Commitment isn't enough

Thursday February 10, 2010

If you had asked, all those many years ago when we got married, if we were committed to this relationship, we would have readily answered “Yes.” After all, it’s not hard to be committed to a marriage when you’re head-over-heels in love and there’s no one to think about but each other.

Fast forward, many years (and four kids) later. The answer to that commitment question remains the same, but much has changed. The addition of four little lives to ours has undoubtedly altered our world. We can’t imagine life without those four awesome boys! Our lives have also been affected by jobs and just the general busyness of life, but the answer to that commitment question remains the same.

But we’ve decided commitment isn’t enough.

You know, we strive for excellence in all we do – doing the best at our jobs, being the best we can be.

But in our marriages? Not so much. We just let them happen.

Many of us rely on that rock-solid commitment to pull us through. I’m glad it’s there, but we’ve decided we want more. Think about it – a rock isn’t a very emotionally satisfying metaphor, is it?

Sometimes the marriage garden needs tending, and I’m not talking about adding rocks. Sometimes it cries out for time, sometimes for pruning. Sometimes it needs a bit of zest – some fertilizer – or more sunshine. Sometimes it just needs to be pampered and enjoyed and admired.

So we’re working on it, and we’re having a great time doing it. The garden will be lined with rock-solid commitment, but our goal is to make it overflow with love and time and respect and joy – all those things that put us head-over-heels in the first place.

Linking up with Bonnie today for What I Wish I'd Known About Marriage, part of her Unwrapping Love series.



alicia said...

Taking time to plant flowers in the marriage and tend those has sadly slipped most people's minds. They think it easier to go enjoy someone else's flower bed. Thanks for being committed and sharing that!

penguinsandladybugs said...

Sometimes commitment has been all that has kept me married, but I'm with you....I want more, too!!!

Unknown said...

I love your site. I am so thankful that I get to eat lunch with you everyday (Almost) and enjoy your wisdom and wit. Guess that makes you a "wiswit".

Melissa said...

This is so true. We tend to take our marriages for granted, to let the rest of life carry us along and assume that the marriage will be there later, when we have time. But that hardly does justice to the ones we loved enough to marry!

Come to think of it, it's sort of similar to neglecting a relationship with God. How much richer is our relationshiop with Him when we tend that garden diligently! But that's another topic. :)

Bonnie Gray said...

Hey Laura, you've got some jewels of wisdom here in this post. So thankful you jammed today.

"a rock isn’t a very emotionally satisfying metaphor, is it?"

Simply good for the soul to hear. Love how you're encouraging and challenging with grace. You're gifted!

Faith said...

well this was exactly what I needed this evening! you have no'm actually gonna share this with my husband...I love the comparison you do with the garden. Great post!!

Sheryl said...

I love this! I appreciate the way you make the work of marriage sound like fun.

Shonya said...

This is sooooo good!! I think if all we are basing our marriages on is commitment, that will NOT carry us through. I've seen too many people "committed only" who throw that commitment out the window for, yes, the flowers in another garden, b/c the time comes when the commitment just isn't enough.

Instead, I agree, we need to work on our marriages to make them the best they can be. Then when flowers have a wilty period, the commitment carries us through to the next season of blooms.

Outstanding--sorry to leave such a long post, but you really made me think! (And as a child of parents who divorced after 25 years of "commitment-based marriage" I see the truth and wisdom in your words).

Michelle DeRusha said...

Wise insight here, Laura. And I like the gardening metaphor!

Anonymous said...

You know what happens to gardens that aren't properly tended - gigantic weeds take over and choke the life and love out of the flowers. My husband and I have found tending our garden of marriage is even more important once you're in the empty nest. Thanks for an encouraging post!

Rose said...

wonderful post about tendind, taking time to keep a marriage alive and wonderful. thanks rose

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