Today’s message text from Melvin Gaines:
The other day, my supervisor at work asked me to provide him with a text that he needed to preside over a wedding ceremony taking place this weekend. He originally asked me to select some Bible verses to reference within the ceremony, and he narrowed in on two of them. One was Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, which notes that three strands of a cord are not easily broken, and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7—the love is patient and kind verses. From there, I put together a brief talk for him incorporating those verses.
It was likely not a coincidence that these two verse selections were chosen, for both of them have a very common thread in marriage—the importance of endurance.
Love is indeed important in marriage, but in order for a marriage to last, you must be ready to endure.
A believer in Jesus Christ has a foundation of love within the relationship, but the believer must also endure.
In both a marriage and as a believer, the ability to endure requires the participants to act in love with a commitment for success in the relationship.
Love is a commitment.
Note the various synonyms you can find in a dictionary for the word commitment: dedication, devotion, loyalty, fidelity and faithfulness.
There is a lot that can be said about not making a commitment to do something until you are ready to do it. Many people make commitments to themselves that they can’t keep, let alone those that may be made with others. When a couple, for example, says that they’re in love and want to get married, is there consideration given to what the commitment of marriage really means?
Love is not just the lovey-dovey stuff with hearts and smiley-faces. Love is a commitment.
Our best example of a lasting commitment is in God’s covenant with His people, and especially the covenant that Jesus Christ has with His people.
Ezekiel 37:26-28 (HCSB)
26 I will make a covenant of peace with them; it will be an everlasting covenant with them. I will establish and multiply them and will set My sanctuary among them forever. 27 My dwelling place will be with them; I will be their God, and they will be My people. 28 When My sanctuary is among them forever, the nations will know that I, Yahweh, sanctify Israel.”
The Word became flesh
and took up residence among us.
We observed His glory,
the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father,
full of grace and truth.
2 Corinthians 6:16
And what agreement does God’s sanctuary have with idols? For we are the sanctuary of the living God, as God said:
I will dwell among them
and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they will be My people.
These verses show that God has been pursuing His people throughout history for the purpose of having a relationship—a loving relationship. A loving relationship requires commitment.
Love is a commitment.
In any relationship, it will stand or collapse based upon the level of commitment. A strong union will be able to rejoice during the good times and endure during the bad times. God must be the source of strength and encouragement in any relationship.
Here is one of the verses that was chosen for the wedding ceremony:
9 Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. 10 For if either falls, his companion can lift him up; but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up. 11 Also, if two lie down together, they can keep warm; but how can one person alone keep warm? 12 And if someone overpowers one person, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.
In a marriage, two of the strands represent the husband and wife, but the third strand represents the presence of God in your life. Three strands are not easy to break, but it requires a husband and wife to stand together, even in disagreements.
Marriage is a commitment to live faithfully and without holding grudges. Some of us have been married long enough now where the honeymoon may be over, and the reality of life has kicked in. Here’s some free relationship advice:
Men, ladies don’t like to be ignored when they speak to you.
Ladies, men don’t like to be nagged.
Men, ladies want to be honored and feel safe in your presence.
Ladies, men want to be respected and appreciated.
Here is where this commitment of love has to be at the forefront of your marriage, all marriages and even in your relationship with Jesus Christ:
1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind.
Love does not envy,
is not boastful, is not conceited,
5 does not act improperly,
is not selfish, is not provoked,
and does not keep a record of wrongs.
6 Love finds no joy in unrighteousness
but rejoices in the truth.
7 It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Note the words used in this passage to describe true love (not just lovey-dovey love)…it’s not envious, not boastful, not conceited, not acting improperly, not selfish, not provoking, not holding grudges. Love is all about patience, kindness, truth, righteousness, unselfishness and endurance.
Marriage is a commitment for the long haul, and true love will get you through the long haul.
Love is a commitment.
Jesus Christ made a commitment to love us for the long haul. He loves us and showed it through His sacrifice for us for all eternity (John 3:16-17). All that He asks of us is a commitment to complete a relationship with Him by acknowledging Him as Lord and Savior.
Loving Jesus Christ is a commitment, and the benefit is for all eternity.
1 John 4:7-10
7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, because God is love.9 God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent His One and Only Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 Love consists in this: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
With this knowledge, is there something that you need to evaluate in your relationship with your husband? Your wife? Members of your family? Or even with Jesus Christ?
In any relationship worth having and keeping…love is a commitment.
36 “Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?”
37 He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and most important command. 39 The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”
Jesus Christ has made this commitment for you. If you don’t have a commitment to Him, now’s your opportunity.
Love is a commitment.
Copyright © Melvin Gaines