When God makes a covenant with us, God says: ‘I will love you with an everlasting love. I will be faithful to you, even when you run away from me, reject me, or betray me.’ In our society we don’t speak much about covenants; we speak about contracts. When we make a contract with a person, we say: ‘I will fulfill my part as long as you fulfill yours. When you don’t live up to your promises, I no longer have to live up to mine.’ Contracts are often broken because the partners are unwilling or unable to be faithful to their terms.

-Henri Nouwen


News out of California today concerns a man named Terry Childs who most recently was working for the Department of Technology for San Francisco in a pretty high ranking position—seems he was arrested over this past weekend for some violations concerning his privileges.  Childs is accused of improperly tampering with computer systems and causing a denial of service, said Kamala Harris, San Francisco’s district attorney, on Monday afternoon—according to Yahoo Tech News.  In addition, the story also says he is alleged to have installed a tracing system to monitor communications related to his personnel case.  And Mr. Childs isn’t going to go down quietly without making some waves either—he is withholding and has denied the city important passwords while he sits in jail, which subsequently poses a huge data security risk.

I’m not sure what the legal fate of Terry Childs is going to be, but I do know that no good ever comes out of holding something over someone else’s head—or using something we possess to damage or handicap some one else.  It would appear from a brief survey of the Holy Scriptures that God doesn’t warm up too much to the idea of our trying to destroy those he has so lovingly put into our lives.  And worse yet—using the very gifts he’s given us to do it.  I can’t think of a place that this kind of interaction is more costly than within the sacred confines of marriage.  But it happens, and does it happen.  Husbands are guilty, as are wives.

And how dare you take each other to court! When you think you have been wronged, does it make any sense to go before a court that knows nothing of God’s ways instead of a family of Christians? The day is coming when the world is going to stand before a jury made up of followers of Jesus. If someday you are going to rule on the world’s fate, wouldn’t it be a good idea to practice on some of these smaller cases? Why, we’re even going to judge angels! So why not these everyday affairs? As these disagreements and wrongs surface, why would you ever entrust them to the judgment of people you don’t trust in any other way?   (1 Corinthians 6:1-4, The Message Bible)

When you consider that Jesus didn’t owe us a thing—it sort of has a way of challenging the way we deal with one another.  Truthfully, Jesus owed us nothing but justice (how easily we forget that) and imagine for a moment if Jesus would have taken that road with each of us—Well, boys and girls, you are cooked without me and I figure it’s your fault so I am going to pass on this hanging on a cross thing.

But how often as spouses when given the chance to let one another off the hook—we are as trigger happy as a deer hunter on the opening day of hunting season.