Saturday, May 14, 2011
Love or Commitment
Have you ever heard someone say "Love is all it takes"? Or how about "Love is enough"? Or any other number of ways people say something like this? Then there's my favorites "We fell in love" or the opposite "We just fell out of love". Love, love, love. In the world we live in today people everywhere are obsessed with love and anything to do with love.
Now don't worry, this is not an ani-love post by any means! But I think before you can really deal with things you have to figure out truth and build a foundation that will stand, otherwise you'll end up like the man in Matthew 7:24-27 who built his house on the sand, and when the winds and the storms came his house fell. As wonderful and important to your marriage as love is, it is not what your marriage should be built on. Marriages are built on commitment, not love!
When my husband and I got married we were just barely 18. We had been together for about a year and a half and we honestly thought we had everything it would take to make our marriage work. We found out very quickly that we were wrong. We, like so many others, believed that all you need is love. We thought that as long as we felt those love feelings everything would be great, and of course those love feelings would never leave right? Wrong! It did not take long into our marriage to realize that we knew nothing about marriage and neither of us had any clue how we were supposed to make this marriage work. We were like that man in Matthew and had built the house of our marriage on sand.
In our first year we did so many things wrong but I honestly feel that the number one thing that hurt us was our view of what it took to make marriage work. See we had bought the line of "love is all it takes" and while love is so important in a marriage it does not come first and is absolutely not the most important thing.
The number one most important thing to have in your marriage is commitment. Absolutely, without a doubt, solid first. Without commitment to your spouse, your marriage, and the vows you both made to God, you will never last.
Just after Colby and I had been married a year things in our marriage had gotten very bad. We had both made some choices and done some things that almost destroyed our marriage. If i'm honest and completely candid here, I was done and wanted out. So I went to talk to my former pastor, basically to ask for his "ok" to end my marriage. I knew he hadn't particularly cared for my husband when we first married so I thought if I got his ok it would be good and I could just leave. I mean his ok would be pretty much like God's ok right?! But he didn't respond at all how I expected and it caught me completely off guard. I don't remember what all I said or what all he said but I do remember this one thing, he said "Jamie, if you want out of this marriage you will find a way out. You will continue to do things to destroy your marriage and eventually you will leave. Nothing will change until you decide one way or the other if you are actually committed to this marriage".
At that point it shocked me to hear him say that! I remember feeling like I was committed to the marriage but it was just an awful marriage so it would be better for us to both walk away and just start over. Notice the "BUT" in that sentence? Don't you just love how you can justify pretty much anything if you try hard enough?! When I first walked into his office I had no idea I wasn't really committed to my marriage, but I left there seeing I hadn't been committed at all and ended up gaining a new resolve to be committed to my marriage.
Now i'd like to say that I went home and everything became perfect instantly and we have never had any problems since then but I just don't want to lie! :o) Choosing to commit doesn't mean that you will never have problems or want to walk away, it simply means that regardless of the situation you will poor everything you have into it and simply will not quit. Completing your marriage is a HUGE success and no great success has ever been completed with half hearted commitment.
Take some time and evaluate your level of commitment to your marriage. Ask God to show you were it needs improvement and then talk to your spouse about it. Confess to him/her any areas you haven't completely committed resolve to increase your commitment.
Matthew 19:5-6 For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. (separate).
This post has been linked up with Time Warp Wife and Women Living Well.