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Covenant versus Convenient

Relationships

If you have ever attended church, temple, ward or mosque for any length of time you've likely heard a sermon or lesson referring to a covenant. Often this word covenant is paired with the word marriage or relationship, but not always. Masculine & Feminine EnergyWhat is a covenant and how is that different than the more modern form of serial relationships known as a convenience?

Dynamics
of a Covenant:

A covenant is a fancy word for agreement. As it pertains to relationships and marriage, a covenant can be secular, that is an agreement between persons and the state, (if a marriage outside of the faith or by unions not sanctioned by the faith) or it can be a faith based union in which the man, woman, religious representative and God enter into a contract together. In religion this is referred to as the marriage covenant. It also describes the most successful type of marriage, the kind that lasts, is full love, respect and mutual appreciation.  Some religious denominations require premarital counseling and active engagement in the faith to bless a covenant.  Some do not. Though its origin is the bible, the concept of a covenant marriage transcends religion.  You don't have to be religious or even follow a religion to enjoy a covenant. A covenant is more about defining the roles each of you hold in the relationship, respecting those boundaries and providing support for each others basic needs.

Dr. Pat Allen, the author of Getting to I Do, Staying Married & Loving It and The Truth About Men Will Set You Free…but first it will Piss You Off  She's an expert on helping couples achieve a covenant relationship, regardless of their religion, race or sexual orientation. The following is her definition of the two major choices in a relationship, a convenient relationship and a covenant.

"A covenant is the exchange of respect and cherishing. Respect for one's ideas, wants, thoughts, goals, and performance, along with a genuine cherishing of one's physical well-being, feelings, and need to be loved and empathized with, are basic needs for everyone from childhood through old age. The rub comes in the terms "equally" and/or "equitably."

If each partner wishes to be "equally" respected and "equally" cherished, a competitive war of needs may take over the dance of love.

In a convenient relationship, (e.g. one in which each partner is equally respected and cherished), there must be some distance based on pragmatic reality. Two people can "equally" disco but they cannot "equally" waltz. A waltz is much more intimate but also much more dependent on each partner sacrificing some personal freedoms for the sake of the dance.

A covenant relationship is one in which one person is designated the respected leader, either because of personal skills or because the significant other doesn't want the job. Likewise, the cherished follower is designated as such because of their temperament needs or because the significant other doesn't want the job as much."--Dr. Pat Allen ____________

Most people when asked state they want to be equally cherished and respected. That is what a convenient relationship is. In a marriage covenant, whether secular or religious, each party chooses to take responsibility for certain aspects of the relationship. These are often confirmed and articulated in the vows. A marriage covenant, as defined by Christianity has four participants in the marriage: the man, the woman, the church and God. Each of these participants has specific roles in supporting; nurturing and helping the marriage succeed.  The vows and traditions reinforce this. Whether a person tends toward masculine energy or feminine energy determines their needs and ultimately his/her role in the covenant.

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About the Author: Laura Dawn Lewis is the Publisher and Founder of Couples Company and the author of  2012 Event, Editorial & Promotional Calendar, The Storybook Advent Calendar: 24 Stories for Christmas and the Laid Off Now What Series. She can also be found on LinkedIn.  

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