Thursday, February 6, 2014

Intimacy and Commitment

The goal of any romantic relationship should be lifelong commitment in matrimony.
When I talk to the youth about relationships, I usually ask them why they enter into relationships, even at a young age. The common answer is, “mahal ko eh”. And when I ask them if they are ready for and are considering marriage, they would often be caught off guard and respond with a laugh. “Kasal agad? Hindi ba pwedeng boyfriend / girlfriend lang muna?”, they’d wittily reply.

I wonder what’s really the point of most romantic relationships? Ito ngayon ang problema -- mali ang pagtingin ng marami sa atin about intimacy and relationships. I would like to assert that the prerequisite for intimacy is commitment. Without commitment, there is no blessing for intimacy. Without commitment, there should be no intimacy. Without commitment, intimacy will be plain selfish and lust-driven.

In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus gives a parable about two builders: one built his house on the sand (man’s ways), while the other build his house on a rock (God’s ways). Let us now consider how this parable applies to establishing relationships.

Itinayo ng hangal (foolish) na tao ang kanyang bahay sa buhangin nang hindi isinasaalang-alang ang kinabukasan at ang mga panahon na darating. He has forgotten to consider that seasons change, and that sooner or later storms and strong winds will come. At nang tumama nga ito sa bahay, bumagsak ito, at tuluyang nawasak (v27). Gaya ng isang bahay na naka-tayo sa buhangin, ang isang relasyon na hindi naka-ugat sa mga prinsipyo ng Diyos, at hindi isinasaalang-alang ang darating na panahon ay maaaring mawasak pagdating ng panahon.
Ganito ang larawan ng marami sa mga relationships sa ngayon. Madalas, we are pursuing intimacy for the sake of intimacy. We are pursuing relationships for the sake of relationships. Walang layunin o purpose at malinaw na destinasyon ang mga relationships.

What if a young person becomes in love with someone, and they both wish to be lovers for the rest of their lives? Could this pass for “commitment”? Is it okay then for them to be in a relationship now?
scene from High School Musical
Uso sa mga kabatan ngayon ang tawagin ang kanilang mga boyfriend/girlfriend na “asawa ko”, “mame”, “dade” (corny-ness overload, I know! But a lot of teenagers actually are guilty with this!), sa kaisipan na panghabambuhay na ang kanilang relasyon. If that’s the case, does this mean it’s okay for them to be in a relationships since may “commitment” naman pala sila sa isip nila? Let me answer that by introducing to you the concept of “getting married within a reasonable amount of time.... Please say that again? “getting married within a reasonable amount of time”

When I ask students about their ideal age for getting married, the average age I get is 25-27. So, let’s say if someone is only 18, does he plan to court someone for the next 7-9 years?  Kung tatanungin mo sila, most of the youth who are in relationships today ay wala pa namang balak na magpakasal within a reasonable amount of time,  (although age should not be the lone consideration). At dahil wala pa naman silang intention to get married within a reasonable amount of time, kahit na they wish to be lovers forever, I don’t think there is “real commitment” in the equation. So it’s better to not to be in a relationship first.
Perhaps they can grow as single people first until they are ready for commitment before pursuing intimacy?

Can’t we just enjoy being in a relationship with no pressures about marriage?
Being a boyfriend/girlfriend is not the end of itself. Too many young people are wasting their time and energy in relationships that aren’t going anywhere. As already mentioned, intimacy without commitment is selfish and lust-driven.
In most cases, when we’re younger and a bit immature, relationships are short-term (though we want them to last!), serving only the needs of the moment. Hence some relationships only become a selfish way of satisfying one’s desires and needs for affection and intimacy. We enter into relationships because we want to enjoy the emotional and physical benefits of intimacy, without the responsibility of real commitment.

I’m sharing a special relationship with a friend, though we don’t really have an “official” relationship. Neither is there a physical relationship and intimacy between us since we rarely see each other. Is this acceptable?
Obviously, kung lalabas tayo kasama ng isang tao, o madalas natin siyang makasama, mas bibilis mag-increase ang intimacy ng relationship. Pero hindi mo naman kailangang makipag-date or lumabas kasama ng isang tao para maging intimate kayo. You can do that over the phone (calls and countless exchange of text messages), through the internet (e.g., facebook chats, emails), paglabas niyo kasama ang grupo ng mga kaibigan, o kaya yung magkasama lang kayo palagi sa school at pagkatapos ng mga classes niyo. A guy and a girl meeting in a restaurant for a date isn’t the issue. Ang issue ay kung angkop ba ang intimacy in your relationship sa current level niyo of commitment.
Kung walang level of commitment, why be intimate?

~ ~ ~
The man who built his house on a rock was called “wise” by Jesus. Itinayo niya ang kanyang bahay to last a lifetime. Two builders: foolish and wise; two foundations: sand and rock; two outcomes: destruction and stability. Christ’s analogy applies to relationships just as much as to houses.

Please do yourself a favor -- don’t give your heart away when there is no commitment. And do your brothers and sisters a big favor -- don’t ask or try to win their affection if you’re not yet ready to match it with genuine commitment within a reasonable amount of time.


Aikoko said...

Yihh! This one is great =) Thanks for sharing At e Jez =D

Unknown said...

I remembered a conversation we had on why I wanted a girlfriend without even thinking of a long-term commitment. I said I wanted to make mistakes. Ohhh... teenage Fiery, I was so inane.

Jez said...

Hi, Fiery! It's been years since I last heard from you. Anyway, I can still remember those silly conversations and arguments! haha! I'm looking forward to seeing you again.. I guess much has changed about your principles and ideas about life --- and I'd like to see that for myself :)

Jez said...

Hello, Aiko. Kamusta na? Thanks for taking time to read. Hope you get encouraged and blessed by my other articles, too! :) Miss you <3

Unknown said...

grabe. sobrang feel na feel ko tong topic na to. andami kong natutunan! thank you so much! praise GOD!

Jez said...

Hello Lysel.
Thank you for taking time to read this article despite its length. Hope you'd read the other articles, too! Hugs :)