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Commitment – the foundation of intimacy

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By Dave Henning / December 13, 2017

“Commitment is the foundation of intimacy, because without commitment there can be no trust, and without trust there can be no intimacy.”- John Ortberg

“The man who makes a vow makes an appointment with himself at some distant time and place.”- G. K. Chesterton, “A Defence of Rash Vows”

In Chapter 7 (“We Should All Be Committed”) of I’d Like You More . . . , John Ortberg notes the commitments we make and keep mark our days.  In addition, those commitments form our identities and anchor our intimate relationships.  Also, as Lewis Smedes writes, commitment establishes a “small island of certainty” in an uncertain world.  Furthermore, intimacy and commitment must link together.

Thus, intimacy without commitment contains greater potential for hurt.  On the other hand, commitment without intimacy creates hurt.  Also, commitment:

  • possibly creates fear because it means the loss of options
  • builds an invisible fence around us – we freely choose to honor the restrictions it places on our freedom
  • gives commitment makers and keepers a kind of freedom commitment avoiders never know

Finally, Pastor Ortberg comments on G. K. Chesterton’s’ statement about making vows:

“In the act of commitment, I bind myself to that future moment.  I’m not free to love another woman, I’m not free to follow another God.  and yet somehow, that ‘not free’ commitment leads to a deeper freedom than all the other options and escape clauses in a commitment-phobic world. . . . Having the courage to commit and trust makes possible an intimacy we would otherwise never know.”

In conclusion, John states that we’re drawn to make commitments because God created us in His image.  For He not only makes, but keeps, commitments.

Today’s question: What provides the foundation of intimacy in your life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Any good commitment – the strength to last”

About the author

Dave Henning


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