What to Do If You’re Afraid of Commitment
Written by Phylicia Masonheimer | August 11, 2016
Not everyone is eager to be in a relationship. Whether due to past trauma, difficult family dynamics or bad breakups, plenty of young women aren’t thrilled by the idea of a long-term relationship. Commitment is a big deal—God makes that clear in Scripture, both in command and example. So what do you do if you’re afraid to commit?
- Assess the fear. Commitment is God-designed; our God committed to love humanity the day He created man and woman. He has continued to keep that commitment through the millennia. He even sent His own Son to bridge the gap between humanity and Himself! To God, commitment is a necessary part of love. When we fear commitment, the commitment isn’t the problem—fear is! Fear in any form is based on false information about God’s presence and power. John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear.” When we truly trust God and His plan, we are not afraid! Jesus told His followers “do not be afraid” twenty-one times in the New Testament. This call to abandon fear was also a call to trust in Him. We don’t need to fear commitment because God designed it, and Christ has promised His presence to all those who trust in Him.
- Submit the fear to God. How do we give over our fear and walk in confidence? This is a daily decision each of us must make. Much like dealing with anxiety or lustful thoughts, overcoming fear requires us to “take captive” each thought and submit it to Christ. Instead of indulging in the “what ifs” of commitment, we thank God that He has committed to us, pray that He will guide us to the right time and place to commit, and fill our minds with the positive truths from His Word. By doing this daily—even hourly, as necessary—you will create a habit that will be with you for life.
- Embrace Christ’s commitment to you. The ultimate commitment was made to you when Christ died on the Cross. Christ gave up His royalty, His throne, His honor and His dignity to come to this sinful earth. He committed to do the hard thing because love was worth that risk. This example is the commitment we are called to exemplify in our relationships. No matter what you saw in the marriages of others—no matter what fear creeps into your heart—you don’t have to embrace the world’s definition of love. Commitment is a risk, but when both husband and wife commit to God’s design for marriage and covenant to never stop pursuing God’s plan, “there is no fear in love.” It is the risk that makes love so powerful. You might not feel ready for commitment just yet, and that’s okay! Allow the Lord to work in your heart and mind, transforming your understanding of what love should look like. Study His example in Scripture. Look at the old and new covenants. As you read about God’s faithfulness, it may reassure you that committed love is not only possible, but also a beautiful part of what it means to be alive.