Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Boiling Waters PH.
It’s already 12:32am and I am still awake. I was in a jeepney two hours ago when I overheard two women talking about relationships. They said that guys of our generation are afraid of commitment. One of them asked the question that bugged my head for hours now: “Ano bang benefits ng commitment (What are the benefits of commitment)?” The other woman replied: “Kasi siguro pag walang commitment, total deniability. Walang responsibility. Walang restrictions. You can do anything you want.”
The other woman’s answer was right. Years ago commitment is something that you celebrate, right now it is what most people avoid. Guys are the ones who avoid it most of the time. That is why, I think, most guys give a woman attention and then suddenly withdraw it to leave them wanting for more and once they’re hooked, they will then do things that will make her compromise not knowing that it’s been planned all along.
Until now I still think about that question. What are the benefits of commitment? Why are that most women settle with guys who just wanted one night stands or temporary pleasure? Why is commitment necessary?
While you are busy reading this article, try mo rin makinig sa episode namin:
Disclaimer: This is my own take for it. I don’t know if this is theologically correct but this is my own opinion. If there are more theologically sound arguments for this topic, I’d humbly accept my mistakes.
Before we continue, I just want you to know that the reason why I am basing my answer on what God says is that I believe we are all created by God and if there is someone who can give us the answer to all our questions about life, it is Him. Like what Rick Warren pointed out in his book entitled Purpose Driven Life: The only one who can define what we’re created for is the one who created us. The first and only one who knows how an invention works are the one who created it (paraphrased).
Sex = Love, Really?
First, I think the reason why we should pursue commitment is that it is impossible for love to exist without commitment. It’s just impossible. Pastor Bong Baylon said to me: Anything that offers love without commitment is a counterfeit. It doesn’t satisfy (Paraphrased). And isn’t that what we long for? A true and lasting satisfaction? Isn’t commitment what we really desire? Not sex? What we really look forward to at the end is real love (which is impossible without commitment, btw). Love will give us real and lasting pleasure. Sex, on the other hand, is just for temporary pleasure. And once our goal at the end of the line is not congruent with what we do at the present, it is impossible to get to where we want to end up to. In other words, if we keep on giving in to people who only want sex but not true love (which is our goal at the end of the line), we’re setting ourselves up for a self-inflicted suffering.
One might argue that intimacy without commitment is actually giving pleasure to the other person and should be considered selfless. After all, it gives all the feelings we want to feel, right? We can agree to disagree. There is something more to consider than just feelings. It’s not just that. Love is not just feelings. Another thing is, yes, it gives us quick pleasure but we’re disturbed by how wrong it is after we do it most of the time.
In a sexualized world where most people confuse sex with love, we mistakenly think that sex is more important than true love (which is impossible without commitment). Love satisfies our soul. Lust satisfies only the physical. Love is selfless and lust always thinks about what it can get. Love is eternal and lust is temporary. Love honors God and lust make himself the god that should get what he wants. I can go on and on but to make it simple: Why would a man hate commitment? Well, there are a lot of reasons. He could reason out that he’s not yet prepared for commitment and relationships yet. He could tell you that what he’s after is his career. But here’s what I can tell you, ladies. A real man who loves you will not touch your heart and then leave it hanging. It doesn’t matter how many excuses he might have to avoid commitment but if he’s making you settle for a love without commitment, run away. You are setting yourself up for a heartbreak. You are more than just a body or something that just fills his emotional and physical need.
Commitment is there not only to protect you from STD’s (which are a product of lust and continuously wanting more), it also allows you to protect yourself from suffering that most people in our generation are suffering from. It protects you from depression and other baggage that pain of being used brings. It keeps your heart pure until the one who really cares for you comes along. Commitment is what will truly give the fulfillment that we desire at the end of our life, not sex. A life of purpose that is prudent is what we’re really after all.
