Although it seems that dedication and commitment should be cornerstones of every marriage, it’s not always the case.
Men seem to struggle with the concept more than women. But no matter what we do in life these two characteristics are key to success.
Many men find it easier to dedicate themselves to success in the business world than at home. Perhaps the goals of a laborer or executive are more tangible than those of a father and husband.
To make things more confusing, how do we know what God has for us to do? And what does it mean from a practical standpoint to be dedicated and committed in our marriages? Fortunately, His Word has not left a vacuum on these issues.
We know that God wants and expects for husbands and wives to be joined together so that they can become one—literally One Flesh, according to Matthew 19:5. We are to do this by uniting with each other, while moving away from our mother and father.
When man treats his wife with respect as he is told in I Peter 3:7, it’s evident in everything he does. It will be apparent in romantic ways as he courts and pursues her, even though they are already married.
It will also be revealed as he speaks gently to her and refuses to scold or berate her. There is no room for such behavior in Godly marriage.
In addition, we need to show interest in our wives daily in everything we do. We are to value their opinions, be genuinely and eagerly supportive of their dreams, and sensitive to their concerns.
None of this can take place without spending quality time with them and with the Lord. This is a difficult task in our busy society as our lives fill with godly pursuits. But none are more important than spending time with our wives.
But, when considering dedication and commitment, we must not forget dad’s role in the family as leader. In addition to spending time with his wife, a husband must be an integral part of the family unit. He is to lead his children spiritually, to follow the Lord in all things. It is imperative that he does this by example—his children won’t value what he says if he is not living it out in his own life.
Man must also lead financially, showing his family that money is to be valued for what is it—a tool with which to carry the Gospel to the unreached and help the poor and needy. He is also to invest and spend wisely, that his children may see and learn to do the same.
Men, we never know when our children are watching what we do, so take heed. For example, when our kids were little, we went to see a movie in a theater one Saturday afternoon. After watching Home Alone as a family, we decided we wanted to see it again right away.
Instead of wandering around the lobby for a few minutes so that we could sneak back into the theater, I took my family outside, bought new tickets, and reentered the theater to watch it a second time. Fifteen years later I discovered that it had a profound impact on my children. I had no idea they were even paying attention.
We need to lead our families ethically. When opportunities present themselves to cut corners in order to get ahead, we need to consider the compromise and the effect it will have on our wives and children, both immediate and future.
Finally, it is important for us to be there for our wives and kids. They need our involvement in everything from Little League to Cheerleading, from grocery shopping to dinner.
This is dedication and commitment. It’s what God expects from us—it is what we were born to do.