I heard a local business owner, who is an amazing man of God, share something profound last week at a business meeting. It was about covenant relationships and biblical community. Sure, I’ve heard about these subjects before but there was something different this time. Something happened during that meeting and I can’t stop thinking about.
I’m not writing this because I feel like I have a solid grasp on the matter. I just feel like I had an “ah-ha” moment. Like a door was opened and now I’m walking into this new room and exploring it. Writing helps me explore.
Life and Church Make More Sense
The door that was opened to me was “covenant relationships”. I feel like I got a glimpse at how important these type of relationships are. Life and church even seem to make more sense in light of this. And I’m starting to understand why God seems to be so obsessed with this whole, “love God and love one another” thing. It’s not some religious command we’re supposed to obey in order to be holy. It’s actually what we were created for!
Like I said, I don’t have this thing figured out but my curiosity and interest levels are at an all time high. For me that’s important, considering I’m prone to being a loner. I’m the type who could spend an entire weekend alone with a few good books and a journal and be content. It’s not that I don’t like people, I’m just happy being alone.
But marriage (a covenant relationship) changed that.
The Marriage Covenant
I tell my wife she ruined me. I used to be just fine all by myself but now I miss her even if it’s only been a few hours since I’ve seen her. I know, we’re pathetic. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have a special relationship with my best friend, it’s called a marriage covenant.
During last week’s meeting I was reminded that marriage is the best example of a covenant relationship. It’s a relationship built on trust where you are free to know and be known at the most intimate level. God says we become one and it’s a mystery — an awesome mystery that the world cannot recreate. It’s the glory of God on display for all humanity to see. Marriage is so important; it goes far beyond political debates regarding a definition (although I believe the definition of marriage is important and not ours to redefine).
So marriage is the best example we have of a covenant. But what do covenant relationships look like with our friends? And what does this look like in a biblical community? We can have kingdom relationships with our friends that will, as the Bible says, show the world we are Christians (by our love).
These are relationships you don’t walk away from. They’re friends who you can be real with and share your heart with. These are brothers and sisters in Christ who you can be unified with. The Bible talks about how good and pleasant it is when brethren dwell together in unity. It’s a beautiful and attractive thing.
Personally, I wrestle with what church should be and look like. Like many people, I get turned off when church becomes a man-made institution that houses efficient running programs rather than the presence of God. I try to refrain from being critical but there’s always that thing inside of me that screams, “There’s got to be more than this!”
I believe part of the “more” is covenant relationships within a biblical community. The Holy Spirit loves to dwell in the midst of these kinds of friendships. We all know relationships are not formed by simply showing up Sunday for a two hour service. So if we want this type of community we’ll have to make room for it in our busy lives.
Prayerfully Consider Covenant Relationships
I’ll leave you with this. The man who was leading this meeting challenged us to prayerfully consider covenant relationships. He said we tend to form friendships with people out of common interests but many times God will put people in our lives who are completely different from us.
The point is this, don’t just assume that the people who you’re buddy buddy with right now are the ones you’re to be in covenant with. Allow the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart regarding covenant relationships.
I’d be happy if anyone wants to leave a comment below and continue this discussion. I’m excited and just want to keep talking about it. This is one of those topics that we could learn about our whole life and not have it all figured out. I love stuff like that.