It has been said that marriage is a commitment that requires daily choice. This is true, especially when one is considering that commitment to anything requires the choice to remain steadfast in our promise.
Take, for instance, exercising. New Year’s is often a time that people “commit” to taking up an exercise and diet regimen, but often people tend to throw that commitment by the wayside within a few weeks or months.
Today’s world overwhelmingly does not honor commitment. If a person takes a job and doesn’t like it, he or she may walk away within a few months of the hire. If a person doesn’t care for a vehicle recently purchased, he or she can trade it for a different one. We can even move from house to house over the period of our lifetimes, especially if we don’t like the neighborhood or location.
The Bible has much to say about commitment. Numbers 30:2 tells us: “If a man vows a vow to the Lord, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word. He shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.” Whether we make a commitment to a job, a house, or even simply keeping a verbal promise, the Bible instructs us to honor the commitments we make. While keeping a promise – even one as insignificant as housesitting for a neighbor – is important, how much more important is it to honor our marriage commitment.
What does the Bible say about the institution of marriage? We know that God created the institution of marriage for our benefit. Genesis 2:18 tells us: Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” Hebrews 13:4 states: “Let marriage be held in honor among all . . .” Finally, the Bible states that God created marriage for our betterment, even our personal enjoyment; Ecclesiastes 9:9 relates: “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun.” Therefore, we understand that God created the institution of marriage to keep us humans from being lonely, for our enjoyment, and as an institution meant to last a lifetime.
So, we know that the Bible instructs us to honor the covenant of marriage. We know that God created the institution of marriage, and we know that God intends for us to spend a lifetime with our spouse. With that in mind, how do we continue to say “I do” everyday?
The good news is, we don’t need to offer material gifts on a daily basis. We can honor our vows by the way we treat our spouses daily.
First, the Bible tells us to honor our spouse above all others. That means put one another first, and make a conscious decision to do so on a daily basis. Little gestures can go a long way in showing your spouse you love him or her. You can cook your spouse’s favorite dish, or you can do a chore that your spouse doesn’t really care to do.
Second, make a conscious effort to treat your spouse with respect on a daily basis. That means even when you’ve had a bad day, you still choose your words and communication wisely. Never let your spouse carry the brunt of your frustration.
Third, do plan “dates” no matter how long you’ve been married. Dates need not mean literally going out on the town, but simply having a movie night at home. Even binge watching a favorite television series is a good “date” night.
Fourth, plan vacations for the two of you. The years when a couple is raising children offer a perfect time for couples to grow apart. There is nothing wrong with asking family or trusted friends to watch your children for an overnight or weekend getaway. Remember, if you don’t nurture your relationship, you’ll become strangers. This won’t bode well when said children leave the nest.
Finally, attend church together and make a point to enjoy marriage retreats that help you to focus on what’s important in your marriage.
Remember, marriage is the most important covenant we have with another person, and it was ordained by Our Creator. Nurture your marriage daily, and you will not only grow in your walk with God but also with your spouse.