Our World Perverted the Definition of Love
In my own opinion, I think, the question “What are the benefits of commitment?” in itself begs for this question: “What’s in it for me?” I don’t know about you but the question, I think, is selfish. Why? The love that I know and the kind of love that I take a stand on is the Agape kind of love. A love that is selfless. A love that is giving, not asking anything in return. A kind of love that doesn’t think about himself but the other person above anything else The kind of love that I know is sacrificial in nature and though I fail to practice this most of the time, I still strive to love people with this kind of love. One might reply and say: “So, dapat di ko isipin ung anong meron para sakin sa isang relationship?” Of course, not. You should have a standard but it shouldn’t be low that you allow someone who doesn’t want a commitment to lead you on. Joshua Harris once wrote: “Never lower your standards, you will never regret purity.” Another might argue that Agape (selfless/God kind of love) is different from Eros (romantic kind of love), I agree. But I think, if we really want to understand commitment, we need to understand love in its highest form because that is the basis for all love and the reason why we commit is love.
I believe love, even Eros, works this way: A man who loves a lady will think about her needs alone and not how he can please himself and the same lady who feels the same kind of love to that same man will not think about her needs but his and because they think of each other, their needs will be met even when they are not thinking about themselves because the other person supplies it. That’s how parental kind of love works as well. A parent a who loves his children will think about them instead of himself.
So, love, I think, is not someone who will ask: “What can I get from it?” instead it will ask: “What can I give?”
This doesn’t answer the question but it shows the true nature of the heart that is asking the question. If you’re only after what you can get, you need to have more than just what you can get. Love is not about you in the first place.
Commitment as God’s Declaration of our Value in Him
Ever since the universe was created by God, there is a constant message that God wants us to understand and that is He loves us and He wants to commit to us. He wants to give us all the good things that He created and it starts by committing to us. Commitment mirrors our value. For example, We commit to buying something or paying something important to us, we even commit to financing other people that we love all for the simple reason that we love them and that is what God did for us and is what God is continuously doing for us. He chose His Son to die for us because that’s how He valued us. Jesus’ commitment to die on the cross for us shows the measure of love that He has for us.
This world tells us the exact opposite. It tells us that what God wants for us is to restrict us from all the good things that God has in store for us. And what we do is we reject what God says and push through with what we feel. Wait, isn’t that how sin entered the world? The devil deceived Eve and told her that God withholds something good from them and they need to do what God said they shouldn’t do in order to “get” (here’s the word again) something for themselves? Uh-oh. If that’s the case, most of us is doing the exact opposite.
So, what is the other benefit of commitment? It amplifies your value as a person. It shows that you’re worth dying for. Worth saving for and choosing someone who won’t commit to you is clearly settling for less than what you deserve.
You see, we can continue with that discussion all day long but at the end of the day, one thing is true. God loves you and His love is the basis for all kind of love. God designed us to get this intimacy under a commitment and that is to commit to thinking of the other person first before ourselves. Other ways to get “loved” is just a roll of a dice at best. Nothing else is true. You are valued. You are worth pursuing and worth protecting. Do not let a man undermine your worth because God sees more in you that you or other people can’t see most of the time.
You’re worth committing to, worth dying for actually that God sent His Son for you and unless you understand how vital this truth of how much God values you, nothing in your life will ever make sense.
“Marriage is God’s idea, and therefore it is part of his good purpose for mankind. He wants to bless us with every good and perfect gift. For marriage to be a blessing, He gave us several guidelines through His word on how to go about it. He gave us guidelines on how to initiate, grow, maintain and deepen relationships. Learning about commitment is part of that process because it is essential to love. Love is the cornerstone of all relationships, and especially marriage. Therefore, we cannot experience the goodness of relationships without love, which is all about commitment. The true good purpose of sex also cannot be experienced apart from commitment. What this world offers, and what people accept, is the counterfeit version of love, sex, and marriage. Therefore, it will never be good, and it will never bring true happiness. Anything that is counterfeit will not be able to deliver in the long run.” —Pastor Bong Baylon