Radical commitment (1)
We live in a time of commitment-phobia. We want to get as much as we can while giving back as little as possible. We want to be there for others in good times but not bad ones. And our lack of commitment is reflected in the statistics. The marriage rate is down while the divorce rate is up. Involvement in church and participation in compassionate causes are both down. We’re becoming a society that fears putting itself on the line or being pinned down by responsibility and obligation. To escape the awkwardness and embarrassment of saying no, we avoid our obligations and responsibilities by simply being elsewhere when we’re needed. And we’re a ‘sound bite’ generation with attention spans geared to fifteen-second commercials. We prefer our sermons simple, entertaining, and above all, short! Radical commitment is rare – but it’s what God wants from us! The Bible says, ‘It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfil it’ (Ecclesiastes 5:5 NIVUK 2011 Edition). How about commitment to marriage? God doesn’t see it as a 50/50 arrangement, but one where both sides give 100 per cent. It’s a sacred covenant made before God between a man and woman, ‘for better or worse; for richer or poorer; in sickness and in health; until parted by death’. And it works best when both partners have learned to say with Paul, ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.’ That’s radical commitment, and it’s the way to a great marriage.