“For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?” Luke 14:28
Look at that family—they’ve got it together. Do you ever think that? “That couple has great chemistry. If we had their chemistry, we would have the marriage they have.” Or “Look at their environment —or parents —or grandparents —or background. That must be what makes a successful family.”
But all that is just perception—not reality. Those families have problems, too.
At the center of a God-honoring family is commitment—a total, unswerving, unalterable lifetime commitment to do life together under God. Commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation.
Do you want that for your family? Then consider these four aspects to lasting, godly commitment that you need to make:
#1. Commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation when you have total commitment to Christ.
It all begins with your commitment to Christ. Anything less than a 100% radical commitment to Christ is no commitment at all. To Christ first, above everything. Above my wife. Above my children. Above everything.
In their honest moments, most people know the struggle to not love other people— their families, for example—more than they love God. But Jesus said in Matthew
10:37, “He who loves father and mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”
#2 Commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation when the cost is calculated.
Jesus said in Luke 14:27, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.” The cross is symbolic of all the hardship related to following Christ.
To be Christ’s disciple demands careful analysis. It means you have to count the cost of that commitment ahead of time. “Can I finish the course? Can I follow Christ to the end? Can I be a faithful husband for my whole life? Can I be the wife God has called me to be? Can I be the parent? Because if I can’t be, I have no business making the commitment.” But to be standing beside your spouse ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years later and to be able to say, “I still do” is powerful! And that power will flow down to your children and to your grandchildren.
#3 Commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation when the course is finished.
Jesus Christ is looking for finishers in a world of quitters.
How many of you have made a commitment to Jesus Christ and your extended family equipped, “Set the clock. It’s just a phase she is going through. He will come to his senses.” And now here you are five years later, ten years later. Did you make a real commitment? 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us because they were not of us. If they had of been of us, they would have remained with us.” It is enduring to the end that shows the legitimacy of a profession of faith.
The world is filled with starters. Up like a rocket and down like a rock. The power of commitment is what lets you finish the course.
#4 Commitment is a powerful tool for family transformation when the price is paid.
You need to know now that there is a price that you will have to pay to have a God-honoring, successful family. So here’s the thing, if you’re not willing to pay the price, don’t even commit. Families that only stay together until hardship comes or conflict arises never experience the power of commitment.
It’s somewhat easy to talk about commitment in a vacuum. But I’ll tell you, living the Christian life is hardest at home. Some of you are going to face something this year as a family that will call for a massive price to be paid! Get ready. When you want to pull back—that’s the time to press in and push forward and draw down upon the Lord’s strength to live a life of absolute total commitment to your family.
The families that you respect, have found it! And you can, too. But it takes your commitment.
By Dr. James MacDonald