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A Mature Marriage is Commitment - Not a Contract

by Greg Baker  
5/05/2010 / Marriage

Most people get married for selfish reasons only. No one says, "If I marry you, I'll be the most miserable person on earth-let's get married." No, you got married because you believed that the marriage will make you happy. If you did not believe that, you would not get married. Period.

Yet, after the marriage you discover that things aren't all honey and roses. You find out that you aren't always happy, and you aren't always satisfied. In fact, the closer you get to someone the more potential they have to hurt you and you them. You argue more with people you love than anyone else.

Maturity in marriage is where you realize that you have committed yourself to someone else in a way that is reminiscent of patriotism. When you can pledge yourself to another person, your marriage has finally matured. This isn't easy, and it is not something that is actually done when you got married. It's an act of maturity that might take a bit of time.

When you get married you make certain vows. But a vow isn't meaningful until you are forced to keep it. When things get tough, that's when the vow begins to have meaning for you. How many people make all sorts of promises only to break them in divorce and other ways? Too many. Those marriages never had true commitment.

When your love, when your promises are put to the test that is where the depth of your relationship reveals itself. Your relationship is mature when you can look the other in the eye as your marriage stands on rocky and uncertain ground and then say, "I made some promises when we got married and I intend to keep them. I'm committed to you and I'm committed to making this relationship work."

At some point your marriage must be transformed from the selfishness that originally existed to the commitment that will keep you together. Feeling committed to someone when everything is going good is not a true demonstration of commitment. When things seem to be falling apart, when you feel insecure, unloved perhaps, and disappointed and yet you can still remain committed, that is a good demonstration of commitment.

I've never seen a marriage that didn't go through turbulent times. It is these times, and remaining committed through them, that gives a relationship the specialness and strength that you first sought when you got married to begin with.

What you want in a relationship doesn't come until the relationship has weathered some fairly serious storms. It is the difficult times that make a relationship great. So, if you can remain committed during these trying and desperate times, you'll get the relationship you first sought when you chose to get married.

I look back on my own marriage and can point to the trials as the reason why our love for each other has such depth and meaning. Thank God that we were and remain committed to each other.

God speaks of this when he says in the book of Ephesians 5:31 of the Bible: For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

God understands the need for true commitment in marriage. Once both of you gain it, you have not only a mature marriage, but one that will last through any storm.

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