I am committed to you. The active expression of these words can be the difference between divorce and marital bliss. When we commit ourselves unto our spouse, we say I believe in you and I have devoted myself to you. Although I may not agree with you all of the time, I will not allow our differences of opinion to void my commitment to you. I am committed to you for better or for worst; in sickness and in health until death do us part.
The Great Apostle Paul expressed such a commitment in the 1st Chapter of Philippians when he said "For me to live is Christ and to die is gain". (Philipians 1:21) Paul was committed to the Lord. If he remained on earth, he would be a happy servant of the Lord. On the other hand, if he died today, he would be in Glory with the Father. As a committed servant unto the Lord, both options were suitable for him.
Paul challenged us to make the same commitment to the Lord in the 5th chapter of 2nd Corinthians. He said "for the love of Christ compels us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died, and he died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf." (2 Corinthians 5:14) As a result of what Christ did for us on the cross, Paul says, we should commit ourselves unto him. We should no longer live for our own personal gratification but for Him who gave His life for us.
In his book Covenant Marriage, Dr. Gary Chapman expresses a similar sentiment as he discusses the differences between a contractual based marriage and a covenant based marriage. In a contractual marriage, the emphasis is on personal satisfaction. If our specific demands or requests are not consistently met, we seek to terminate the relationship. On the other hand, in a covenant marriage, the emphasis is on satisfying one another. "Each spouse is committed to the other's well-being. Obviously, if both of them keep the covenant, then both of them will benefit, but the motivation and the attitude is not self gratification but giving of self for the other's well-being." (Covenant Marriage, Dr. Gary Chapman, page 14)
For some of us that sounds a little too idealistic. We have been hurt on numerous occasions as we have tried to satisfy our spouse. My wife and I understand. We have been hurt by one another in our attempt to meet each other's needs. In the process, we have learned that it is worth it. In the midst of the pain, we have learned more about one another, grew closer together and developed a deeper appreciation for one another.
Love is not easy. However, we are living testaments that it is worth it. You cannot enjoy the true pleasures of love and marriage until you remove the barriers from your heart, close the back door and make a life long commitment to one another. Sure that type of commitment makes you vulnerable. It is also the foundation for a strong lasting and fulfilling marriage.
As the saying goes, "you will only get out of it what you put into it". So let me ask you this, what are you putting into your marriage? Have you made a full commitment?
We will discuss the pleasure of a covenant marriage in our upcoming "Your Marriage Can Succeed Relationship Seminar". Come join us as we learn how to build a strong covenant marriage?
Here are the particulars of the class.
Date: March 6 – April 24 (Class is held on Sunday's)
Time: 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Location: Greenville Memorial AME Zion Church
Book: Covenant Marriage by Gary Chapman (The book can be purchased at Lifeway Christian Book Stores in Charlotte and Pineville for $20. Simply mention the name An Empowering Word Ministries. The book can also be purchased at Amazon.com. Click here to preview the book.)