How to Understand the Real Commitment to a Marriage

How to Understand the Real Commitment to a Marriage

If marriage itself is to be honored and esteemed even above the people involved in it, what does that mean in practical terms? For purposes of illustration it may help to compare marriage to working at a job. Let’s imagine that you and I go to work for the same company. The company is a form of institution, and we have joined that institution by accepting employment there.

We have committed ourselves to the institution. Suppose we end up working side by side at adjacent desks. We build a good working relationship and get along fine for awhile. Then, one day we have a sharp disagreement over something and exchange heated words. We both decide that we are not talking to each other anymore.

What happens next? Do we quit our jobs simply because we had a falling out? I hope not. (Some people quit over this kind of thing, but it is almost always a sign of immaturity.) No, instead we both go home, still angry and at odds, but the next day there we are again, back at our desks. Why? Because we are committed to the institution more than we are to the people in the institution

A week passes, and even though we still are not talking, there we are, continuing to work side by side. There may be conflict between us, but we are both still committed to the institution. Another week passes, and one day you suddenly ask, “Could I borrow your eraser?” and I say, “Okay.” Slowly, our disagreement is passing and we are starting to communicate again.

Before many more days go by we’re talking and laughing like old friends, going to lunch together, and every- thing is back to normal. We make up after our disagreement because we regard the institution as more important than our personal feelings. This kind of thing happens all the time in institutions.

marriage commitmentPeople have conflict, but eventually reconcile their differences because the institution is bigger than their conflict. This truth is a key to properly understanding marriage. The institution of marriage is more important than our personal feelings. There will be times when we will not be in agreement with our spouse, but that has nothing to do with the marriage.

Is Your Partner the Number One Person in Your Life?

We must never confuse our personal feelings or conflicts with the institution of marriage. Marriage is honorable, respectable, and unchanging, while we at times are dishonorable or unrespectable, and we are always changing. Marriage is perfect, while we are imperfect. Commitment to the marriage, rather than commitment to the person, is the key to success. No matter what my wife says or does to me, I’m hanging in there, and I know that regardless of what I do, she will still be there. We are committed to our marriage even more than we are committed to each other.

When we disagree or argue or have other conflict, we work it out because it is only temporary. We don’t break up the institution over it, because the institution is bigger than we are. When you have a conflict with a fellow employee on your job, you work it out for the sake of the institution the company which is bigger than both of you. Since you have to work together you might as well solve your problem. The same attitude should apply in marriage. When a husband and wife are in conflict, they should come together and agree, “Sure, we have our differences, and we’re always changing, but this marriage is bigger than both of us. We’re in it for the long haul, so let’s make up. Let’s do whatever we need to do to make this thing work.

” Marriage is bigger than the two people in it, which is the way it should be. God instituted marriage; it belongs to Him, not us. Marriage is two imperfect people committing themselves to a perfect institution, by making perfect vows from imperfect lips before a perfect God.”

by Myles Munroe

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