Commitment. It has ten letters, but it’s often treated like a four-letter word.
I may be over-generalizing, but people seem reluctant to make commitments these days. Maybe it’s because life appears increasingly uncertain.
News reports shout about terrorist attacks and countries either at war or on the brink of it.
Economies are shuddering under the weight of unstable currencies and high unemployment.
Doctors are fighting antibiotic-resistant diseases and government mandates that cause them to wonder why they practice medicine at all.
Families are breaking up almost as fast as they are forming.
The phrase, “Until death do us part,” has been included in marriage vows for at least 400 years. But expressions such as “For as long as our love shall last” are being substituted in wedding ceremonies in growing numbers. The combination of a desire to personalize the wedding ceremony along with the reality of rising divorce rates have caused couples to shy away from the more permanent language.
So what’s the big deal? It wouldn’t matter if marriage is merely about two people living together. But what if marriage is a picture of something greater?
Ephesians 5:31-32 tells us:
“‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.”
When Christ died for us, He didn’t do it to create a temporary relationship. And when a husband and wife are united by marriage, it’s not meant to be temporary, either.
Staying together through the proverbial “thick and thin” is not easy. It requires commitment and a dogged perseverance that holds on.
In good times and in bad.
In sickness and in health.
When we feel like we’re in love and when we don’t.
In the face of unemployment and foreclosure.
Through job loss and nasty in-laws.
Despite weight gain and hair loss.
Feelings come and go. Commitment says, “I’m here for the duration. Others may leave you, but I won’t.” And that’s what God tells us…not just with words, but with actions. He’s serious about loving us forever… serious as in the crucifixion of His Son. Forever as in the eternal life He confirmed through Christ’s resurrection.
Unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world. Sometimes divorce happens despite our best intentions. But let’s not allow that sad fact to cause us to shy away from committing to each other on the basis of all that marriage is meant to be – for better or for worse.
Marriage vows…“till death do us part.”
What do you think?