“Grow old along with me, the best is yet to be.” ~Robert Browning
My husband and I went out for supper last night and our waiter’s name was ‘AGREEMENT’. He is originally from Zimbabwe but is now living in Stellenbosch, South Africa.
When we asked him about his unusual name he told us that his mother and father were so in love, that before they got married, they made an agreement that they would never divorce each other. They cemented that agreement with the promise to each other that their firstborn child would be given the name Agreement. That name symbolized their commitment to their marriage, their love for each other, and their love for their child.
Agreement wears his name with pride. He is well mannered, polite, attentive, and friendly. A true credit to the love, agreement, and commitment of his parents.
Some synonyms for agreement are harmony, unity, acceptance, like-mindedness, sympathy. It was so incredible to me, that before they even spoke their marriage vows, Agreement’s parents already had all these things present in their relationship.
Another word for agreement is covenant. When Believers get married they enter into a covenant relationship with each other and vow before God to stay together no matter what.
Through sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse and they commit to love and to cherish each other till death them do part.
In the presence of God, they make these vows.
Romans 13:8 reinforces these vows “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”
It is through our love for each other in the commitment to our marriages that the following verse is made manifest.
“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and His love is made complete in us.” ~1 John 4:12
A few hours prior to meeting Agreement, I had asked a relative of mine and her husband, for some observations and thoughts on marriage. They have been married for just over 3 months now. They also made an agreement before getting married. They had agreed that they would not live together prior to marriage.
Genesis 2:24 and Mark 10:8 state that when a couple gets married, they become one flesh:
“…the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh.”
When you cohabitate outside of marriage, you are living outside of God’s will. You are reversing God’s order for your life. First, get married; then, become one flesh.
The Biblical Counselling Coalition site states:
“When you are living together and unmarried, there is not the same up-front commitment that you would have with marriage. If a man and a woman aren’t able to share their life together as one flesh in a relationship that is honorable to God, there is not a foundation of trust, and while many will argue that you don’t need a document to define your commitment to someone, thinking that you can be committed to someone without a public profession of marriage is unrealistic.
Perhaps the saddest thing a recently-married couple told me was this: “Because we lived together before marriage, the day we got back from our honeymoon felt like ‘just another Monday.’” Premarital cohabitation sucks the novelty, joy, and surreal feeling out of the weeks, months, and years following the big day. Nothing’s really new except the jewelry on your fingers.”
My relatives expanded on their agreement not to live together before marriage:
“For a period of 3 years, dating and not living together, structures the relationship in a certain way, and now to live together, we have to make readjustments to a relationship structure which we thought we were already familiar with.
To know that you are with someone that is mutually committed to intentionally work at the relationship towards what God wants, and will honor Him and also to build up each other for what God intended, is amazing and rewarding – more so to be able to do it inside a marriage.
Feels more achievable and in context. Because you both have the confidence and trust, due to the commitment that the other person has made publicly and declared before God to have towards you….. That is how marriage is different, than to just pursue this commitment in a relationship.” ~Werner & Leandi Van Schalkwyk
Originally written for Start Marriage Right, https://www.startmarriageright.com/2021/03/marriage-is-an-agreement/