Being first committed to God enables couples to honor, keep covenant
Praise the Lord, brethren. I want to thank all of you who have bought a copy of “Married to Commitment,” the book I co-authored with my good friend and prayer partner, Pastor Bre Eaton.
We appreciate the fact that you’ve bought copies for yourselves and also got copies of the book to give as gifts to loved ones. And we’re elated about the wonderful feedback you’ve given us concerning the anointed book, which ministers to married couples, singles and divorcees. And to those of you haven't gotten your copy yet, thanks in advance, because we know you will order it, and it will bless you beyond belief.
As a token of appreciation to you for your support, today’s column is an excerpt from one of the chapters in the Xulon Press-published book:
The awesome thing about this is that God is bringing tangible results through His Word concerning marital covenant relationships.
"I had to learn that the true basis for marital covenant relationship is 'commitment,' " says Pastor Bre, associate pastor and intercessor at God's Guiding Light Christian Center in southeast Houston. "I look at it like this, true commitment will keep you pursuing your spouse and working to establish and maintain a fulfilling 'godly' marital relationship.
"Regardless of the good, bad and the down-right ugly times that you may face in your marriage, true commitment will keep you stable, focused and always willing to work to make things right with your spouse," Pastor Bre, my good friend and prayer partner, explains. "I had to learn that relationships work more effectively when the husband and wife are really committed to the marriage and seeing it work 'on the for real.
"Don’t get me wrong, I don't want people to think that commitment automatically means love, peace, and happiness in your marriage. You have to work at commitment and trust," the woman of God says. "For example, if one person in the marriage is committed to making things work, and the other is not, then the committed one will encounter problems and frustrations. There may be times when all of the commitment in the world won't make it right because the other spouse really doesn't care and is not committed."
Pastor Bre adds, however, that this doesn’t take away from commitment being the foundation for a prosperous and fulfilling marriage relationship in the Lord. Scriptures that she shares that are helpful in building commited marriages and relationships include Genesis 2:24, which says: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh”; and Matthew 18:19-20, which says: "Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”
Another very important aspect of a godly marriage is not only a commitment between the husband and wife, but also true commitment with God. Pastor Bre notes — and I agree whole-heartedly — that not all marriages are of God. There are some marriages that people got themselves into and asked God to bless them after they'd already committed to getting married. And as a consequence, dysfunction and chaos are the norm in them.
Just as God will never bless a homosexual or lesbian marriage, there are some heterosexual marriages that He stays out of. Perfect example: God is not going to bless heterosexuals who put away their spouses for the sake of marrying somebody else. Neither can He bless a marriage in which one spouse has set his (or her) will to be domineering over the other spouse.
Anybody who finds himself (or herself) being abused by a spouse needs to seek marital counseling immediately. It takes two committed people to make a marriage work. Anything other than that is a divided house. And we know, according to Mark 3:25, that a divided house cannot stand.
"When I first got married, my marriage wasn't a marriage that was truly committed to God," says Pastor Bre, a divorcee. "As a matter of fact, the two of us weren't in Christ like we needed to be. Throughout the years, I had to learn that godly marriages fall under the realm of true biblical Christian beliefs and practices.
"There are a couple of questions you can ask yourself prior to marriage or even in your current marital relationship," Pastor Bre says. " 'What will keep me committed to my spouse during the bad times as well as the good times and through the troubles and disagreements?' Well, the answer is definitely the power of God by way of the Holy Spirit.
"The Holy Spirit is the only one who can empower us to continue in our commitment to our spouse or future spouses regardless of the situations and circumstances," Pastor Bre says.
Without the power of the Holy Spirit leading and guiding us, we would only be relying on our own, finite wisdom and strength to remain committed, which would cause us to experience “burn-out” real quickly.
So, for marriages to flourish, each married individual has to make a commitment to God, which would produce commitment to one another.
Pastor Donald Lee, founder-pastor of Kingdom Living Christian Center in Dallas, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pastor Bre Eaton may be reached at email@example.com. To order a copy of “Married to Commitment,” call toll-free (866) 909-2665 or purchase online at http:// www.xulonpress.com.
Join Pastor Lee for the Word via teleconference at 10 a.m. each Sunday by calling toll-free (218) 862-4590 (conference code: 279498#). You can also call for Bible study each Thursday at 7 p.m. On Twitter, you can follow him at @donaldj_lee.