This past year has forced me to take a long, hard look at the idea of commitment in marriage. I’ve watched so many people struggle through relationship issues and then walk out on their spouse. What are we doing differently these days that is pulling us away from honoring our marital commitment? I’ve spent a lot of time talking with the Lord in hopes of improving my own marriage, and God has shown me two areas where I have been lacking.
Please know that my words are coming from a heart that is longing to better my own marriage and to encourage you in your marriage or relationship as well.
If you had to leave a bad situation, I fully support you and pray God’s continued protection over you.
I don’t know all the ins and outs of each of our relationships; these are just a few of my thoughts as I work on my own marriage.
As I look at marriage — even my own — the first thing God showed me is that our relationships are lacking a lot of staying power. God began showing me, in my own life, that I often rely on convenience much more than on hard word. There is a “drive-thru” for everything these days — food, medicine, banking. We have convenience stores and mini-marts for a quick one-stop.
But there is not a “convenience store” for marital issues.
We have to work to strengthen relationships. We have to put in the effort to see our marriage last. I think I get out of the habit of doing the hard work of relationships because I’m so accustomed to being able to find a quick fix for so many other problems.
Personally, God showed me that I was treating my marriage as a convenience — when it was convenient for me, I would put in the effort. When it was in my best interest, I would do the hard work.
But when it didn’t benefit me, I was guilty so often of treating my marriage like another “drive-thru.” I would say hello, state my request (maybe it was help with laundry, groceries, or homework), and I’d be on my way. Too many times, I even forgot to say thank you.
So I began praying about how to move my marriage away from convenience and back to commitment.
For me, the answer has been to start to view my marriage as a covenant again.
In my own life, I know the significance of a commitment. If I have committed to you — to help, to work together — I will follow through.
But in this “drive-thru” society, I started to take my eyes off of God, and focus on myself — making sure that I was honoring my commitments, even my marriage commitment. To me, though, the commitment took on the form of any other item on my to-do list:
Grocery shopping? Check.
Errands run? Check.
Remain committed to my marriage? Check.
My marriage became less about honoring God, and more about completing my to-do list, until God gently reminded me that the other things on my list are, in fact, commitments. My marriage, though, is a covenant. It’s not just a commitment to, or with, another person. It’s a vow that I made before God, and I wasn’t giving Him the appropriate place in my marriage that I should have given Him.
As I began to refocus on the fact that my marriage is a covenant between God, my husband, and me, I started to treat it as such. I left the “drive-thru” lane, pulled out my Bible, and started to focus on the One I was neglecting the most.
I’ve started focusing on the covenant relationship, intentionally choosing to prioritize my relationship with God and to focus on the work of strengthening our relationship, rather than expecting a “drive-thru” quick fix. As I’m doing this, I have found such beauty in my time with the Lord and in conversation with my husband. An extra benefit has been the modeling of relationship-building for our children so that they learn that important things truly are worth our time and effort.
How do you remember to keep your marriage prioritized as a covenant and not just another commitment on your to-do list? I’d love to hear your thoughts as this is an ongoing process for me.
Read more from the series here…
Rebekah has been completely overwhelmed by the grace and mercy of the Lord in her life. He has proven His faithfulness in every area of her life, especially in her marriage. She has come to understand the power of redemption and God’s work in people’s lives. Her goal is to be Sharing Redemption’s Stories – spreading the good news of God’s mercy and grace to a world in need. Rebekah writes at Sharing Redemption’s Stories. You can find Rebekah on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.