Social Contract or Covenant Love?

In Family Therapy this spring we are reading theological reflections on the family drawn from On Being Family: A Social Theology of Family by Ray Anderson and Dennis Guernsey. Here is a quote:
Is marriage, then, a social contract that can be broken when one or both of the contracting parties violate the contract, or is it a covenant partnership that, once entered into, can never be dissolved? Well, it is both. While a social contract based upon mutual conditions of good will and reciprocity does not contain within it the quintessential aspect of covenant love, covenant love can come to expression through a social contract. It is our opinion that all humans can express a dimension of covenant love because they are created in the divine image and likeness. But God is the source of covenant love, which he expressed through his actions of bonding with Israel and then with all humanity through Jesus Christ. From the human perspective, the essence of a marriage is the social contract explicitly grounded in a relation of human sexuality, male and female, which in finds its implicit source of covenant love in God’s own commandmenat and gift of love. (p. 90)

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