It seems to me that one of the scariest words in the English language is the word “commitment.” On one hand, we sign agreements, contracts, marriage certificates, business partnerships, knowing full well that if it doesn’t work out, there’s a string of loopholes we can take to the court while we feed our favorite attorney. As the saying goes, “the difference between involvement and commitment is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was involved–the pig was committed.”
Scary as the idea of commitment is, it’s actually one of the most sacred and beautiful things we have to offer someone else. When we “commit” to love and marriage, or any kind of partnership, we sincerely do so in good faith. We do it because we genuinely believe in all the possibility that comes from building something solid and growing with someone or something that means the world to us. We commit, but what happens after that? Spaces develop, communication weakens or even dies, but why? Maybe it’s all about running scared. Maybe somewhere deep down after the agreement was made, we began to question our motives, or the serpent of illusion came slithering through the corners of our hearts, offering answers that seem more rewarding. Too often, we take the bait. Too often, we bite.
One of my favorite Leann Rimes songs is called “Commitment.” Her lyric in part says,
And everything that goes with it
I need honor and love in my life from somebody
Who’s playin’ for keeps.
What I’m searching for
Is a man who’ll stand by me
Who will walk through the fire
And be my flame in the night.
I won’t settle for
Less than what I deserve
A friend and a lover who’ll love me
For the rest of my life.”
It seems the world we live in today isn’t so much about “playing for keeps.” As I think about this, knowing I’ve backed away from commitment myself, I can’t help thinking how grateful I am that I do have a “flame in the night.” My Heavenly Father is always committed to keeping the light on for me and He’s always standing by me even when I walk through the fire. In fact, His commitment was so strong, He gave His Son. To this point, I’d still have to say, I’ve been involved, but I haven’t really been committed. Thankfully, God made the commitment to honor my involvement. I do have a “friend and a lover who will love me for the rest of my life.”
These days, I’m all about “commitment” to God and to the people I love and there’s nothing scary about it.
“The Lord made not this covenant with our fathers, but with us, even us, who are all of us here alive this day.” Deut. 5:3