Commitment in Marriage

Commitment. Why is this simple concept missing from so many marriages today?

I'm Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family.

I read recently of a wedding ceremony where the bride and groom each pledged the words "to stay with you for as long as I shall love you". I doubt if their marriage lasted very long. Romantic love, along with other emotions, may ebb and flow through the course of time.

Commitment is the source of all stability in the marital relationship. It is the most important ingredient. But commitment isn't a feeling, it's a choice.

Can you imagine a parent saying to his child, "I'll be your parent for as long as I shall love you?" That would hardly produce stability and well-being in the child. Nor does a wishy-washy relationship create stability in a marriage.

That's why the traditional wedding vows read: In sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, forsaking all others till death do us part. That's the real meaning of commitment.

Emotion is the caboose on the train. The engine is a commitment of the will which can steadily pull the relationship through all the ups and downs of everyday living.

I'm Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

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