The forsaking of all others is a keeping of faith, not just with the chosen one, but with the ones forsaken… One is married to marriage as well as to one’s spouse. But one is married also to something vital of one’s own that does not exist before the marriage: one’s given word. It now seems to me that the modern misunderstanding of marriage involves a gross misunderstanding and underestimation of the seriousness of giving one’s word, and of the dangers of breaking it once it is given. Adultery and divorce now must be looked upon as instances of that disease of word-breaking, which our age justifies as “realistic” or “practical” or “necessary,” but which is tattering the invariably single fabric of speech and trust.
~Wendell Berry from “The Body and the Earth” in The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
Covenant between two married people, between parent and child, between coworkers, between countries, between God and His people — is too often broken, irrevocably shattered when convenient and deemed necessary.
I see the sequelae of these broken vows, broken words, broken covenants every day in my work. Divorcing parents destroy the integrity of a family built on trust and commitment. Relationships wax and wane with the ebb and flow of one’s mood and need for something/someone new.
This disease of chronic deficiency of trustworthiness, this lack of keeping faith with one another, is a brittle bitter breaking of word and promise. The only cure is clinging to the One who we forsake again and again, who keeps His promise fully and wholly as He renews His everlasting covenant with us until His last breath. He deems us worthy.
Ye are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone,
I give ye my Body, that we Two might be One.
I give ye my Spirit, ’til our Life shall be Done
~Diana Gabaldon – a Scottish wedding vow from Outlander