In the world today there are many books and materials on the “How To’s” of every aspect of marriage, all of which testify to the fact that marriages need our attention. Many of them do not deal with the rock solid foundation that a successful marriage is built upon – commitment. The whole marriage starts with it and the public ceremony or wedding is a profession of it. This commitment as a vow, which is a voluntary promise to give or do something Deuteronomy 23:21 25. It is a covenant promise a husband and wife make. Marriage itself is described as the making of a covenant Malachi 2:14. The three commitments are:
1. WITH GOD.
Marriage is first and foremost a spiritual union between husband and wife. The spiritual union between husband and wife will never be stronger, nor can they bring anything more into their marriage, than their individual spiritual commitment to the Lord sustains. Their commitment to God will always keep them going in the right direction. He is the source of hope we can draw from when there are any disappointments. He is the source of strength during any let down of expectation from your mate. Our first commitment of trust in marriage has to be in God not in our mate. It involves having a consistent personal relationship with God through His Word, worship, and prayer. Most marital problems start here when this commitment is neglected.
2. WITH OURSELVES.
Our marriage vows to one another will only be as good as our personal integrity. Integrity is the quality or state of being complete; it is an unbroken condition, wholeness, entirety; incorruptible soundness of moral character especially as displayed in fulfilling trusts. The Lord wants us developed in personal integrity to do what is right period. We have to be committed to ourselves to do what is right before we can make a commitment to others that will inspire trust. How can we be faithful to our mate if we are not faithful to ourselves to do right? We have to be honest with ourselves first before we can be honest with others. People good at lying to others have to be good at lying to themselves first. A person with integrity does the right thing even if it is the hardest thing and even if no one is around. Where there is personal integrity God will preserve, uphold, and defend us (Psalms 7:8 10; 25:21; 41:12).
3. WITH OUR SPOUSE.
The commitment to our spouse is to be faithful to our vows, to be loyal, and to love them with the God kind of love and as an equal partner in the covenant. The commitment to our spouse is also a commitment to be there to do all we know to please one another 1 Corinthians 7:33, 34. It involves open honest communication of likes and dislikes; shared responsibilities, or a fair division of labor of the work that life together brings (marriage is not slave labor); talking to each other, not at each other; listening to understand, not to reply, being sure there is a shared meaning of what was said. Each one is a partner but not to be a silent partner.
It is a commitment to cooperate and work together rather than against one another. It is a commitment to show compassion in difficult times or times of weakness and to to show common courtesy. It was once said that most marriages would improve if each spouse would treat the other as courteous as they are to complete strangers.