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Marriage – commitment to companionship

August 1995 | by Cynthia Shoemaker

Marriage today is plagued by divorce. Why? Because it demands something of this generation that it dose not want to give: commitment to someone else. A commitment to one person for life seems to require too much exertion and is incompatible with the ‘personal freedom’ of the late twentieth century. How much richer people could be in this life if they could but grasp the biblical perspective on marriage! How much stronger our country would be if we, as a people, understood that marriage is a commitment to companionship.

This commitment to companionship involves, first and foremost, a life in total submission to Jesus Christ. Here is the problem. Without this first commitment to the overarching Lordship of Jesus Christ the marriage is built upon a foundering foundation. Successful couples are those that build upon Christ as the foundation of their marriage. All other elements of companioning develop from this. Each partner puts the other first by engaging in activities that require them to spend time together.They are couples that find one another attractive (not just physically). They are committed to fidelity, deal with conflicts biblically, learn to adjust to their differences, co-operate with one another instead of competing, and desire to edify one another in thought, word and deed.

Companioning demands a wholehearted, lifetime commitment to strengthening one another spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Commitment to one another in marriage is a key to the strength of the family. Can we regain the concept of selfless living?

What would be the effect on statistics if people feared God, understood and committed to companionship in their marriages and committed themselves to helping one another instead of helping themselves to one another? Spouse abuse, divorce, crime, and a multitude of other societal ills could be radically changed for the better if we stopped attacking the institution of marriage and started building it from the core outwards. Husbands and wives need to commit to companioning. This commitment to one another will affect their children and ultimately all of society. How can we have a stronger, safer society if a basic institution upon which our country is established is perverted? We cannot, and we have all the social ills to prove it.

Commitment to companioning in marriage begins in the Christian community. Christian divorces are escalating because we have conformed ourselves to the world’s view instead of being transformed by the renewing of our minds to the Bible’s view. Many have set aside the foundation of Christ and have built their marriages on self satisfaction instead of ministry. Christians must return to a whole hearted commitment to Christ and obedience to his word. As believers we are without excuse in our failure to minister to our spouses. We are called to be light to the world. God has promised, ‘If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.’ May we diligently pursue companioning in our marriages that God may be glorified, and that we might receive his blessings on our land. Christians must lead the way in reversing the trend of divorce and separation in our society.