'We were happily married for eight months. Unfortunately, we were married for four and a half years.'
 - Nick Faldo

Commitment

True emotional and physical safety, as well as the deepest levels of bonding and sexual enjoyment can only be obtained in a committed relationship. Commitment seems to be an alien concept in today’s world.  The current trend is to think of one’s self, and what we will get out of something.  Often relationship is viewed as entertainment, with mutual gratification the goal.  The catch with this is that the core element is the fact we are each trying to use the other for our own ends, and nobody likes to be used.  Instead of developing the depth and intimacy that we so desire in our hearts, we can find ourselves on a battle ground for personal survival, and it’s survival of the fittest. The next step is to form an exit strategy, lick our wounds, regroup and start over again—unless we decide to just go it alone for the rest of our lives.

Unless the woman believes that her man is willing to ‘Climb the highest mountain and swim the furthest sea’ for her, and unless the man believes that his woman will stand by his side through ‘thick and thin’, for ‘rich or for poor’, there is not a base for intimacy.  For deep intimacy and the most satisfying, ongoing, sexual relationship, both parties must have the safety that only commitment can give.  Children can only develop the emotional health and stability during childhood that will give them a good start in life in the context of a committed relationship between their parents.  A single parent resulting from the death of a spouse creates a different dynamic than a dysfunctional partnership that results in dissolution, and creates a very different set of circumstances outside of the current topic.

Commitment has a powerful affect on both the one committing, and the one committed to.  It should be a reasoned, mutual decision that both can assent to.  It takes a certain level of maturity to understand what a life time commitment means, and the results of breaking such a commitment.  The deep hurt that comes from broken relationships, breach of trust, infidelity and broken family circles is one of the biggest subjects of music, poetry and media.  Trying to resolve broken relationships is one of the biggest areas of the legal profession, and the wounding and baggage that go along with the whole process feeds an entire counselling industry.  The children and extended families are negatively affected.  This is no small thing.

Before two people make a free will choice to blend their lives both emotionally and physically, they need to clearly understand their mutual decision.  We need to assess if we can really join one hundred percent with the other, without compromising our values and morals.  A mismatch in this area will damage both our self respect, and our respect for the other person.  When you commit to a life long relationship, there are various business aspects that come to play as well. There will be community property, as one person will not be the slave of the other.  People are not commodities that can be acquired and discarded at will—people are created in the image of God, and as such each has intrinsic value and worth.  Each is a special treasure.  The age old concept of committing ‘For better of for worse..’ is the only solid foundation that can support true intimacy and mature love, and it only makes sense to make a well reasoned decision before making this step.

There is the story of a divorce that took place once upon a time in the United States.  The wife was demanding a fair separation of the property.  The husband took a chain saw and cut their wood frame home in half.  We smile, but in reality that is what separating something that is in reality ‘One Flesh’, as the ancient scriptures call it, is like.  Another broken hearted husband got a permit from the local planning authority and demolished the home completely—a fitting symbol of the devastation that happens in the human heart when we try to dissolve the sacred commitment that emotional and physical bonding is.

The life commitment of marriage is not a bondage, but a very important protection.  By deciding it isn’t important, we are in effect concluding that we are not important—throw away people.  On the other hand, by respecting this age old institution, we lay the foundation for a life long love affair that can produce not only a healthy happy family, but deepening intimacy and love between the couple.  If you ask people who have discovered this, they will tell you one lifetime is not enough time for the exciting and ongoing journey of discovery and intimacy that commitment brings.  It takes about twenty years to really know another person well enough to really begin to accelerate in the deeper areas of intimacy.  By rejecting this process, many keep going around in close circles on the shores of the great sea of love and intimacy and never really get into the water.

Another aspect of our humanity that needs to be addressed is our spiritual nature.  There is a caring, personal God Who wants to be involved with us and help on every level of our lives.  By inviting Him to be part of our family we can tap into an eternal reservoir of love and power that will deepen every aspect of our lives and carry us through every rough place.  A wonderful secret of God’s love is His desire and ability to help us do what we cannot do on our own, and He is committed to each of us personally.

'Seriously, folks, if an aging sex symbol like me starts waving the red flag of caution over how low moral standards have plummeted, you know it's gotta be pretty bad...'
- Raquel Welch