FACET Tool Topics, cont'd.:
Too many movies, love songs, and TV shows reflect the notion that love is a feeling rather than a decision. This section has to do with choosing to love even when it might be difficult. Commitment is an agreement or a pledge to do something in the future, even when we may or may not feel like doing so. We act according to our agreement. Marriage represents such a commitment. We decide to love, with or without the loving feelings. What we also know about such a pledge is that when we do act based upon one's commitment we can create an atmosphere where the positive and loving feelings can more likely flourish. Scott Stanley speaks about ship captains who nailed the ship's flag to the mast so that when they were attacked they could not put up the white flag of surrender. He likens that to commitment in marriage. The commitment made on the day of the wedding is a permanent bond between husband and wife, that they will be faithful to each other and work on differences between them. The pro-active couple takes their commitment seriously and chooses to love the other daily. Couples need to look at how to be faithful in all possible ways. There are of course the obvious failures: a third party or affair. But there are also the more subtle ways, such as when one is drawn away from the relationship by the children, or one's golf game, sports team, or one's career. Choosing to be committed requires an ongoing and regular examining of how one chooses to put the relationship first. It requires faithfulness; and it may also require forgiveness when one has fallen short of this ideal.
Additional Questions to assist the conversation:
- Do you have ideas for guarding your marital commitment?
- Is jealousy likely to be a problem in your marriage? How will you handle it?
- What are some ways to strengthen your commitment to your spouse?
- Who are your models of a strong committed marriage?