You may have heard this story before. A chicken and a pig were walking down the road together. They passed a sign for a local diner advertising its breakfast special: “Ham and Eggs – $2.95!” The chicken said, “That’s our whole contribution to society: breakfast food!” The pig replied, “For you, it may be a contribution. For me it’s a total commitment.” Webster defines commitment as “an agreement or pledge to do something in the future”. Sadly, today many people view commitment through a conditional lens. “I’m committed unless she _______________.” “I’m committed, but you don’t understand what it’s like to live with ________.” “I’m committed as long as the other person does their part.” When it comes to marriage, our current divorce rates show exactly how committed individuals are to their spouses. What it reveals is that we are really most committed to ourselves. Committed to our comfort and committed to our own happiness.
The Bible looks at commitment a little differently. The Greek words tithemi and paradidomi communicate the idea of entrusting or giving something of value over to someone. Another Greek word, poieo, communicates an additional responsibility to practice specific activities. Throughout the gospels Jesus asked for a total, active commitment in order to follow him. This meant His disciples had to leave everything behind, giving up what might be important to them, and commit themselves in obedience in order to follow Him (John 10:1-10, Matthew 4:19-20, Romans 12:1-2). That’s God’s view of commitment. In Jeremiah 31:3 we are told that God loves with “an everlasting love”. In Ephesians 5:25 Paul tells husbands to “love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her.” As we look at a Biblical picture of commitment we see an everlasting, active giving all of oneself to another. No contingency plan. No loopholes. No opt out clause. All in, all the time, for all time. God sets the standard in His Word for how we are also to commit our lives to Him and to our spouse in marriage. God’s unconditional love shown in the sacrifice of His only Son on the cross is our example of commitment(John 3:16, Romans 5:8).
You might remember from the Devoted workbook that “we do not commit to what we do not believe in.” As mentors, you want to help your mentee couple replace their belief of what commitment is with God’s unconditional example. You want to point them to some of the scriptures above so that they can first experience God’s commitment to them. Once they have experienced His commitment to love them unconditionally they will be able to make a similar commitment to their spouse that will breed an environment of trust and security within the marriage. Remember, establishing the proper definition of commitment is imperative before a person can properly commit.
Tue, January 10, 2012
by Eric Wooten filed under