Bridal Written document - A covenant:
The written contract states the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride, and for record keeping. For every bride and groom, there was a written record made of the marriage, and registered with the priests. In this way, they were able to trace the lineage of the Lord Yeshua Christ through both the male and female sides of his family.
Nehemiah 7:5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,
Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.
In the Old Testament, the solemnity of cutting covenant was often witnessed by setting up a memorial or sign. For example, when Jacob cut a covenant with his father-in-law Laban, the latter responded...
So now come, let us make a covenant, (cut a covenant) you and I, and let it be a witness (Hebrew = 'ed = someone or something that would be accepted to bear a true testimony and in this context refers to an object which symbolized this solemn event as a memorial) between you and me." Then Jacob took a stone and set it up as a pillar. And Jacob said to his kinsmen, "Gather stones." So they took stones and made a heap, and they ate there by the heap. Now Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha (Aramaic for "witness heap") , but Jacob called it Galeed (Hebrew for "witness heap") And Laban said, "This heap is a witness between you and me this day." Therefore it was named Galeed; and Mizpah (watchtower), for he said, "May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent one from the other. If you mistreat my daughters, or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no man is with us, see, God is witness between you and me. And Laban said to Jacob, "Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between you and me. "This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness, that I will not pass by this heap to you for harm, and you will not pass by this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. "The God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us (Solemn and Binding)." So Jacob swore by the fear of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain, and called his kinsmen to the meal (covenant meal); and they ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.
The heap of stones served as a witness that neither party would break their solemn, binding covenant, and God was called as their Witness. Similarly when a man and a woman enter into the solemn, binding covenant of marriage, witnesses are present, the highest of which is God Himself.
How does a husband defend his covenant partner?
Speaking primarily to the men and as principle to wives.
There are many ways to answer this question but one that might surprise you is to read (meditate on) the poignant and pithy little book of Ruth, observing especially how Boaz the kinsman redeemer interacts with Ruth the Moabitess in Ruth 2 (Ru 2:8, 9, 10, 11, Ru 2:12, 13, 14-).
Husbands should pay very close attention to Ruth 2:15, 16...
When she rose to glean, Boaz commanded his servants, saying, "Let her glean even among the sheaves, and do not insult her. And also you shall purposely pull out for her some grain from the bundles and leave it that she may glean, and do not rebuke her."
Now the birth of Yeshua Christ was as follows. When His mother Mary had been betrothed (engagement or betrothal in Yeshua' day could only be broken by divorce and so was as binding as the actual covenant of marriage!) to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man, and not wanting to disgrace (paradeigmatizo from para = beside, in view, publicly. In short paradeigmatizo = put something alongside of a thing by way of commending it to imitation or avoidance. To make an example of or expose to public disgrace) her, desired to put her away secretly. 20 But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for that which has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. (Mt 1:18, 19, 20, where "disgrace" means to expose to public shame!)
In 1Corinthians 13 we read God's convicting definition of love is often read in marriage ceremonies, and in Paul's definition one can see many practical ways for the husband to defend his covenant partner
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1Corinthians 13)
Take time to read and meditate on this passage in light of the truths you've seen about covenant calling one to defend their covenant partner.
You have read and perhaps even heard someone teach on 1Cor 13:7 but you still may not fully understand what Paul meant by love bears all things.
The Greek verb translated bears is stego which is derived from a root word, steg, which means to cover or conceal. A related derivative word stege which is used to describe a thatched roof or covering for a building. The idea conveyed by the verb stego is first to protect by covering, then to conceal, to cover over or to forebear. At its core stego denotes an activity which blocks entry of something from without or exit from within. In secular Greek stego was used to describe a ship as that which "held back" the salt water or of that which kept the ship tight (and by implication allowed it to stay afloat! Interesting picture in a discussion on marriage!) Figuratively, stego conveys the idea of covering over by maintaining silence.
Can you see how this definition of bears all things relates to a husband's role as covenant defender of his marriage partner? Your understanding of and commitment to your marriage covenant produces a Spirit empowered (Ep 5:18) love which covers over the faults of your covenant partner, (rather than exposing her faults to other in off color humor or even with a desire to embarrass her. cp Pr 12:16 where "dishonor" = insult, disgrace or shame) HUSBANDS! Never, ever do this to your covenant partner! Read Ruth 2:15-16). To conceal a matter protects one's covenant partner. How are you doing in this area? Remember you can only genuinely carry this action out under the control (filling) of the Holy Spirit and His power. Note also that stego is in the present tense, which indicates that this is to be one's continual or habitual activity! Husbands, just try to carry out this exhortation in your own strength. You might make a day or even a week, but eventually your "natural" strength will collapse. Verses like this and Eph 5:25 calling (present imperative = commanding this attitude and action as a lifestyle) for husbands to continually love their wives with Christ-like, selfless agape love, make it very clear the only way to have the desire and power (Php 2:13 ) is to walk by faith (2Co 5:7) and in God's Spirit (Gal 5:16).