“By definition, love cannot be love unless it’s based on commitment. So–called LOVE WITHOUT COMMITMENT IS JUST A FORM OF MANIPULATION, getting what you want out of the relationship. And when you’re done, hey, just walk away...”
Why would you possibly want to do that? Why would you want to settle for second best? I’ve spoken to women who have decided to live with men rather than getting married, and they’re biggest complaint is the lack of commitment and certainty. There’s an old saying that women give sex in order to get love and men give love in order to get sex. Now, that may seem a little cynical, but there’s quite some truth in that. I remember one woman, living with a man, saying to me – My mother told me never to live with a man, because if you do, he won’t want to marry you. I think she was right. We live in an era where values of courage, of persistence, of sacrifice, of discipline, of commitment are being undermined, eroded through the self– centredness of a consumer society in which we have so much choice as to how we can entertain ourselves and fulfill ourselves. (Although let’s be honest, filling ourselves never delivers the fulfilment we’re looking for.) How much of not making the commitment of marriage, falls into this self–centredness that we’ve bred ourselves into, I wonder? Well, what I’ll do is that I’ll try before I buy. I’ll live with her, or him as the case many be, and we’ll see if it works. If we’re compatible! That’s the mentality. Well let me tell you – no man and woman are completely compatible. They are going to drive each other nuts sometimes. They are going to hurt each other sometimes. They are going to tread on each other’s toes and get in each other’s space sometimes. And when your partner is driving you completely bonkers,
the one thing that keeps you together isn’t the great sex I have to tell you, or all the romantic notions that you had when you set out on this journey. What keeps you together is the commitment that you made to one another when you took your marriage vows. It’s that sense of inviolable commitment that causes you to forgive. It’s that sense of commitment that causes you to cover up the faults of the other and to compensate for them. By definition, love cannot be love unless it’s based on commitment. So–called love without commitment is just a form of manipulation, getting what you want out of the relationship. And when you’re done, hey, just walk away. That is not God’s plan. That is not God’s best. And I have to tell you, I have never met a couple who abstained from sexual intimacy until they were married, who regretted that. But I have met plenty of people who have had multiple sexual partners and are now married, who regret their sleeping around. The last thing I am being here is a prude. God invented sex. It was His plan not just for procreation of the species, but for an intimate bond, a becoming of one flesh, in which children could be brought into the world, nurtured by their mother, taught and disciplined and strengthened by their father, in a family unit of love and safety, based on the certain knowledge of commitment. My counsel to any couple, young or old, thinking about just living together, just shacking up together, just sleeping together, is … DON’T. If you are in a de facto relationship, get
married. Make the commitment formal. And if your partner doesn’t want to get married, get out. That may seem harsh, but a lack of willingness to marry is a clear sign, an obvious sign of a lack of commitment. God places a high premium, a very high premium on marriage. Let marriage be held in honour by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. (Hebr 13:4) In other words make marriage a high priority and keep it pure. Great advice. Really. I would hate to wake up every day wondering whether my ‘partner’ is committed to me. As it is, I know that my wife is committed to me. And that is such a blessing. I think the mistake that we make is that we think that God is all about ‘don’t do this and don’t do that’, when all along, like any good dad, He just wants the best for us. His very best. So I come back to it – why are so many people settling for second best or third or fourth best? What’s the matter with us that we’re prepared to believe the lies of this world – rather than the pure truth of a God who only has His best in mind for us? Seems like a pretty messed up way of looking at things if you ask me.
Berni Dymet is the ceo of the global media ministry – Christianityworks. His radio and television broadcasts reach millions of people each week in over 160 countries around the world. For instant access to his free, daily eDevotional, stop by at edevotional.net
And so I look at this whole ‘living together’ thing, de facto relationships without commitment … and I ask myself: Why would you possibly want to do that? Why would you want to settle for second best? 10 | The Christian Pulse, September 2015
Published on Aug 21, 2015
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