Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theological Studies (MTS)


Recent research by Professors Robert Putnam1 and Michael Rosenfield2 show that American culture is becoming more isolated and individualistic and that relationships are increasingly unstable to the extent that romantic relationships are more and more likely to break up in the first year.3 They observe these cultural trends are having a negative effect on our health both personally and as a society. This thesis proposes these problems can be helped by a deepening of our understanding of the term “love” in the Hebrew scriptures. In particular, kingly covenants (berit), faithfulness to covenant stipulations (mitzvot), and self-sacrificing love (hesed) are explored. This scripture study is applied to laying a solid foundation for strengthening our relationships and ultimately our church communities.