About two months ago, I had an opportunity to join in a discussion on TV on men fearing commitment. Before the recording of the program, Man Talk, which airs on KTN every Wednesday, I took some time to think through the subject and arrange my thoughts for good delivery. A standard practice I believe. This was my first appearance on TV, so I definitely felt a little nervous. I think I put on a good showing for a first, although later after the program I felt we failed to deliver.
You must wonder why I would say that. The reason, as God would put in my heart later as I reflected on the subject on my way home, was that we focused entirely on the surface of the question and not the depth of it. Every response we gave was to a common question, but not to the hidden attitude underneath it. You see, limiting a topic to whether men fear commitment or not will definitely birth two camps opposed to each other. The framing of the question automatically warrants a debate, and every response given will either be proof that indeed men fear commitment, or an argument against the notion.
The most such an approach can achieve is bring us back to where we began; the same debate sitting on our laps, a few individuals persuaded to shift camps, but majority convinced more than ever their position has been right all along after gathering even more points in support of it. So we remain divided, the accusers ramping up their onslaught, and the defendants fortifying their defenses. It’s no wonder the debate goes on and on with no real solution likely to be found.
I believe the best approach to give to this subject is first not to take a side. We have to admit that in truth many hearts, of men just as much as of ladies have been broken because of a lack of commitment. But for you whose heart has been broken, it will never bring you any healing knowing the fault lies with your offender or his ilk. The only way your heart is mended is when you determine your contribution to your loss, and right your wrong, not his/hers. Yes, innocent as you may wish to be assumed, you are a part of the problem majority of the time.
I’ll show you how later, but first I’d like to propose what I believe is a better approach at answering this question that just never seems to go away. ‘Do men really fear commitment?’ My answer would be, whether they do or they don’t is not important. If you find that ludicrous, I take no offense. I will explain why I believe so with two addresses, first to the men and secondly to the ladies.
If, as a man you have found it scary to take that next step with your woman, I understand you. I believe you have some good reasons for being hesitant, but you know as well as I do that your reasons are marred with lots of excuses too. Because you have kept her waiting for so long, you have layered the stereotype that men fear commitment with one more unfortunate experience. But I do not think your problem is that you fear commitment. Your problem is you do not understand what commitment is!
Your idea of commitment must be murked by the false notion that it comes with such a heavy loss. You can’t think beyond the supposed disadvantages of being tied down to this one person. It worries you sick that commitment will come with letting go the wonderful evenings you enjoy watching ball with the boys. You will literally be tethered, always having to answer to someone. She’ll always want to know where you are, why you’re late home, and how even you spent your money! That sure sounds like prison, and it freaks you out to death.
How sad, because that idea is horribly far from what commitment truly means. Cursed is the devil who conjured such an inaccurate picture of marriage. And woe unto you for believing him and forfeiting something so precious as a result. In reality you will let go of so many things when you say ‘I do’. But you must know that every ‘loss’ that results from marriage comes with an immeasurable gain. When you consider it carefully, you will be amazed to see that it is never a loss after all.
Forfeiting time with the boys for her sake is wise because with the boys all you have is friendship, but with her you have intimacy, which is far much pleasurable and requires more effort to build. If as a man you would rather hang out with the boys than be home with your wife, then that should worry you because it means the boys who life brings you together with occasionally are better friends than your wife whom you are bound to forever. Some men will argue that they find their boys more understanding. That can only happen when you open up to them more than you do with her.
She’s only making you wealthier when she holds you accountable to how you spend your money, not restricting you; for the wealthy are commended for faithful stewardship (multiplying) and not faithful spending – Matthew 25:14-30.
Commitment does not mean loss. It means gain. You obtain favor, literally, from the Lord when you find a wife – Proverbs 18:22. It is unbecoming to keep a lady guessing year after year because “I am not yet ready”. If you have never been ready for a future with her, then you do not deserve to be part of her present. It would be so kind if you released her.
[pullquote]Most ladies who complain that men fear commitment are drawn to men who show no commitment[/pullquote]
Ladies too are culpable
I always find it funny when ladies grumble about men fearing commitment, because it often betrays their obvious liking for men who fear commitment. It is indisputable that even though there are selfish and cowardly men who will not commit, there are good, bold men who get excited at the opportunity to commit to something lasting. The question is, as a lady, do you ever take the time to consider which kind a man is before you say yes?
The sad reality is that most ladies will give in to the pursuits of a man because of everything charming about him instead of everything serious about him. How godly a man is will often come way after she had fallen for how good looking he is. How forward looking he is will be preceded by how many dates he can afford. They forget that what may excite one about a man will only meet her wants but desperately fall short at meeting her needs.
A lady’s legitimate needs are meant to be met by a man’s genuine character; a quality often overlooked in favor of charm, which the Bible warns us is deceptive – Proverbs 31:30. The safest ‘yes’ is the one given to proven character. But most ladies commit to men who are yet to prove worthy, and they are to blame when their fingers get burnt.
In keeping with modesty, I will only say it is utmost foolishness to complain of lack of commitment on the part of a man you are already in a relationship with. Since when did a title-deed belong with the man intending to purchase a parcel of land but has yet to pay even a single coin? I thought commitment, both in deed and word, comes before the relationship, not the other way round. Why would a man feel compelled to prove worthy of what he already has?
So you blame him for your tiring wait, and claim he’s not a keeper of his word. But did he even make a promise to marry you in a year or two to begin with? Very likely, it’s not his promise to you he hasn’t kept, but an expectation you never made clear from the start that he hasn’t met. In that case, aren’t you the one to blame?
In summary; if, whether a man or a lady, you fear commitment, then simply appreciate the gain that comes with it and you will embrace it; and if, whether male or female, you have been hurt before by lack of commitment, then be so wise to first seek proof of it before committing to anything next time.