To see the first part of this segment see: “Commitment pt.1 ”
3. Commitment to marriage
When I first got engaged to my wife, little did I realize I was opening up the flood gates. Oh yes, I would say “I’m getting married!” to be slammed with comments such as “You won’t be that excited in a few years” or maybe “Here it comes!” I would ask “here what comes?” they would respond “The ball and chain! Kiss your freedom goodbye!” This saddest part, was the comments all came from… Married men!
Ecclesiastes 9:9- “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love…”
Disclaimer: I do not pretend to have the answers to all marriage problems. I do however, wish to share a few insights from God’s Word, that when applied will strengthen any marriage. Because I said so? No! Because, the Bible said so!
Making a commitment to something, means that you are all in. It does not mean, that you are all in for the smooth ride, but you jump ship when the waves start rocking the boat.
Commit to: Placing your spouse ahead of yourself.
Philippians 2:3- “…in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”
When Paul wrote these words, they were directed to the Church in Philippi. He told of how we are to view one another. (more important than me) I can think of no one better to hold this view towards than our spouses.
Are we truly committed to our marriage? Let us ask, do I view my spouse in a better light than I do myself? More importantly, does my spouse think that I view them as more important than I do myself? So many times, we intellectually think and say the right things, but it fails to translate into the way we live.
When you disagree on where to stop for lunch, does it have to always be your way? Or are you quick to allow their choice rise to the top? Do you invest more financially in your spouse than you do yourself(Matthew 6:21)?
Commit to: Study together
In our short marriage, there is one thing that Meagan and I have discovered, we have a much stronger bond when we read from the Word together, and discuss spiritual things. When we first got married we decided that every single night of our married life we would spend time reading the Bible together before going to sleep… that worked great! (for about 2 weeks)
It isn’t about “daily reading” with your spouse, rather daily spiritual discussions, and encouraging one another to do better for Christ.
Commit to: Pray Together
I have often heard it said (and often said myself) “You cannot claim to have a relationship with God without an active prayer life” I believe more and more, you cannot have the relationship that God desires you to have with your spouse if you do not pray together.
I am not speaking of the “supper table prayers” I am talking about random prayers. Prayers that are not planned or set in stone. Example? You have an argument with your spouse, whether you are right or wrong (after all, you are always right.. right?) You realize that your tempers are not what they should be. Pause, hold hands, pray. Pray for forgiveness, pray for calmness, pray for strength for your relationship.
You are driving down the road, you receive a phone call. The phone call brings some troubling news (a death, a injury, a sick report, I financial blow.) Pull the car over, pray about the situation.
The day has finally arrived! Your new baby (boy, or girl) has arrived! Before you let any of your family come in to the room, you and your spouse, hold your precious baby, and pray that God help you be the parents He wants you to be.
The more that you lean on God together in the good, and bad times, the easier it is to keep the big picture of God’s plan for your life at the forefront of your mind, rather than an afterthought on Sunday’s.
1 Thessalonians 5:17- “pray without ceasing,”
Commit to: Never growing complacent
The church, is described as being the “bride of Christ.” Jesus took an intimate role in dealing with His persecuted bride in the book of Revelation. As Jesus was speaking words to His bride. He had a strong message for her.
Revelation 2:4- But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.
Jesus chastised His bride for losing her love for Him. Jesus had a faithful bride. She loved Him, she worked for Him, She lived for Him. Until, she didn’t. She lost her love for Him. She went back to living for herself. While the implications here about the church keeping their eyes focused and fixed on God are endless, I want to submit another perspective. If Jesus is not happy when His spouse is growing stagnant, or even sliding backwards in love for Him, Why should we be ok with that in our own marriage?
Too many times the story is, you love your spouse at the beginning, then on down the line, your love fades. What happened? The answer?- You stopped working!
Let’s take a look at what Jesus proposes the solution to be.
Revelation 2:5- “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first..”
What is Jesus’ solution? Remember what you used to do!
If you find your marriage growing stagnant, or sliding backwards, remember what you used to do together… And do it again!
Try to win their favor again. Be receptive to their acts of kindness. Forgive each other easily. Date again, laugh again, dream together again, set goals together again, watch movies together again. All of the things you used to do to work on your marriage… Do them AGAIN!
Commit to: Acting Like Jesus!
In every aspect of our lives this should be our aim. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11;1- “Imitate me, as I imitate Christ” We should strive to be just like Jesus in everything that we say, and all that we do.
If Jesus died on the cross for only those men and women who were following Him at the time, where would that leave us? If Jesus only offered His forgiveness to those who “deserved it” you, and I would have no hope. What is the point? The point is this:
Too many husbands “love their wives as Christ loved the Church” (Ephesians 5:25) ONLY when their wives “deserve it.”
Too many wives “submit to their husbands” (Colossians 3:18) ONLY when their husbands “deserve it.”
Too many times we honor, respect, show kindness, make an effort, pour out love, and make sacrifices for others… When they deserve it.
I am so thankful that God did not give me what I deserve, rather he gave me grace. It is my submission that many marriages would be strengthened by remembering that we don’t love, honor, and cherish our spouses just when they “deserve it” but all day, everyday, regardless! We love, like Jesus!
O God, we thank you for marriage. We thank you for our spouses. We thank you for your Son. Father, help us today. Help us to be thankful for those that are dear in our lives. Help us to forever hold them close. Help us to forgive. Help us Lord, to be who you want us to be. In Jesus name..