Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him.
Psalm 37:5 (NASB)

Your marriage — a lifetime of memories.

As you approach your marriage, you are beginning the entry to a lifetime of memories. Years from now you will be amazed at the memories you have accumulated. Not only the quantity of memories is important, but also the quality. What will make the difference in the quality of the memories you gather? One simple word — commitment.

“Commitment” is just one simple 10-letter word; but it’s a costly word. It can bring peace, maturity and stability, but at the same time it can also bring tension, and sometimes questions as well.

During the 1800s in Hawaii, the government developed a policy to take care of those who were afflicted with leprosy. They were sent to the island of Molokai to live their remaining days in isolation. The policy was: out of sight, out of mind. The afflicted were allowed, however, to be accompanied by a Kokua — a person who chose to go with them and be with them for the rest of their lives until the leprous person died. If the Kokua had not contracted the disease, he or she was then allowed to return home. If leprosy had been contracted, however, the Kokua remained in Molokai until death.

In James Michener’s book Hawaii, the story is told of a man who noticed a numbness setting into his toes and fingers. In time, he knew what it was. One evening after dinner he told his wife and children he had leprosy. His wife looked at him and said, “I will be your Kokua.” This is the substance of marital commitment.

What are the commitments you need to make in your marriage?

  • As you walk through life, which brings rapid unexpected changes, unfairness, tragedy and unanswered questions, commitment to living by faith will guide you through the journey.
  • Commit your life to the person of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. Make this a daily decision together.
  • Commit your life to the Word of God, which brings stability and peace. Read the Word daily together.
  • Commit yourself to seeing your partner as having worth, value, and dignity because God sent His Son to die for him or her. Remind yourself of this daily.
  • Commit yourselves as a couple to prayer. No greater intimacy can occur than when you open your hearts to God together. This will enhance your completeness and oneness as well as help put your differences and adjustments into a better perspective. When the lines are open to God, they are invariably open to one another. You cannot be genuinely open to God and closed to your partner.
  • Commit your life to giving your marriage top priority in terms of time, energy, thought and planning for growth.
  • Commit yourself to a life of fidelity and faithfulness, regardless of your feelings or the lure of life around you.
  • Commit and open yourself to the working of the Holy Spirit in your life.

“When the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Gal. 5:22,23, TLB).

Faith, hope and love will grow out of your commitment to one another and to God and His Word.

Follow this advice and you will gather memories. [H. Norman Wright, Quiet Times for Parents (Eugene, Oreg.: Harvest House Publishers, 1995), September 2, adapted.]

Excerpted by permission from Starting Out Together: A Devotional for Dating Or Engaged Couples by H. Norman Wright (Regal Books), p. 9-10.

Dr. H. Norman Wright is a graduate of Westmont College (B.A. Christian Education), Fuller Theological Seminary (M.R.E.), and Pepperdine University (M.A. in Clinical Psychology) and has received honorary doctorates D.D. and D.Litt. from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary and Biola University respectively. He has pioneered premarital counseling programs throughout the country. Dr. Wright is the author of over 65 books—including the best-selling Always Daddy’s Girl and Quiet Times for Couples. He and his wife, Joyce, have a married daughter, Sheryl, and a son, Matthew, who was profoundly retarded and is now deceased. The Wrights make their home in Southern California.