I believe the word commitment, in marriage, has been “watered down” to suit each individual’s idea and need. Most couples struggle to get through the day-to-day grime that marriage can be, much less grasp the terms of a lifetime commitment. And with the high divorce rate in our country, how can you understand those terms if you come from a broken home?
Ironically, I have seen couples determine to make their marriage work because of the poor role model they had from parents who divorced. I, myself, chose not to stay on the same path my father walked so my children wouldn’t be the victims of divorce as I was. I also feared dying young as he did, which, to me, appeared to be a result of the guilt he carried and wrong choices he made. Unfortunately, many adult children of divorce lack the insight to recognize the effects of a broken home and make the same mistakes their parents did.
Even more persuasive than our parental role models is the influence of Hollywood in our lives. If you watch any television or movies, the marriage message is usually to quit when the love fades. We are bombarded with those thoughts. To make it worse, the actors, whom we idolize in our society, carry the same attitude in their own relationships. How will we ever change the minds of a generation who have been brainwashed by the immorality of Hollywood?
Sadly, the church is not much better in preventing divorce. With the divorce rate in church equal to that of the world, we see many couples split up. Too many pastors “sugar-coat” the marriage roles and leave Christians misguided about their marriage responsibilities. Too many churches neglect to offer direction to insure a healthy marriage.
Marriage is difficult and to experience healthiness and happiness in our relationships, we need to put on our armor and fight the fight to make it work. This is a spiritual battle we face because the devil is out to destroy marriage, yet we too easily succumb to our fleshly desires and hurts. We forget who the real enemy is.
So what are your thoughts about your commitment to your own marriage? You can easily say, “I’m committed to my marriage,” but what does that really mean to you? Being committed to your marriage is not enough. You also need to be committed to your spouse and making their world better.
If you don’t start committing to the small things, when troubles come, you may not have the stamina to stay committed through the trials.
Are you committed to waking in the morning and focusing on what you can do to make your spouse’s life better that day?
Are you committed to watching your tongue and only speaking positive words to your spouse?
Are you committed to putting the needs of your spouse ahead of your own?
Are you committed to including God in your marriage to help guide you through the trials?
Are you committed to loving your spouse even when their behavior isn’t so lovable?
Are you committed to putting your spouse ahead of all else (except for God), including your children and your job?
Are you committed to never allowing the word ‘divorce’ invade your thoughts?
Are you committed to sticking it out through the fire and the storms, to see it through to the other side?
Are you committed all the way until death do you part?
These are just a few areas we need to commit to in our marriages. (You may come up with a few more of your own.) If you learn to commit to these, you will avoid big storms down the road. Commitment is not a word to be taken lightly or to be thrown away because situations or feelings have changed. Stick with it.
Thank goodness God is committed to His relationship with us. I would hate if He discarded me because He didn’t like my behavior.
Matthew 19:16 – “What God has joined together, let man not separate.”