Monday, 12 December 2011

Marriage is not commitment.

Whoa, what a statement right? How can I say such a thing? That sounds very postmodern, liberal, and, well. . . . wrong, right? Marriage is something that people are supposed to be devoted to. They don't give up on it. They see it through. Isn't that the definition of commitment? Yes. . . and no. I think the word commitment is too weak.

I was listening to a conversation at CanIL where some friends were talking about marriage and dating. One didn't like the idea of dating because it didn't fit well with marriage in his mind and isn't enough of a commitment. The other made the point that commitment has variable definitions depending on context such as being committed to the downfall of some communist government. When that commitment is fulfilled, then its over. And many people have a similar view of marriage. Marriage is a commitment to love and cherish one another, but what happens when we don't "love" each other anymore? The commitment is not longer valid in many peoples' minds. Thats why I think commitment is too weak, we can throw it away like used trash.

So then what do I say marriage is if it isn't commitment? Well, lets consider what the Bible has to say about it shall we? It calls marriage a covenant. Covenants are much deeper and permanent than commitments. You can't throw a covenant out. It is still there even if we ignore it. When God made a covenant with Abraham he made an arrangement that neither could back out of. God made promises that he upheld regardless of how Abraham acted on his side of the arrangement. In a covenantal marriage, regardless of what your spouse does you honor your side of the agreement, to love, cherish, and be devoted to your spouse. It makes those vows on wedding day more sobering but also more wonderful. They actual mean something. So I seek to be like Christ, like God, who has made covenants and followed through regardless of the transgressions and failures of those he made a covenant with. He has been faithful to his promises and to those he loves, and I am eternally grateful.

For His Glorious Name,

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