My mom and dad have been married over 30 years now. In the eyes of the world, they should have separated soon after they wed. Most of my childhood was spent watching them avoid each other, tell lies, throw dishes, write nasty notes, drink behind locked doors, work really long hours. Maybe that was hurtful for a growing child. I'd have to argue that it was well worth the fight. The one consistent thing they could agree on was that divorce was not Godly, for any reason whatsoever, and that even if they lived separately they would do their best for me. My junior year of high school, my dad found a new defintion of the Lord, his name is Jesus. And their marriage is a miracle most will never experience. Because they were commited.
It's so interesting to me now that i've entered the marital world, how many of my friends don't agree with the long commitment my parents still hold to. Friends who trust the Lord. Friends who stood before God and asked wholeheartedly that He would bind them together with this person next to them, forever. I have this vision of God, looking at us while we stand there, and we look like small children. There's a lesson in that commitment. In fact, there will be lesson upon lesson along the way. That's the gift.
Now some people will say i am absolutely crazy when i say this next part, and that's okay. It seems absurd to me that anyone would see it any differently, so we can just make fun of each other! :) I see the same gifts in the commitments we make to our children, to our families, our friends, to the teams we join, our jobs, even to our pets! That's right, i absolutely do.
When God made man, Adam, he gave him the earth to enjoy. Then he gave him the animals. He even asked Adam to name them, each and every one. Now hear me out, i know man still holds the image of God here on earth, and that they didn't satisfy him entirely. So early in creation he was already so human, unlike God. So he gave him a wife made from his own chest, to take care of, to enjoy, to teach and to learn from. Even that fulfillment didn't keep them from sin, because they'll always really only need God, that's the choice we all have to make. OK, here's my point. Neither one of those are necessary for fulfillment in the Lord, they're both gifts. Not every person needs one or the other, sometimes neither, sometimes they enjoy both. But why oh why, would we consider one commitment we make in this world less than another.
The gift of commitment is not in the thing we are commited to, but the commitment itself. My mom may admit that my dad wasn't the best choice for her to marry, but she's learned so much from their commitment and has been blessed in that marriage after many trials and prevails! I may seem a fool to most for the amount of money we spend on our babies, the dogs, to keep them healthy, i am entirely commited to them, in the same way i am commited to serving the Lord in every facet of life that i possibly can! And i've tasted the gift, i cherish it! It is from the Lord!!!
It is as simple as a parent teaching a child commitment. When they want a puppy, what does mom ask? "Will you wash it, take it for walks, train it, pick up it's poop, take care of it when it's hurt?" Don't you think God asks the same thing of us when we take on something that is so precious in this world. It's a commitment we make. It should be honored. And when it's not, there's a whole lot we don't learn!
My pet peeve in anything is when people tell me what i will and will not be or do based almost entirely on what they did. Here's an example we can agree on...when you are at a party of mostly drinkers, and you're not drinking, inevidably someone will ask you to partake, they may nag you, call you prude, etc. The heart of the matter, i believe, is that it would make them feel better about doing it if everyone else were. If you don't, you've just changed the standard and that's uncomfortable for people who so desperatley want to fit in.
Now that i'm pregnant, i get comments that i can't even keep up with about what my interests will and will not be when i have this child. For example, I will totally love Oprah and watch it avidly, i will start to scrap book all my baby pictures, my dogs will start living outside, i'll gain weight no matter what i do, it goes on and on.
Maybe it's just the stubborn only child in me who says i don't have to listen to any of it. But the truth is, i don't. My commitment is with the Lord, and that will hopefully unveil itself through every other commitment i've made! And that's all anyone can predict about me, or anyone else for that matter. In fact, you can hold me to it!