Last week I commented to a coworker that his lunch smelled good and I asked him what he was warming up in the microwave. He broke into a mile-wide grin and said, "Would you believe my wife has made me lunch everyday?" I laughed and congratulated him, and told him that was great to hear.
Troy (not their real names) and Angela got married on Easter Sunday of this year. They have been a couple for the past seven years and have been cohabitating for the last six, and just got married within the last two months.
I asked Troy what else has changed in the few months since his wedding and he said, "Almost everything! It's really weird. Things are calmer around the house, we're not on edge and everything is going really, really well!"
I asked Troy if anything else significant has happened, other than changing her last name, and as he laughed he said no, that was all. He said he can't really understand the difference, but he likes it.
I took this opportunity to explain to Troy that I knew what the difference-maker was. I told him the ring really does matter, and more than that, it's the commitment.
Even though they have been living together for the past six years and have built a relationship, they have always had "an out." As long as they were only living together and not married, they didn't have the same level of commitment that they now share.
When things get tough—and things get tough in every relationship—it's easier to toss in the towel and break up without the ring and the commitment of marriage.
I told Troy that the commitment he made to her when they got married means more to Angela than he can imagine!
Most women want commitment and security, and when they don't have those, they are unsettled.
Troy listened intently as I described what Angela was feeling and he soaked it up like a sponge. He nodded in agreement when I explained that they no longer had "an out" when things got tough and that the commitment they now shared was not only binding legally, but also in the sight of God and their witnesses.
You see, commitment will get you through when the storms of life are pounding away at your anchor. They will allow you to stand firm, without wavering in your convictions.
Without having a predetermined resolve that you will stick by your spouse when life gets tough, thoughts of doubt and despair may creep in and begin to take hold in your heart.
The ring is a reminder of that commitment.
It is no secret or surprise that bad things happen in life. Sickness, job loss, disappointment, financial setbacks, and countless other challenges appear in our path on a continual basis. Challenges and problems cannot be avoided and oftentimes cannot be controlled, much less result in a preferred outcome.
What you can control, however, when you face these trials and tribulations is your response to them. How will you handle these setbacks? Who will you turn to for comfort, and who will you turn to for solutions?
Will you play the blame game and try to find fault in others, or will you accept the fact that bad things do happen to good people and work together to find a way out of the mess you are in?
The answer lies in your resolve and commitment to one another.
It is easy to fall victim to your circumstances and to find fault in your spouse for your current or ongoing problems. Resolve and total commitment to one another is paramount in determining the success in your relationship.
We encourage couples to commit to love their spouse, regardless of the circumstances that come their way and to learn from every setback and failure.
I applaud Troy and Angela for taking the bold step at this point in their relationship and making the commitment of marriage.
He has clearly witnessed a positive change in the atmosphere at home and in the way he and Angela communicate with one another.
And, to top it all off, now he gets home cooked left-overs for lunch everyday!
Life is good! Way to go Troy!