Good marriages are a rarity. The promise of fidelity “till death do us part” is so quickly broken. The flame of love that glowed brightly on the wedding day so soon loses its radiance. The romance that promised lasting bliss wilts like a fading rose.
Marriage is like a ship sailing across the ocean. For the journey to be successful there needs to be a captain, a compass, a source of power, and an anchor. There also need to be provisions and adequate supplies.
The journey may be smooth, but it is realistic to expect storms and turbulence. Sickness and death may occur. Relationships are tested. Supplies get depleted. To arrive safely is nothing less than a miracle, though many times people simply call it “good luck.”
Lasting marriages are built on love, truth, and commitment. The rest of this article will deal with our commitments. Commitment is defined as our pledge or promise to keep our word.
I. Commitment to the “Captain”
The captain of the ship is the one who navigates the ship and keeps it on course. In the home, while the husband is responsible to chart and map the course of the new home, he is not able of himself to always make wise decisions. No one has all the wisdom and insights to see ahead far enough to negotiate the dangers that are unforeseeable.
I want to introduce you to my Captain. He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and the Saviour of the world. Jesus has all wisdom, all knowledge, and all power. “Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth” (Matthew 28:18).
He knows the way because He is the way (John 14:6). He gives us the map for the journey—the Bible. In it, he tells the husband how to love his wife and shows how the wife can reverence her husband. If you make Jesus the Captain of your marriage, He will guide you through rough seas when misunderstandings, difficulties, and unexpected twists threaten to wreck your marriage. In those moments He says, “Trust Me, follow Me, and bring Me your cares, your doubts, your fears, your troubles. Let Me pilot your marriage.”
II. Commitment to a Compass
Just as it would be insane to begin a journey across the desert without a guide, so it would be to cross the ocean without a compass. This is also true of marriage. I already introduced you to the Bible as the guide for life. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). “Though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” (Isaiah 30:20, 21).
Read the Bible. Let it be your daily meditation. God promises it will show you God’s best, making you wise unto salvation (2 Timothy 3:15). What better relaxation can the husband and wife share than to spend time with the Bible? Try it.
III. Commitment to a Source of Power
Ships do not empower themselves. They need an engine. Neither do marriages thrive on their own steam. Good marriages are not the result of fate or chance or good luck. There is planning, purpose, and divine intent. When Jesus ascended into Heaven He promised to send a Comforter – the Holy Spirit—to guide and to empower us to live victoriously (John 16:13).
God’s Holy Spirit helps us to understand ourselves, our spouse, and how to interpret and apply Bible truth to every experience we face in marriage. I encourage you to prove this to be true. The Holy Spirit is given to those who obey the captain, Jesus Christ (Acts 5:32). Those who follow the captain and are taught by the Holy Spirit are able to understand the road map. Marriages built on this foundation experience a richness of love, peace, and fidelity that is rare in our present culture.
IV. Commitment to an Anchor
Ships need anchors. Anchors keep them from drifting while resting in the harbor. The anchor of successful marriages is simply the old time traditional values. The commitment to love and cherish your spouse “in health and sickness, prosperity and adversity, until death do you part” is of greatest importance. Divorce is not an option. The promise to love and cherish is unconditional. With such resolve, a Captain who knows the way, and the Holy Spirit to guide you, no storm can sink your ship.
V. Commitment to Maintain Adequate Supplies
Ships need provisions for the journey. So do marriages. The number one provision is communication. Be open with each other about your ideals, your temptations, your feelings, your inspirations, and aspirations. Listen to each other, not just with your ears but with your heart.
The second provision is time. Take time to be alone and enjoy each other’s company. Take time together to read the road map and consider where you are in your journey. Take time together to consider how you can improve your marriage. Take time to worship your Creator and Saviour.
The third provision is financial responsibility. Husbands make it a priority to be a provider. Wives make it a priority to use their husband’s wages for the home wisely. He makes it first. You help make it last. Contentment and diligence will make your married journey much more peaceful.
There are other provisions we could talk about. Let this suffice for now. Remember, you need a Captain, a compass, a source of power, an anchor, and adequate supplies for your journey.