“ Great marriages don’t happen by luck or by accident. They are the result of a consistent investment of time, thoughtfulness, forgiveness, affection, prayer, mutual respect, and a rock-solid commitment between a husband and a wife.” – Dave Willis
Over 200 years ago, George Washington wrote a letter to a friend saying: “I have always considered marriage as the most interesting event of one’s life, the foundation of happiness or misery.” The experience of every generation from that date to today has not changed at all.
Marriage is no easier today than in George Washington’s time. It still involves blending two different personalities, with unique experiences, biases and visions for the future, into one unit. Marriage still requires the same kind of thoughtful attention, planning and deliberate investment that we give to our physical health and financial portfolios. It is all about commitment. It is all about a covenant.
There was a popular song years ago called “The Motions.” This is how the chorus goes: I don’t wanna go through the motions…I don’t wanna go one more day…Without your all consuming passion inside of me…I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking…What if I had given everything…Instead of going through the motions.
There are many marriages today that are simply going through the motions. There is only a causal commitment so the success of the marriage is based on apathy and the feelings of the person on that particular day. That is the opposite of real commitment of a covenant between you and your spouse. The same thing can happen with our walk with God. We don’t feel God’s presence, or someone in the church wounds us or we are exhausted from herding the kids so I don’t feel like having a quiet time, or praying or going to church and small group. In the same vein, our commitment to marriage will be tested when the difficulties of life and the pull of responsibilities set in. The question is, where do we turn when that happens. We turn to the commitment, the covenant we made.
It is the same in our commitment to Christ. When we are saved, we are on fire, ready to change the world. When the testing and trial set in (and they will come) it’s up to us to keep the flames burning. Faith in the Lord involves commitment. The New Testament is quite clear that we are saved by our faith in Christ, not by ethical behavior or benevolent actions. Faith in Him, however, involves a commitment to follow His leadership—to do all we can to fulfill His expectations of us with no ifs, ands, or buts. When we fail to keep a promise or commitment to others, we fail in our relationship with God. Our commitments to others are inseparably linked to our covenant with God.
- In what relationships do you find it most difficult to keep commitments? Why? How will this passage encourage you to approach your commitments differently?
- What does the way you treat others say about your relationship with God? What changes do you need to make?