Commitments for a Better Marriage

Charlie Chim
Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

We are living in a time in which commitment has lost its value.  This deterioration of commitment is driven by the fact that our vows, promises, and oaths are not backed by a sincere desire to keep them.  

Many remember either living in a time or hearing about the time when a person’s word was their bond.  Perhaps we have heard the phrase “you are as good as your word.”  Oh, how times have changed!  Not only are contracts required for just about any agreement, but also a thorough credit check is needed to ensure there has been a consistent pattern of “keeping our commitments.”

Most of us will agree that marriage is the greatest institution that God created.  Because of this, it would be wise for not only married couples, but singles and couples preparing for marriage, to spend more time studying Biblical principles that ensures we have a strong marriage.  Understandably, the strength of the marriage determines the strength of our families.  The strength of our families will then determine the strength of our churches.  The strength of our churches will in turn determine the strength of our nation.

Sadly, many people merely endure marriage, and treat it as either a disposable liability or asset.  May we as God’s people recognize the sanctity of marriage and commit ourselves to it as God intended.

One of the fundamental cornerstones of a successful marriage is commitment.  Commitment in marriage can be defined as an unwavering allegiance to our spouse to do or to be anything required on our part that would sustain longevity in our marriage.

• This commitment includes SELFLESSNESS by putting our spouse’s needs before ours.
• This commitment includes SACRIFICE by both individuals as often as needed.
• This commitment includes SPIRITUALITY as the foundation of our marriage.
• This commitment includes SUPPORT for one another.
• This commitment includes SELF-AWARENESS of our own short comings.

Commitment in marriage is typically viewed as something general.  As long as a couple stays married through thick and thin, they are viewed as a committed couple.  Of course we agree with this sentiment, however, the goal of this devotion is to focus on 5 specific areas of commitment that every couple should practice that will help us have better marriages.

1. Commitment to PURITY

Proverbs 6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.

Most of us would agree that one of the most devastating things that can happen in a marriage is infidelity.  A couple arguing about finances can often get on the same page.  A couple arguing about child rearing can often find common ground.  But when a spouse catches the other in immorality, it is often a shame and devastation that only God can restore.

As a result, we must commit to purity by creating boundaries within our marriage.  These boundaries help us to establish trust with one another.  These boundaries will also ensure we stay accountable with one another.

We must also commit to purity by allowing open communication about any possible concerns. Far too many couples are spending more time communicating with in-laws, friends, or coworkers rather than communicating any concerns or differences with each other.  

It could be communicating a concern about a person one spouse is uncomfortable with.  It could be communicating about an area one spouse is leaning toward inappropriateness.  The goal should always be a commitment to keep purity in the home.

2. Commitment to PROTECT

Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

We must commit to protecting our spouse’s spirit.  There are some things they don’t need to know, yet there are some things they do need to know.  We must apply wisdom in deciding when and when not to share something.  This includes a commitment in taking the time to help one another sort through issues or concerns and not to just dismiss them.  

We must also commit to protecting our marriage from outside harm.  Don’t allow anyone to criticize our spouse, especially if they are present.  As a matter of fact, if our spouse is being criticized in person and we are there, we need to stand up for them.  Depending on the situation, this doesn’t always mean we have to lash out and cause a scene.  The Bible does remind us that “a soft answer turneth away wrath.” However, there are some scenarios in which we have to protect our spouses in a more forward way.

Another way we can help to protect our spouse is by avoiding to position one another in slippery situations.  For example, if there was a work environment that would be a stumbling block to my wife and cause her to backslide or feel uncomfortable, I would help her to find a new working environment, even if it meant a loss of wages.  This could include co-workers that are either flirtatious or even hostile toward our spouse.

It would only be fitting to bring up social media under this point.  We are living in the Social Media Age.  Everyone is on it and on it all the time.  A wise couple will protect one another by limiting social media usage and applying wisdom and discernment.  Unfortunately, many marriages are influenced for the bad as a result of social media.  Unwise and unfiltered use of social media can affect our contentment, purity and responsibilities in marriage.

