When I first started seeing this hashtag it was usually with Beyonce and JayZ or some other celebrity living a lavish life so it seemed we were coveting lifestyles and correlating them with relationships. After a closer look though, I grew appreciative of the messages within the various memes that simply aim to capture what I think is the optimal example of love: Commitment.
For many years, I was in a romantic relationship with someone who was generally loyal and an all around nice guy, but he was not committed. One definition of commitment is “the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause” Another describes commitment as “an engagement that restricts freedom of action”. A loyal person is faithful and supportive. A committed person is dedicated even unto the point to which it restricts some freedom. Which would you prefer?
The greatest example of love is demonstrated through God’s commitment to mankind. I’ve never seen such dedication. In spite of our decisions, our rebellion, our attitudes, God chose to withhold judgment (restricted his freedom) and demonstrate his dedication through the man we named Jesus (his name was Yeshua). Yes, for God so loved the world,he gave his son (1 John 3:16)….and even more amazing is that even after we reject this gift, there is still opportunity until the end of ages. Peter talks about the patience of the Lord in dealing with us saying:
“The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some understand slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:7-9)…What dedication!
And marriage, the union of one man and one woman, is meant to exemplify this kind of dedication. Whoa! It is no wonder that divorce rates are higher than desired. It takes the spirit and wisdom of a God who can love like that to, well,learn how to love like that.
Every relationship requires some level of commitment, but marriage requires the absolute most. And when I see #marriagegoals memes I wonder do we recognize and understand the depth of our desires. . .While we wait to experience it with a physical partner, do we know we already have this level of commitment from a heavenly Father? Yeah, it doesn’t seem enough sometimes, but it is a beautiful truth and the foundation of all truth.
Like Rihanna, I found love in a hopeless place . . .and so I got married to both a loyal AND committed person. Together we learn how to love like Christ demonstrated. We learn to restrict our freedoms by serving one another, submitting to one another (Eph 5), and giving up some things, some bad habits. We learn dedication as we are patient with one another in the process of being transformed into Christ’s image.
If this kind of commitment is what we are aiming for, I commend us all! May His love have its perfect work in us. With God all things are possible (Matt 19:26)