Committed for Life

639fc9224cfb913d79174064fa92cbc6In our living room is a symbol Dale and I used in our wedding. It’s a 3-fold cord of red, white and gold. For us, it symbolizes that commitment we made to marriage was not just between the two of us. The covenant is between three of us: with God at the center. The scripture says “a cord of three strands is not quickly broken” Ecc. 4:12. That’s how we want our commitment to be and that takes making daily choices to do so.

Of all the major decisions we make in life, making a commitment to get married is one of the most important and for some, the hardest. Hopefully, this decision is far more important than buying your first car or house or deciding where you’ll go on vacation.

A commitment to marry is more than just signing a contract. Marriage is a sacred covenant, a plan God created for our benefit. In the Bible, God made covenants with His people, but people like Jonathan to David, Ruth to Naomi and others made covenants too. They were committing to love, serve and care for each other. Covenant promises are unconditional—there is no escape clause and/or no money-back guarantees. It is made on the foundation of faith and love—and it is permanent.

Permanent is a word seldom used today. In our culture, everything seems disposable—even relationships. Everything seems like it’s based on what makes us feel good or is convenient for us personally. But God’s plan is so much bigger than that. Just as He has never left us or forsaken us, even in our worst sinful state, so He wants us to know and enjoy the permanence of an intimate relationship with our mate.

We all know couples, maybe even our own parents, who divorced. Maybe they just grew tired of each other. Maybe one of them “found someone new.” Whatever the reason, they broke the commitment they made to each other, and the painful consequences of their choice affected many others besides them. And that’s not God’s plan for any of us.

Hopefully, we also know couples who have been married for decades and are happy, despite the challenges they’ve faced through the years. Our friends just celebrated 55 years together! Bob and Gayle love each other dearly, are the closest of companions and deeply committed to each other. As Dale says, “When we grow up, let’s be just like them!” These are the kinds of couples who can give us hope for our marriages. As you journey through your marriage, find one or two couples who you can look to as a model of what marriage should look like, especially if healthy marriages have been rare in your life.

Who are your role models for marriage? Tell them what a blessing they are to you, and I’d love to hear more about how they made a difference in your marriage.

Adapted from Countdown for Couples: Preparing for the Adventure of Marriage. Copyright © 2013, all rights reserved.


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