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Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Nuts & Bolts of Kingdom Living ( Covenant )

'Make sure that your nut fits his bolt': this was a line from a recent radio commercial for a Valentine's Day special, that I heard recently!

There are several different ways that one could take a statement like this, anywhere from, 'make sure you're compatible', to, 'well, are you sure you want me to go there?' It is not a unique statement, though it could be an intriguingly deep one; 'are we a good match; do we complement each other well?' When you really think about it, even the area that most Christians are almost loathe to go ( publicly, anyway ), has some pretty important connotations! Maybe this is one of the reasons that Christianity is in the shape it's in today!

If your 'nut' doesn't fit his 'bolt', either metaphorically or biologically speaking, do you really have any good reason to be together? Now, I'm not advocating the old analogy of test-driving the car before you buy it, or the adage of 'why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, but there are other steps that can be taken to ensure a minimum of compatibility without going there!

First off, you want to make sure that your proposed spouse wants what you want, that her 'nut' fits your 'bolt', or vice-versa! Second, you want to make sure that even if your wants don't quite match up, and this is fairly common ( or rare, depending on context ), this person is open to 'new' ways of looking at the world ( make sure that you're open to this as well )! If neither one of you is willing, not to compromise, but to defer, then you might as well call the whole thing off!

Here's where Covenant comes in;; Covenant, you might say, is a game-changer! We've discussed before the difference between a mere contract and a covenant. A contract is merely a set of obligations and when those obligation are fulfilled, then the contract necessarily is brought to an end. If however, the contractees have built a relationship during that period which both would like to see continue, the contract could turn into a covenant, which normally includes a phrase like 'until death do us part'!

This being a much different culture than the biblically historical one, the engagement period  ( of varying lengths ) is our culture's version of the betrothal period. When two people, in our culture decide that they would like to be married, there is usually a period where they are engaged to be married, somewhat like the betrothal period of Scripture, but without quite the legal ramifications!

In this era of long engagements, loose living, and easy divorce, it seems that the engagement period in this nation is more of a 'waiting-period', a time, not only to test the limits, but to mollify parents, etc.! Engagement in our culture is more just a time of preparation for marriage, 'a training-period', you might say, but in biblically historical culture, the betrothal was more of a contract to be fulfilled, and if the contract was fulfilled to satisfaction, then it would be extended into a covenant, in which the two parties would be cemented together for life!

When a Covenant is consummated, then you can be sure that his 'bolt' fits your 'nut', or vice-versa; then, and only then, can the veil be parted, and that area where 'angels fear to tread' be entered!

Best just to wait and see!

So, you might be thinking, what does all this have to do with Kingdom Living, with Covenant Life? Well, as the saying goes, 'if you don't get it, you won't get it' ( or something like that )! If you disregard the Covenant aspect of Life, and try to go it on your own, your 'bolt' will never fit her 'nut', or vice-versa; nothing will ever fit quite right, and though the contract may or may not ever be fulfilled, that's all it will be; subject to 'early termination', with all the accompanying 'fees'!

Any good constructor can tell you how important it is for the nuts to fit the corresponding bolts; if they don't, depending on their position in the construction, the whole thing, sooner or later, will come crashing down! In more and more marriages in this day and age, the 'nuts & bolts' don't quite mach, and we have what we have in modern society!

Make sure that your 'nut' fits his 'bolt'!

Charles Haddon Shank

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