When we marry, we usually mean that we are making a commitment to our partner.  I wonder how many of us think carefully about what that means?  We all have good intentions, and know that it is a fundamental part of getting married.  People who do not go through legal marriage often also make commitments to each other.


There are many definitions of commitment. Here’s one.


‘A committed relationship is an interpersonal relationship based upon a mutually agreed-upon-commitment to one another involving love, trust, honesty, openness, or some other agreed-upon behaviour.  Forms of committed relationships are: Close friendship, courtship, long-term relationships, engagement, marriage, and civil unions.’


In the case of a marriage, we are making a legal commitment as well as an emotional and moral one.  There is another aspect of commitment though that I think is very important in a marriage, and especially so now when marriages are no guarantee that we will stay together for ever.


The commitment I am talking about is that of friends and family to the couple.  At the same time as we are inviting guests to witness the commitment of bride and groom to each other, we are also asking them to commit to supporting and helping the couple and their family through the difficult patches.


Here is a poem that expresses the essence of commitment.


Commitment is what

transforms the promise into reality.

It is the words that speak

Boldly of your intentions.

And the actions which speak

Louder than the words.

It is making the time

When there is none.

Coming through time

After time after time,

Year after year after year.

Commitment is the stuff

Character is made of,

The power to change the face of things.

It is the daily triumph of integrity over scepticism.

(By Ashbash)


I believe that commitment is perhaps the most important aspect of marriage.  When sex is stale, when the romance seems to have died, it is commitment that will help us to seek to re-cover the things that brought us together.  It may not work, but it is a strong vehicle for doing our best.


See this article for another discussion of commitment: