Backtrack a few years: I’m hanging with my boyfriend (who is now my husband) watching the movie “Two Can Play That Game” and he blurts out, “women may know how to commit but men love better!”
Immediately the sista-girl in me rose up and in my head I said, “Oh NO he didn’t just say that. I hope he doesn’t really believe that.” Outwardly my face said it all, as I stared at him with a look of confusion so he went on to try to explain his point.
I couldn’t tell you if any of his points were good because I was still stuck on his comment. I do recall the last thing he said being “Let’s research it, you take love and I’ll take commitment and we’ll decide at the end.”
Determined to prove him wrong, I took the challenge.
As I began to do my research I did things like define love based on the dictionary and the Bible. I honed in on some of the key components of love:
Passion … ladies, we have that. Commitment … we definitely have that.
Then I got to 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 and I had to pause and wonder if he was right.
It says love is patient, kind, doesn’t envy, doesn’t boast, isn’t proud, doesn’t dishonor others, not self-seeking, not easily angered, doesn’t keep record of wrongs, doesn’t delight in evil, rejoices in truth, trusts, hopes, perseveres, never fails.
Ladies, how many of us are impatient in relationships? So often we get angry, and quickly, we hold onto the things that have been done to hurt us, we’re petty, and sometimes, we’re downright disrespectful.
When he did his research, he determined that commitment dealt with being dedicated and loyal. He discovered that commitment required faith, and it required trust. Sometimes men, due to their upbringing and broken relationships, have a fear that makes it hard to trust and have faith in something or someone, thus making it hard to commit.
At the end of it all, we discovered that you really cannot have love without commitment, and vice versa.
1 Corinthians 13:2 says, “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”
The definition of faith is a strong belief in someone or something it is a form of commitment.
This scripture teaches us that we cannot truly be committed without love and we cannot truly love without commitment.
We as Christians are taught to love as Jesus loved. That said, if we go by the definition of love in 1 Corinthians, our love has to trust, hope, persevere, and never fail, which requires a commitment to love. Further, it must not be easily angered, dishonor others, delight in evil, or be impatient. You cannot be committed, trusting, and hopeful but not act accordingly to the other definitions of love.
Love AND commitment are both a requirement for any relationship to move forward. We choose every day to love that person in good times, in bad times, in hurtful times. The daily choice is the commitment we make first to God and second to our neighbor. We often have to face — and further, oppose — the beliefs around love from a worldly perspective.
“Two Can Play That Game” was fun to watch, but the reality was, it didn’t depict behaviors that we should follow. Vivica Fox’s character was committed to Morris Chestnuts but her actions were not loving. In turn while it was apparent the Morris Chestnut loved Vivica Fox, he could not commit.
In the end, though, both of them finally came to the realization that they loved each other, and that love and commitment were necessary for them to be successful.
This exercise not only taught us about love and commitment, but it brought us closer together as we challenged social norms we discovered more about God and each other. We learned to work together to destroy the plans of the enemy.
What started as a competition to prove the other person wrong ended with a better understanding of the power we possess when we work together in love and commitment. God desires your relationship to grow with Him and your partner.
When topics or debates arise, do the research and discuss your findings. Doing the research displays commitment and holding the discussion is a display of love.
Even the exercise proves the point: You need both love and commitment in order to have a healthy and fulfilling relationship.
Nicole Rae is a wife and a mother before anything else. She and her husband are the proud parents of two beautiful princesses. She is the founder of Nicole Rae Ministries, which seeks to equip God’s people with spiritual encouragement and professional development. Her belief is that ministry goes beyond the four walls of the church and beyond building the spiritual man. Through her programs she is able to help others clarify their vision and achieve their goals. Host of the radio show, Love Beyond the Walls, she is helping men and women across the world break down spiritual, mental, emotional and physical walls. As a dynamic speaker, coach and prayer warrior, Nicole has a growing network of men and women that are being touched by her ministry. Her life journey has led her down a path of peaks and valleys in which she learned lessons that she has poured into "Married before Marriage." Chosen by God to deliver this message of love, Nicole is humbled by the opportunity to reveal God’s true design for singleness leading to marriage. The transparency of her journey displayed in this book will surely encourage you to overcome any obstacle thrown your way. Follow her on IG @MsNicoleRae or @LoveBeyondTheWallsRadio