Commitment Means What?

Commitment... commitment. That's the buzz word whenever people talk about marriage these days.

Everybody says husbands and wives have to be committed to each other. Well, yes that's true, but it's a little more complex than that.

I'm Dr. James Dobson with Focus on the Family, and I make a distinction between contract commitment and something much deeper that I call covenant commitment. A contract is simply a business deal with certain benefits for you and other benefits for me. I keep my end of the bargain because I get certain payoffs, and if for some reason those payoffs stop coming, then I look for the escape clause.

Approaching marriage in this day means the partners are satisfied, only so long as things work out or pay off. It's almost like stopping each night to add up the costs and benefits and then you decide whether to stick around or head for the door.

A covenant on the other hand, is a unilateral pledge that says, "I will stick with you regardless." It doesn't run around with a calculator, adding up the benefits and serving notice whenever they fall short. It says, "I'm here for you, because I promised. And I'm the kind of person who keeps my word. You can count on me."

That's the kind of marriage we desperately need these days because it lasts. I'm Dr. James Dobson for Focus on the Family.

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