Why Commitments Don’t Cut It Anymore


The word commitment is so overrated today. I hear it and I cringe. It’s overused to the point that it no longer holds any value. Think about it. Our President is committed to fixing the economy but the economic outlook is worse than it was when he first made that commitment 4 years ago. Brad Pitt is committed to Angelina Jolie yet 7 years and 6 kids later we barely have a ring and no date is set according to the committed couple. Others are committed to ending the war that has no end in site or fighting obesity as they introduce bacon sundaes as their new summer treat and others offer up single portions that could feed a family of four. How many of us have committed to weight loss as we head out to the movie and eat a 5 gallon bucket of buttered popcorn and wash it down with a 200 ounce soda? Is anybody really committed to anything these days?

Today so many people are too quick to give up. They start a new excercise plan in January and by March they’re done. They quit their jobs before they find another one and then don’t have the money to pay the bills. They quit school, sports, clubs and organizations that they were once eager to begin. They try going to church when things aren’t going right in their lives and then quit going when God doesn’t change things fast enough for them. They quit their marriages when things get a little tough and their spouse doesn’t do everything exactly like they want them to.

Committment means that a loyalty and dedication exists through an emotional obligation to someone or something, it is being bound to something or someone emotionally. The problem is that our emotions change and when they do we think it must mean it’s time to end our commitment. We view commitments as something that is non-binding and holds little weight, especially when it comes to relationships. Divorce has become far too common an option among troubled marriages. In many cases one party wants to fight for the marriage and to seek help through counseling to work out the problems. But the other party simply wants out. The collateral damage can be far reaching and long term.

What is needed in marriages today is not for the couples to be more committed to their relationship. What is really needed is for couples to understand fully what they entered into when they said “I do”. Marriage is much more than a commitment – it is a covenant between two people. By definition a covenant is a promise or pledge between two parties to do something specific. It is binding and it is guaranteed. When two people stand before God and recite their marriage vows they are entering into a covenant relationship that is not intended to be broken.

I recently read this quote and thought it speaks to the seriousness of the covenant between a husband and wife. “Jesus had VERY strict standards for marriage. Why? Because marriage represents the covenant relationship between Himself and His church. The husband is meant to be a picture of Christ, His leadership and His sacrificial love for His bride. The wife is meant to be a picture of the church, responding in reverence and adoration to her Groom – following Him with total faith, joy and abandon.” – Peacefulwife’s Blog (www.peacefulwife.com)

If we, as Christians, are to model Christ-like behavior to others, it must begin in our marriages. When we have strong, healthy marriages, not perfect marriages but marriages that fight through the tough times, we become an inspiration to a lost and hurting world. Married couples are like two canoes in a river. Unless you paddle toward one another the current will cause you to drift apart. You must purposely paddle toward each other in order to stay together. How do we do that? We must honor the covenant we made before God and not be so quick to throw in the towel. In humility we must seek help when things begin to unravel. We need to have Godly counsel in our lives to hold us accountable to our vows. We need to stop thinking that it’s all about me and what I want and seek to better understand our spouse and what their needs are. We need to make sure our priorities are right and that God and our spouse come before ourselves. We need to purposely work on our marriages no matter how long we’ve been married by having date nights, communicating with our spouse when things are going well instead of just shutting down, and attending conferences and seminars on how to have a better marriage. We need to pray with and for each other. It takes work but it’s worth every bit of effort you put into it. God designed it that way.

God created marriage to be a blessing and many people act like it’s a curse on their lives. They think that the way they felt when they first fell in love is supposed to last forever and when life sets in and the honeymoon is over then they decide to bail because it’s just too hard and the feelings aren’t there anymore. The enemy wants nothing more than to destroy marriages because he knows that an attack on marriages is a single shot that has many casualities. He begins with causing cracks in the foundation through unrealistic expectations, unforgiveness, mistrust, and insecurities.

If your marriage has cracks in the foundations instead of giving up it’s time to start filling in the cracks and then building on the foundation to ensure your marriage will last. Your marriage is a covenant relationship, a binding promise made before God. It is not a frivolous commitment that can be broken on a whim of emotional disatisfaction. Begin with repenting to God for your sinful attitudes and actions that have been damaging to your marriage. Then seek Godly counsel to begin to restore and repair the cracks in your foundation. Pray to God to bring restoration to what the enemy has try to ruin and then release your marriage to Him. It’s not up to you to fix it. It is up to you to put your faith in God and to trust in His promises. Don’t just recommit to your marriage, make the decision to honor the covenant you entered into with your spouse. God is faithful in his covenant promises, the least we can do to honor Him is to be faithful in ours.

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Follow Your Heart


The latest news to consume the media world is the announcement by Kim Kardashian that she is seeking a divorce after her short 72-day marriage to Kris Humphries. In her own words she said “it just didn’t turn out to be the fairy tale I had so badly hoped for”. I often see marriages in crisis. I live near a military post and many of my friends and the people I know are active duty. Marriage is not easy even under the best circumstances but when one of the spouses is deployed to a war zone for a year and the other spouse is left behind to run the household and raise the children without their soldier by their side, even the strongest marriages are strained. When I see couples fighting to keep their marriages together because they believe so much in the institute of marriage and the vows to which they’ve commited I am encouraged and my faith is built stronger. But when Kim Kardashian says “But I do know that I have to follow my heart” and ends her marriage after just 72 days I am angry. I’m angry that she is making a mockery of her marriage vows. I’m angry that she says she has to follow her heart because I want to know what she was following just 72 days earlier when she vowed to love and cherish Kris Humphries in good times and bad. I’m angry because there are countless women who watched her fairy tale wedding on TV and who want so badly to be like her and that now think it’s ok just to give up on a sacred vow made before God just because it wasn’t the fairy tale they thought it would be. I’m angry because there were millions of dollars spent on a wedding yet there is not enough government funding to provide adequate marriage counseling for those who sacrifice for our country and for education on how to divorce-proof a military marriage. I’m angry because every day I’m telling women “hang in there, don’t give up” and Kim Kardashian is telling women “I had hoped this marriage was forever, but sometimes things don’t work out as planned”. The whole problem with “following your heart” is your heart cannot be trusted. Our heart is where our feelings are and our feelings change based on our circumstances. When the circumstances are good, we are happy. When they change and things start to get bad, we are unhappy. If we make major life decisions based on how we “feel” at the moment we may make a huge mistake that affects not only ourselves but others as well. There may be children involved who will be forever affected by a choice we make based on how we felt at the moment we made that decision. If given time and opportunity, our circumstances many times can and will change which means our feelings can and will change. Don’t make decisions based on how you feel at the moment and whatever you do, do not put all your trust in your heart. The only place to put your trust is in Jesus Christ. He is unchanging because He is not affected by circumstances. Unlike our feelings that blow about with the winds of change, Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). It is time to put your trust where it won’t be affected by ever-changing circumstances. Put your trust in and follow Him.