Saturday 3 June 2017

Marriage is Commitment

Will Give My All
Not My Comfort Zone:

Marriage is lived by commitment - choices - not by feelings. Feelings are fickle. They cannot be relied on. They have a mind of their own. More often than not, they defy reason or logic and are geared towards keeping us in our comfort zone. Marriage is not about staying in our comfort zone. In fact, the quickest way to fail in marriage is to seek and be content with our comfort zone.

The whole essence of marriage is extending, stretching, and making sacrifices. It is letting go of the less, to take hold of the greater. That is what commitment brings to the table. It says, "even though I don't understand, I'll still hold through." Commitment is what holds us together in the space between when we sow into our marriage, and when we see and live the fruits of our labor. It is our light in the midst of darkness.

Commitment is the Fuel:

Commitment is the fuel on which marriage runs. Where there is no commitment, there truly is no marriage. "Too many couples depend on love to keep their marriage together, but commitment is the adhesive of marriage, and love is the reward of keeping the promise to stand beside each other through both good and bad times, in both sickness and in health, in both poverty and wealth." (Joyce Meyer)

Commitment stabilizes marriage, sets and keeps it on the path of success. It does this by making us do that which we have committed to irrespective of how we feel at each point in time. "Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you." (Orebela Gbenga) The moods run out per time, but that does not take away the need to do the things that have been committed to. 

Marriage cannot afford to run on feelings, moods. It is too serious a matter to be entrusted to such. "Marriage is a commitment, not a feeling." (Joel Osteen) Our joy, happiness, and fulfillment in life are too precious to be subject to the toying of feelings. They are worth the stable ground that commitment affords us. Feelings will ruin our marriage if allowed to dictate our every decision. 

Marriage is a Choice:

The right choices will make a paradise for our marriage. We have to choose to do the right things that keep our marriage together and vibrant. This is irrespective of what we feel or do not feel at each point in time. Marriage is about the commitment we made to enter and the commitment we make every step of the way to make it the marriage of our dreams. That is what being responsible looks like. 
"Love does not make a marriage; love leads to marriage. Struggles, obstacles, determination, commitment, and that's what makes a marriage." (Anonymous) Those are the ingredients that make a paradise out of marriage. There is nothing like falling out of love. Don’t be a slave to your feelings. You got all it takes to direct your life in the direction you want. No excuses. 

If you can fall out of love, you can also fall back in love. They are both feelings - fickle and temporal at best. "Marriage is a commitment for life. It is a permanent lifelong relationship." (Dada Vaswani) Instead of falling in or out, what you truly wanted to say is one, or the two, both of you started being negligent on your commitment. 

You put the relationship on autopilot and assumed it to have a life of its own. That is the error that needs addressing. Once addressed, the feelings will come back just as they left. So, the answer is not to throw away what you have. Rather it is to call back on the glue of commitment. "Marriage is a commitment – a decision to do, all through life, that which will express your love for one’s spouse." (Herman H. Kieval)

Feelings Follow the Choice:

What are those things that express your love for your spouse? What are those things that drew both of you together in the first place? Amidst all the possible options, you chose one another. Why not go back to the basics and repair the foundations, and fix the walls, the places through which you allowed an outside invasion. Do the things you would do if you were in love and see the feelings follow.

"The promise made when I am in love and because I am in love, to be true to the beloved as long as I live, commits me to be true even if I cease to be in love. A promise must be about things that I can do about actions: no one can promise to go on feeling in a certain way. He might as well promise to never have a headache or always to feel hungry." (C.S. Lewis)

Don’t follow your feelings! Only those ordained for destruction do that. Let your feelings follow you. You are the leader. Let your feelings follow you where YOU choose to go. Don’t give up your controls. Remain in the driver’s seat of your marriage. Be in the driver's seat of your life. Don’t give it to chance. Remember the reason you started the journey in the first place. NEVER let the good that brought you together ever fade away.

The Call is Yours:

The choice is yours, not another’s. And I don’t see any reason why you will not build your home. I don’t see any reason why you will not build your union. I don't see any reason why you will not build your marriage. Why would a person not want to take care of the bed he/she is to lie down on? 

Other than foolishness, there is no other way of explaining it. And, I know you are not foolish. I know you are wise. I know you know better than not to. So, let us get about building our homes. Let us get about building our unions. Let us get about making a paradise of our marriage. We each have a will – freedom of choice. Let us use it for our own good and that of our spouse.

© 2015 Akin Akinbodunse

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