I sat there at home, alone, in total agreement and giving up an 'amen' intermittingly as I looked at, and listened intently to TD Jakes expound on the topic of Commitment. And, boy, was I wowed. What I totally got from that morning that I decided to stay at home and be quiet — listening to my favourite preachers, is the importance of being responsible in all of our relationships. Not that he spoke on anything new, but we really do need reminding ever so often, Yes?
Mr Jakes reminded all who listened that when a couple gets together and makes the commitment of marriage, it really is for 'better or worse'. But look at what happens when 'worse' comes along — most human beings forget what their vows meant and run away. It really has become obvious to everyone that marriage does not have the level of commitment that is needed to keep the marriage alive and lasting.
I am sure that he was not encouraging us to stay in relationships that will hurt us or are threatening to our well being, but clearly we expect that everything will be peachy, peachy in our relationships when they will not be. Some folks decide what they will take and what they will not take in a relationship before they even get into one. And while one can understand that this may be a measure of precaution on their part, how do we know what we are able to endure if we are not around to endure?
Breathe and go back again to that last sentence which can be a topic in itself. Some folks who are really committed to their relationships/marriages have survived and thrived after the (serious) challenges because of their commitment to each other. It has to be both-sided, you see.
He went on to talk about our responsibility in the parent/child and child/parent relationship. What with the demise of commitment to children — one does not have to look too far to know why there is a breakdown in healthy family life and relationships. One thing that will improve and keep families together is our commitment to respect one another regardless of how old or young we may be. Respect breeds respect and so it deserves to be one of the guidelines that we build our relationships on. At the end of the day, when respect reigns even in the absence of love, love can and will grow. When we make it a point to treat others the way we want to be treated, we are demonstrating that we are willing to be responsible in our relationships.
And our other relationships are not exempted at all. When those we have relationships with — at home, school, church or work — are in trouble, what do we do? Do we do the brotherly/sisterly, responsible thing by being there for them, or do we huddle with the 'perfect' amongst us and condemn and cast aside the broken brother or sister? Do we just stand by and let another wounded soldier in the journey of life stumble to death then? No, life is not a war but it can be very challenging at times, having to fight up with so many things. But the fight can end when we accept that the battle is not ours and that it's the Lord's.
Yes, I always have to come back to the spiritual side because we are spiritual beings first of all — trying our best to overcome the physical challenges of life. When we know better, we do better, and this would apply to the way we handle all our relationships. Being responsible in all our relationships means that we become better with each new day, because we have no idea whose life we may influence if we are not responsible or if we are. People observe us and they may even pattern our behaviour at times. AND do we know who is observing us, watching how we react under pressure; how we speak to others; if we are putting God first in our lives. People know who we are; they know our strengths and weaknesses and when they see us overcoming our weaknesses — that we are not making the same inappropriate choices we made five, ten years ago, they realise and finally accept that we are responsible now and passing on a legacy of responsibility to those we may be influencing.
So let us walk on water because weak faith panics, growing faith prays and seasoned faith walks on water in the midst of the storms.