There are many people today who are so entangled with emotion but never commit themselves towards marriage. They are either living in together or “in a relationship” but never do they mention anything about marriage. A couple who is not in a serious commitment towards marriage has the option any time of the day to abandon such a relationship compared to an already married couple because of their unstable emotion (see Jer. 17:9).
The Greek word for “commit” also gives us the idea of placing yourself alongside or near somebody. This is like putting yourself in safe-keeping with somebody. This is what it means when Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” (Lk. 23:46) On another occasion, Luke also mentions this same Greek word when he wrote, “And now I commend you to God” (Acts 20:32). This very act of commitment is not shallow nor dependent on emotion but a strong word that says whether through trial, testing, difficulties, and challenges in the area of health, money, emotion, location, and any situation, you will be with your spouse no matter what happens.
Those things I mentioned are marriage problems that needed to be overcome. When the Lord joined the two into one they are already one flesh that no man not even themselves can set themselves apart (see Gen. 2:24). Unfortunately, many married couples would like to resort to an easy way out just to satisfy their emotion and desire. They immediately justify their reason to give up on their marriage through ongoing infidelity, trauma, lack of sexual intimacy, relational problems, and financial difficulties as grounds to terminate their vow. One of their reason, “If he is happy with another person then why shouldn’t I be happy?” A sign of self-centeredness, not Christ-centeredness.
I once listened to an encouraging story of a couple as told by a good friend. It started when they were still in a courtship stage during that time. The single Christian lady said “yes” to a guy whom she thought was already a strong Christian believer just because he was attending church services regularly. However, when they got married, the real character of the guy surface. It was all superficial. He did not go to church with her but spent time with his friends on a drinking spree. He even asks his wife to cook food for them as they enjoy drinking alcoholic beverages. She was devastated and felt heartbroken. Since she was already committed to her husband, she did not abandon him but learn to submit as the Scripture commands. She sometimes excuses herself from the church ministry just to buy beer and cook food for her husband and male friends as they enjoy their time together. But she never gave up praying for her husband. She always writes her prayer request on that prayer envelope believing the importance of other believers intercession for her husband’s transformation. After several years of waiting, the husband had a real spiritual awakening. This time he became a real Christian. When he was asked what led him to embrace Jesus, he said, he saw the humility of his wife that despite the hardships and challenges she faces with him in their relationship she is committed and continually submissive. Eventually, the husband became one of the pastors in their ministry.
This is commitment without having to abandon your spouse whatever happens. If the Lord is fickle-minded then I’m sure He would “divorce” His bride the church which would be unimaginable and unthinkable. When Joshua is about to face one of the most difficult challenges in his life by fighting the pagans in the promised land, the Lord did not abandon him but reassured by saying, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6).
If you are truly serious in your relationship then a wedding ceremony must be part of your plans. And once married, both of you should learn to live and stand on that commitment when you both said, “I do” in front of the Lord and the witnesses. Interestingly, every commitment is sealed by blood. When the married couple has sex for the first time, the hymen is penetrated that causes her oftentimes to bleed lightly. This is a picture of a covenant sealing commitment in blood through their lifetime. I’m glad to know that Jesus poured His blood for us not only to cleanse us from our sins but also to declare that He is committed to us for the long haul until eternity since He purchase us by His precious blood because of His love for us. Yes, real love is a commitment seen and experience in marriage, not just emotion.