“A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one” Genesis 2:24
Over half of couples today are living together before they get married, if they get married at all. Why is that? What happened to the sense of commitment necessary to form a strong marriage partnership?
I believe the answer lies in what we think about the marriage vow. The common approach today is to consider this vow to be nothing more than a tradition or, at best, a statement of good intentions. Instead of meaning what is says, too many people it means, “We’ll try this relationship out. As long as my spouse is doing what I expect, as long as he or she is fulfilling my needs, then I’ll show love and respect. But if not, I’ll move on.” And many people grow apart, chalk it up to “irreconcilable differences” and go their separate ways.
I don’t know how no fault divorces came about, but they turn the whole commitment idea on its head. Christ, on the other hand, encourages the uncommon approach: “Let no on spilt apart what God has joined together” (Matthew 19:6). The marriage vow is a commitment, and when we make that vow, we have a duty to make the marriage work. If we are men and women of our word, we will.
Commitment isn’t only a marriage issue. One of my children once asked if he could quit the team he had joined. It wasn’t fun as he thought it be, and down in Florida, the practices were hot. Once Lauren and I made sure that there weren’t any other reasons for his desire to quit that we needed to address, we said no. He couldn’t quit.
If commitment matters with temporary relationships like playing on a team, how much more does it matter with a relationship like marriage? Its important to hang in there. When you say for “for better or worse”, understand that sometimes the better comes after the worse. But it is always worth working and waiting for.