DISCERNMENT ARTICLES

Fear of commitment

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We live in an age when life moves fast, information comes nonstop, and sometimes it may seem the best way to deal with millions of options is not to lock into any of them. That’s the consensus of a number of studies on fear of commitment, a growing problem in younger generations.

When a 24-month cell phone plan seems like an epic commitment, how can a person even consider making a lifelong commitment like marriage or priesthood? The idea of a lifelong vocation flies in the face of today’s what if? mentality. (Though curiously, permanent tattoos are common!)

Saying “yes” to one path on life’s journey ultimately means saying “no” to many other options. That’s the bottom line with fear of commitment—a fear of missing out on something else. What if something better comes along?

What if someone better comes along? For young men considering the priesthood, the possibility of meeting someone and falling in love can be particularly stunting.

Despite what today’s culture tells us, no one can have everything. It’s a difficult lesson to learn, but it is the reality. With every life choice we make, we negate a thousand other options.

There are certainly many unknowns in life. But our best option is to trust in God’s plan for each of us.

Of course we all have free will, but we can’t forget that God knows best. We can never underestimate His deep love for each one of us. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer 29:11).