Commitment Helps a Marriage Make It Through the Tough Times

Published February 15, 1990. During the past week in my marriage class at Brigham Young University, I have been quoting from an interesting book by James Dobson. It is titled “Love for a Lifetime.” Many of you have undoubtedly heard Dr. Dobson on his nationally syndicated Christian radio program, “Focus on the Family,” broadcast daily on more than 1,000 stations.

In “Love for a Lifetime,” Dobson has some interesting observations about marriage. He notes:

Two people are not compatible simply because they love each other and are both professing Christians. Many young couples assume that the sunshine and flowers that characterized their courtship will continue for the rest of their lives. It is naïve to expect two unique and strong-willed individuals to mesh together like a couple of machines. Even gears have multiple cogs with rough edges to be honed before they work in concert.

Minor irritants, when accumulated over time, may be more threatening to a marriage than the catastrophic events that crash into our lives. And yes, there are times in every good marriage when a husband and wife don’t like each other very much. There are occasions when they feel as though they will never love their partners again. Emotions are like that. They flatten out occasionally like an automobile tire with a nail in the tread. Riding on the rim is a pretty bumpy experience for everyone on board.

An essential component in marriage today is called. . . commitment. Marriages that lack an iron-willed determination to hang together at all costs are like the fragile Roman bridges that were built in the first and second centuries A.D. and are still standing today. The bridges remain intact because they are not used for anything but foot traffic. If an 18-wheel semi were driven across the historic structures, they would crumble in a great cloud of dust and debris. They appear to be secure and may indeed remain upright. . . until they are put under heavy pressure. That’s when the scams split and the foundations crumble. It appears to me that the majority of young couples today are in this incredibly vulnerable position. Their relationships are constructed of un-reinforced mud which will not withstand the weighty trials lying ahead. The determination to survive together is simply not there.

We thank James Dobson for his insights on commitment in his book “Love for a Lifetime.”

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