Intentional Commitment

Kate says . . .
So I was driving along in my mini-van, we call it the “blue rocket” because it seems that big (and I am so not a mini-van mom, sorry!), thinking about the word commitment and what that means to me personally. Then, as usual I started to think about the word commitment in marriage and even more specific, in sexual intimacy. Yup, it always comes back around to sex!
I was raised in a family where commitment was highly valued. My parents instilled in us that if we committed to something, then we did it. All of it until it was done. If it was something that we did not enjoy, we still stuck to our commitment. Brad and I find ourselves doing the same thing with our three kids. Perhaps because of the way I was raised, or they way God has designed us I feel it is important to complete or stick with what you have committed to. It shows your integrity as a person!
I want to ask you ladies today, how do you view the commitment you made with your hubby years back. For some of you that may be over 25 years ago, for Brad and I it was 12 years ago, for others it may be under 5. Regardless, how do you view your marriage commitment and what does that look like today?
For many brides, we are so excited about our “big day” and having our own version of a fairy tale.  Once that day is over, we are in the honeymoon period, making marriage seem like lots of fun. Intimacy is good, life is good, you have finally gotten to your wedding day. Not sure if we have ever shared, but Brad and I were virgins on our wedding day. (Yes, it is true we dated for 6 years and we were virgins on our wedding day)  It is my hope and prayer that our kids will also wait to share God’s amazing gift of sexual intimacy with their spouse. But I know for many of you out there, this was not the case when you entered your marriage. Whether you had sex prior to your wedding day or not, I think most marriages experiences a honeymoon period.

Then as we all say, “life happens” and marriage is not so new anymore. Years go by and we decide what our marriage is going to look like. If we are not careful the “disease of self“, attacks and we start to make decisions about our marriage and one flesh union on our own. We don’t talk about it with our spouse we just decide for ourselves what is best. And we live our marriages out this way. Stuck in the muck of selfishness!

If this is or has ever been you in your marriage, raise your hand!! I know you can’t see right now, but I have my hand raised, both actually. I don’t have enough hands to raise to represent how many times I have done this.
How do we fix this disease of self and the rot it can make in our marriage? I think we need to be intentional about the commitment we made to our hubby! We need to think about the words we spoke on our wedding day. What vows did we make? The dictionary meaning for vow is: “An earnest promise to perform a specified act or behave in a certain manner, a declaration”.  While I know many of us did not intend to alter our vows over time, we did in fact do just that.
Does anyone remember their wedding vows? I know that many people personalize them, but here is a short bit of what most couples end up vowing to one another.

“I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded wife/husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish until death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.”

Do you look at these vows and still get all excited about loving and serving your hubby in these ways? Or do you feel complete apathy towards the commitment you made?

My challenge to you ladies would be to take a few minutes to find your wedding vows that you and your hubby pledged! Most women out there are sentimental and I bet you could find a scrapbook or bulletin from your wedding with your vows on them. You could always take an hour out of your busy time to sit and watch your wedding video.
Once you have found them, pray over them. Talk with God about where you struggle. We all struggle with commitments we have made in our lives and marriage is no different. But marriage is the commitment that we have made for life. We promised to cherish our hubby’s, to love them, to honor them, to respect them, etc. This is a commitment that we need to be intentional about ladies! We made this commitment to our husband, forsaking all others (men and women), till death parts us on this earth. A lifetime commitment! Not just to stay in the same house and used the term married in name only. But to continue to love, pursue, find joy with, laugh together, enjoy each others bodies, for the rest of our lives. Do you feel like you are doing that today??

Lastly, but certainly not least . . . how is your commitment to your sexual intimacy in your marriage? To the growth of your one flesh union? You may be thinking, “but that was not a part of my wedding vows, we never talked specifics about sex”. True, I would imagine most wedding ceremonies do not include that. But you have in fact made commitments to sexual intimacy.  If you are a believer in Jesus and in His word the Bible gives us clear instructions about marrying, our bodies and sexual intercourse. Ephesians 5 and 1 Corinthians 7 are two of the most direct scriptures on our one flesh union.

I would also add the point that you did (most likely) vow to “love and to cherish”. To love and to cherish your spouse in the way God wants us to, I believe sexual intimacy needs to be a top priority. Making sure that connection is sustained and nurtured is vital to growth and oneness!

Even though I was brought up to stick to my commitments, there were definitely times in my marriage that I did not do that. I was so caught up in my selfishness and what I wanted, that I could not remember what I had committed to. It was a bad place to be in and lead to heartache and discord. Take a minute to stop and pray about your marriage and intimacy to your spouse commitment today. Stick to your commitment. Be intentional about the vows you took and what the Bible says to husbands and wives about marriage. It will be an incredible blessing to your marriage!

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One Response to Intentional Commitment

  1. Excellent point!  I like how you emphasize that living commitments can be "an incredible blessing to your marriage!"  Living these vows is not just something we have to do because we said we would and we need to live up to our promises–the more actively we live those commitments, the more we can be blessed with God's happiness.

    Even if your vows weren't highly specific, you can still benefit from understanding and following God's plan for marriage as outlined in the Bible–God's guidelines lead to the most happiness.