When we think about someone who has commitment issues, we often automatically think within the context of a romantic relationship.
We’ve all seen the movies with the cliché story lines of a handsome, adventurous man who, for some reason, has an aversion to being with one woman for the rest of his life. He’s the man that has the expensive bachelor pad and the fast car, but is yearning for intimacy in a relationship without actually shutting himself off to all other options and outlets.
That’s nice for a Hallmark movie, but I want to talk about commitment from a much broader, more relatable perspective.
I want to preface everything I am about to say with this: I believe that single people are meant to be whole people. You aren’t broken or incomplete until you meet your significant other. A relationship status should not define your wholeness. And every aspect of your character that you work on should not be so that it makes you a more eligible candidate for marriage – it should be because you deeply desire to become the version of you that Yahweh spoke into existence. He is the basis for our wholeness, not a man, a woman, or anything else that can be lost or pass away. I believe this needed to be said because marriage is not the beginning or the end of life. It is simply another season some are called into. But just as there is a purpose and vision for a marriage, there should be a purpose and vision for your singleness. And that purpose and vision evolves to encompass a partner if/when Yahweh decides you’re to be married. The point I’m making is, you have work to do, I’m sure of it.
When Yahweh sat me down and told me I had commitment issues, I didn’t understand. At the time I was feeling kind of stuck, restless, overlooked, undervalued, misunderstood, anything but content. The reason He and I had this conversation is because I asked Him to help me be content in a situation that had nothing to do with my relationship status, but was really affecting my moods, my peace, and my joy. He responded by telling me it’s hard to be content without being committed.
Google says a commitment is, “An engagement or obligation that restricts freedom of movement.”
At the heart of commitment is restraint, control, and ultimately, sacrifice. You cannot say yes to certain things once you’ve committed your time, energy, and money elsewhere. When you commit to something, it begins to be the absolute in certain equations, it is the variable that must be accommodated in order for you to move in that direction. Why? Because when you commit to something, you prioritize it.
Often times we want the fruit of full commitment with half-hearted sacrifice. We want what comes as a result of single-minded pursuit while continuing with our double-minded actions. In my case, I wanted the satisfaction of contentment without actually doing the work that was required of me.
Not so. The commitment must be met by equal sacrifice.
If you’re a marriage-minded single like me, then you need to keep in mind that preparation for marriage has to be a holistic effort. You don’t become a wife or a husband in one area while neglecting development in all other areas. You won’t be a committed partner if you have problems being a committed employee, friend, parent, student, or coach.
Yahweh is not in the business of fragmented, isolated change. He wants to change your whole life, not just one aspect of it.
And I know what you’re thinking, what about those people who flake on everyone all the days of their lives but magically transform into the most loyal partner ever when they land a boo?
Sacrifice and self-sabotage are not the same thing.
The inability to express commitment in certain key areas of a one’s life like work ethic, familial relationships and platonic friendships indicates an unsteadiness that will undoubtedly reveal itself in a tragic way. Trust me when I say those people are building on quick sand and more than likely neglecting parts of themselves that desperately need care in the name of being a committed partner. But back to me.
I realized after my confrontation with Yahweh that I needed to evaluate how badly I wanted what I seemed to have such a hard time sacrificing for. I won’t get the most out of the season I am in, professional and personal ventures, my relationship with Yahweh, or even my physical health if I do not get the ratio of sacrifice and commitment right.
Because I am committed to this, I have to sacrifice this. It sounds simple, but in practice it’s difficult. I’ll give you some real life examples:
Because I am committed to having an hour of uninterrupted Bible study before I leave for work, I have to sacrifice an hour of sleep in the morning.
Because I am committed to being an excellent employee, I have to sacrifice being in the know on social media all day.
Because I am committed to stewarding my finances wisely, I have to sacrifice impulse and emotional spending.
Because I am committed to cultivating a healthy mind, I have to sacrifice this toxic friendship that consistently contradicts the truths I rehearse.
Because I am committed to having an honest marriage, I have to sacrifice leaning on the compliments of multiple men when I feel unattractive.
You see how this can get difficult. Depending on your level of honesty with yourself, and with Yahweh, this principle can be applied to any aspect of your life. So many of us want things we aren’t willing to sacrifice for…and unfortunately, I’m here to tell you that can’t happen.
Remember what I said about holistic change? If you notice you have commitment issues in relationships, I guarantee you there are commitment issues elsewhere in your life. Sometimes the truth is that we don’t want something bad enough. We aren’t ready to pay the price that true change demands. That’s a hard truth, but one we need to acknowledge and accept before we can evaluate why it’s the case.
So as you go through this week, with your resolutions fresh in your mind, I want you to consider what’s worth your commitment, bearing in mind that the manifestation of that goal will require an equal amount of sacrifice. What are you willing to wave goodbye to in order to accomplish a goal? What are you willing to lie on the altar in order to really change? What options are you willing to give up in order to go all in on something?
Let’s discuss in the comments.
Daniah is a 25 year old word enthusiast who is learning to love change. She’s a faith writer living and blogging in Nassau, Bahamas. She holds a BS in Civil Engineering, but is passionate about helping people improve their written communication skills in professional and personal spheres. She has dedicated her creative writing to helping others traverse the vast terrain of emotions and pain through honest conversations with themselves and Yahweh, and often chronicles lessons learned and discovered truths through writing. She is an admin assistant by day, and a college writing tutor and freelance creative writer by night. Follow her on Instagram @daniahmiller, and subscribe to her blog, www.daniahwrites.com.