Last but not least, commitment isn’t simply a matter of “deciding” to stay married (will) or “liking” the relationship (feeling). On the contrary, commitment is primarily about taking active steps to maintain your marriage. As the Bible says, “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17). It’s the same way in personal relationships. You demonstrate how important your marriage is to you by proactively investing time and money to make it better. During difficult seasons you fight for your marriage. In season and out of season, you show yourself willing to do whatever it takes to rekindle your relationship and keep your marriage strong.
Research shows a marriage commitment yields a more satisfying relationship on all levels. Women respond when they know their husbands are willing to “die to self” for them. Men hesitate to invest unless they know there’s a payoff. One researcher concluded that “a man tends to give most completely to a woman once he has decided, She is my future.”
How do you make these concepts real and practical in everyday life? There are a number of ways you can start working toward that goal. You might begin by trying a Date Night activity that highlights the excitement and adventure of mutual commitment. Come up with some activity that simply won’t work unless the two of you decide right up front that you’re both going to stick it out to the very end. Dancing naturally comes to mind. After all, “It takes two to Tango.” But there are other games and sports such as tennis, handball, or rowing, for instance, that might fit the bill equally well. An art project might also serve the purpose.
Choosing to invest in your marriage helps to strengthen the lifelong commitment that is foundational to your relationship.
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“But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”
What does it mean when a person says, “I am committed to my marriage for life?”
It means, among other things, that marriage is created by God and meant to be honored by everyone (Hebrews 13:4). Healthy couples believe marriage is permanent and that divorce is not an option. They look forward to their future together and see their marriage as one of the most important parts of their lives. They love each other and invest in their relationship. In strong marriages, couples expect to face challenges together and are willing to do whatever it takes to make their marriage work. How does all this play out in everyday life? Let’s take a closer look.