriage? Yes, it is more of a covenant, for if we are to be true to what marriage is, it is instituted by God, and so, in that sense, its "terms and conditions" are specified by God; actually neither the man and the woman are supposed to add or take away any "terms and conditions" God has put it, including just things as "till death do us part". There, you see, it is still somewhat different from the typical covenant of the Bible; although if you add to it, God, as a party to the contract, which is the correct thing to do, we have a 3-way contract, in which God specified the terms and conditions, and the man and woman, do NOT, but have, on their own accord, choose to enter into the "covenant" God made for them.

While it is true that a contract can be made null and void, but it is the position of many courts that only fundamental breaches render a contract null and void; it other words, you cannot release yourself from the contract if the breach is NOT fundamental. In this sense, the marriage is like a contract. Is forgiveness possible in a contract? Yes, it is still possible for either party, to a contract, to forgive the other for a breach in the contract between them, and this is advised to be done in written when a breach is excused.

But it is still an interesting point to note that you have put forgiveness as the contrasting mark of difference between a contract and a covenant; although I still think the contrasting mark of difference is as what I have described above, concerning who specifies the terms and conditions of the "contract".

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high-expressions said...

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I believe that, that was your intent, that the battered wife and the abusive husband, was used as an example, but because you bring in the parent and the child case also, an example, without clearly specifying, the separateness of the two, my concern is that readers read them together and get confused, and reach an inaccurate conclusion that the battered wife is to remain, regardless; and that is why I said, "It is a little difficult to follow." I am NOT necessarily implying you are NOT of the understanding that the battered wife is NOT necessarily to remain, as your comment has just affirmed that.

I just thought that you should address them separately, love and boundary and discipline (and even trust), which you correctly expounded, and then, if you still like, in the same entry (although I could suggest separate treatment), to discuss such a case of battering of wife or sexual abuses, to emphasize protection (for the victim), forgiveness by the victim, and trust issue. The main reason I say this, is because, you will be surprised that people who read such articles, like this one of yours, included those who are caught in such abuses, and we want to avoid stumbling. You can still do a link back to love, through the thread of forgiveness, which I do, when I teach on the subject of forgiveness in my Healing Meeting. One of the main "engines" of love is forgiveness; it is through forgiveness that we receive love and we practise love, and grow in love.

It is true that we must all embrace perfect love, and that is God-kinda of love, and I wish more pastors and preachers acquire that understanding and preach it, and at the same time, we must also speak against the "care less" attitude of children of God with regard to the marriage institution of God. When people truly lay hold of the fact that, in actuality, marriage is NOT "contract" or "covenant" between themselves, but is the man and woman jointly deciding to enter into a state, the parameters of which are all specified by God, they then do NOT look to, so easily, put asunder the marriage institution, but to try their utmost, to preserve their marriages. The increase in divorce cases around the world only adds a lot more problems to Man.

My exposition of 1 Cor 13:7 is bonus from the Lord to me, and to readers. My apology for inadvertently quoted 1 Cor 13 as 1 Cor 3, in some part of my comment.

Anthony Chia, high.expressions