3. Commitment to PROGRESS

Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love [your] wives, and be not bitter against them.

Problems and disagreements are unavoidable in a marriage, but how we choose to deal with them can mean a world of difference.  We must commit to always having progression in mind.  In the good times and in the tough times.  

Progression in a marriage is usually present when a couple is preparing to grow their family with little ones.  Or perhaps when a couple is saving to purchase a home or go on a family vacation.  However, progression is just as important during the rough patches of marriage so that we can push forward to greater heights for God’s glory.

Commitment to progression means that we must commit to making it a habit of keeping short accounts.  This is in reference to arguments we have with our spouses.  Keeping short account means that we are not waiting for several arguments to come and go before we decide to get things right.

Keeping short account means that there are no games.  It’s okay to be irritated or upset, but we must have restoration and progress in mind.  “Don’t let the sun go down upon our wrath” is not just a nice saying, but a necessary principle for us to live by.

Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

One necessary ingredient in having progress in marriage is to practice humility.  Far too many are more concerned about having their way and proving their point.  While it may be possible that one spouse is more right than the other in a given situation, both can and should still apply humility.

Ephesians 4:2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

4. Commitment to PREPARE

Proverbs 24:27 Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house.

Let’s be honest, most people don’t see the value in preparation, because preparation takes time and it takes work.  One reason parents struggle when a baby comes into the family is because they weren’t prepared.  One reason why most employees fail at work is because they don’t spend the necessary time prepping for their responsibilities – this includes not having a properly planned morning and as a result being frequently late to work.  

When it comes to marriage, the exact same truth applies.  We don’t plan, and as a result, we often fail in our marriages.  A commitment to prepare in marriage can include properly planning and preparing our daily schedule which may include: meals, daily chores, ministry and church events, and most importantly our time with God.  

Commitment to prepare in marriage can also include planning for the various life stages that lie ahead which may include: reading books on childrearing in preparation for children, preparing our children for adulthood (careers, marriage, and parenting), preparing for when our children leave the home, preparing in case something happens to one of us (life insurance, passwords, etc.), and most importantly preparing one another for the Judgment Seat of Christ.

5. Commitment to PROVIDE

Hebrews 13:4 Marriage [is] honourable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge.

1 Corinthians 7:3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.

1 Corinthians 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

The last commitment I’d like to share is the commitment to provide.  God is the greatest example of a provider.  He bears the name Jehovah-Jireh which means “the Lord will provide.”  It is within His very nature to ensure that all of us have the daily provisions we need to survive and to do His perfect will.

As a result, He has given us the responsibility to provide for our spouses.  Each of us have unique needs that only our spouse can fill which makes the institution of marriage so important.  For the wife, her needs may include: affection, confirmation of love, conversation, and security.  For the husband, his needs may include: respect, approval, loyalty, and intimacy.

Most individual focus only on making sure their needs are met as opposed to their spouses.  This display of pride is due to our sinful nature.  While it is not guaranteed that if we focus on our spouse’s needs that our needs would be met, it is still the right mindset to have in marriage.  Oftentimes a selfish spouse will have their heart changed by the impact of the unconditional love shown by a selfless spouse.

Unfortunately, most couples solely focus on their part to fulfill financial provision, rather than the very specific and personal provisions that our spouses have been in desperate need of.  Evidence of this can be demonstrated when one or both individuals in a relationship use their monthly income as sufficient provision for the needs of the home.  Our job is not to assume or necessarily interpret in our own way what our spouse needs, but to observe and/or ask our spouse what their needs are, then seek to fulfill those needs.

MEMORY VERSE OF THE DAY
Numbers 30:2 If a man vow a vow unto the LORD, or swear an oath to bind his soul with a bond; he shall not break his word, he shall do according to all that proceedeth out of his mouth.

Charlie Chim

Bro Chim and his wife joyfully serve the Lord together as he teaches the Foundations Adult Bible Class. They have five amazing children. Bro Chim serves the Lord full-time as the principal of Pacific Baptist School.

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