Commitment is a funny kind of word. In one sense it represents something noble and good such as dedication to one’s spouse or career. “Allegiance, loyal, and faithful” are words that are often connected to the idea of commitment. In the recent Olympics we saw numerous examples of dedicated athletes committed to a work ethic which produced exceptional skills in their specific arena. Teachers can be committed to their students and most mothers are committed to their children in the spirit of fidelity, faithfulness, and devotion.
BUT, commitment can also refer to an obligation, a duty, or even a restriction of freedom. Just the word “commitment” can cause a breakout of hives in some. They like the freedom of not answering to others. In some cases, commitment can mean that one is being sent against their will to a place they might not want to go. As in, “Oh, we had to have momma committed because she kept taking her clothes off in public places.” Social, religious, and business commitments can often become the very beasts which overwhelm and defeat us.
I fear the negative far outweighs the positive for many as our society spins around the concepts of selfishness, fear, and political correctness. Commitment to a spouse has been twisted and turned into something ugly. Commitment to a job or business is outdated as employees are urged to climb that ladder even if it means stomping on others. Commitment to God and Country are scoffed at daily in social media, the court systems, and educational systems. But we continue to want our children to be committed to something.
We want them to create lasting relationships and be committed to their educational goals. We want our children to serve others and be committed to having a meaningful life full of goodness and grace. Optimally, we would like them to commit to our country and the everyday heroes they come across in their life journey. And yet, the very things we often support do NOT support these committed ideas.
Social media in all of its forms rarely urges commitment to anything other than self. Elected officials are committed to themselves and their agendas rather than to the good of the country. Educational practices teach arbitrary openness to all ideas, philosophies, ways of life, and cultures. These practices teach NO commitment to anything in particular except tolerance. Our children are bombarded daily with doses of non-commitment and when a young person takes the leap to commit they are often ridiculed for that decision.
In the summer, a young tennis sensation decided to marry his girlfriend. They are both 18 years old. He proudly told the press that she was his support system and that he wanted to travel with her and create a career with her by his side. He felt that his tennis would be enhanced. While some comments were positive most were negative and concerned with his tennis career. One man hoped that “she” would not get in the way of a great career for him. Others were worried about the pressures of committing to a marriage at such a young age. The unspoken message was that it would be better for him to be committed to a tennis career, but not committed to the relationship.
Bravo for Taylor Fritz who told the world that he felt that his career would be better with her and he was willing to commit his life to her. I admit that I am still for the committed state of marriage. I am tired of tolerance and acceptance and all the systems that urge us to let go of our morals and let go of our values. I am committed to worshipping God and honoring those who fight for my Country. I am committed to working hard to serve others. I am committed to the idea of fidelity, faithfulness, and loyalty. I am committed to giving grace and showing kindness to others.
I applaud Taylor Fritz for his commitment to his girlfriend and his commitment to his sport but mainly I applaud Taylor Fritz for having the courage to commit. Be dedicated. Be devoted. Take a stand.