Making a Commitment . . .

As I listen to people talk about relationships today, it seems to me that something has happened to our culture’s ability to make commitments.  It seems to me that we have toppled into an hour in history where “Commitment” has fallen in disrepute.

It seems that few things in life today are more frightening to people than making a commitment – the pledging of oneself, promising loyalty, confirming dedication, and certifying that a covenant will be consummated . . .

That is why many are so slow to make a commitment, and others strive to not make them at all. Is this because commitment requires an elevated effort? Because it involves significant service to someone or something other than one’s own self? Because it places one at-risk of being hurt or betrayed?

I am finding that commitment is not a popular subject anymore – anywhere. Many people try to circumvent commitment at all cost – and it doesn’t seem to matter if it is a commitment to a relationship, a commitment to changed behavior, a commitment to join an organization, lose weight, kick a bad habit, work harder, or becoming a better person.

It seems that many today want the benefit of commitment without the cost.  We live in a society that wants sex…without love; affection … without tenderness; conversation … without true communication; relationship… without responsibility; children … without cost; success…. without sacrifice; rewards… without work; compensation … without cultivation; happiness…. without Holiness.

There was a time I was like that. Yet, today, I am blessed in that I discovered 40 years ago that to reach my goals in life, I would have to make some commitments. As I made that discovery, I found that life’s greatest joys, sweetest pleasures and richest rewards lie inside the doorway that is called commitment.

Today, I have been married for 40 years . . .

I feel a very real sense of accomplishment in this. My darling bride surely sees miracles abounding all around. She knew me then and she knows me now!

It began at a traffic light in the small West-Texas town of Plainview. I had this really cool Buick Rivera and she pulled up alongside me in a beat-up old Chevy, which belonged to her step-mother. She looked over at me and asked, “Do you want to race”?  I recognized it as a country girl’s effort at flirting. She was pretty darn cute and I had just arrived in town to work a few weeks so I suggested she pull over into the parking lot just ahead. She did and I pulled alongside. She rejected an offer to “go get a coke” and quickly explained that if I wanted a date, I had to come to her house to pick her up and meet her dad.  I thought that was pretty darned old-fashion (this was the 70’s!!!), but I went along. She gave me her number and I went back to my hotel and called her.

I would come to understand that she wasn’t old fashioned – she was a lady with values, and there is a huge difference.  Over time, I would come face-to-face with the reality that I either had to make a commitment to this wonderful human being or I would lose her . . .  I stepped across the line and made the commitment!

In those 40 years, she has been amazing and she has made my life with her amazing. She has been my trusted companion, my sweetheart, my best adviser, and my truest friend. She has had an incredible impact on my family, and she has given me another family. She has demonstrated grace, class, dignity, self-control, respect, and love every day of our marriage. I wish I was as good a man as she is a woman. I wish I had been as good of a husband as she has been a wife. To quote a crazy man from a movie – she makes me want to be a better man.

Today, our family is expanding with one grandchild . . .  and another on the way. I love watching what was a very pretty red-haired girl become this lovely silver-haired Nana. She does it with such class!

The truth is that she gets the majority of credit for the 40 years.

As I see others afraid to make commitments today it amazes me. The truth of it in my life is … it makes me afraid of what would have become of my life if I had not made this commitment.

There is no regret now, and in the 40 years there has never been one. If I had the opportunity all over again . . . I would do it again without hesitation!

My favorite song continues to be, “When a Man loves a Woman” . . .

It is in commitments that one experiences God’s greatest blessings and rewards . . .  That’s what happened for me . . . I made a commitment and a seemingly endless supply of blessings began to arrive!

Of course, there aren’t any more like my Darling . . .