Have you ever tried to complete a puzzle without looking at the picture on the box?
A few years ago I completed a beautiful 1000 piece Thomas Kinkade Lighthouse puzzle. I probably looked at the picture on the box more than a thousand times as I tried to figure out where each piece should fit. Being able to look at the box was a great guide and comfort though the process. Of course, there were times where I got frustrated even when looking at the box. However, If I didn’t have the picture at all, I’m almost positive I would have gotten frustrated much more often, and I might have even quit. I mean, having the picture is kind of the most important part to completing a puzzle isn’t it? Without knowing what all these randomly colored pieces eventually will create makes it seem like a rather difficult and even pointless task.
This same idea can be applied to the importance of commitment in relationships.
When putting together a puzzle, and I finally find where a particular difficult piece goes with the help of looking at the picture, it’s such a good feeling. I feel accomplished and ready to tackle the next one. In our relationships, there will be so many puzzling situations we come across. Some pieces take longer to figure out than other pieces, and some pieces you have to figure out before you can go any further. In these difficult moments, we have to refer back to our original commitment – the picture on the puzzle box – in order to help us through those frustrating arguments or trials. If we don’t have that to look back on during these hard times, we might end up quitting the puzzle altogether… quitting on our relationship altogether.
When working through the puzzling moments in our relationship, I look back at our original commitment we made to each other: “That we promise to be together for eternity,” and I feel so much comfort. I feel comforted knowing that no matter how difficult a situation is, we won’t give up on our marriage because we WANT TO be with each other forever. We have not gone into our marriage with a plan of quitting, and we still don’t intend to. I can’t imagine being in a relationship where we aren’t working on the same end goal; where we aren’t fully invested in working through each argument or hardship. Without a sincere, long-term commitment, I can’t see the journey through love being easy, nor as enjoyable as it definitely has the power to be!
Just like the 1000 times you continue to pick up a new puzzle piece and place it, we have to recommit ourselves to our spouses daily. We need to actively decide how invested we are in the relationship, and actively set aside time to work on that relationship.
I’m grateful to not only have a marital commitment to refer back to, but also an eternal one. My mom gave me this Temple Square puzzle for Christmas a few years ago, and I now look at it as a lovely reminder of these two commitments.