How Do You Maintain Promises in Your Marriage?

by | #TellHisStory, Christian Living, Marriage, Romance & Marriage | 9 comments

After a busy week, I like to relax by watching a favorite movie. One of those is Shall We Dance, an older movie starring Richard Gere and Susan Sarandon.

It’s about a married man who is blessed in many ways but longs for happiness in the routine and drudgery of his life. He spies a woman in the window of a dance studio he passes daily on the L-train. Somewhere in the middle of the movie, he tells her, “You looked on the outside the way I was feeling on the inside.”

His wife suspects he’s having an affair and hires a private detective, who learns her husband is taking dance lessons. When she confronts her husband, he admits to being ashamed about not being happy. Later, she suggests he can teach her to dance, but he tells her he’s not dancing anymore. Then he goes to her and apologizes by saying, “The one thing I am proudest of in my whole life, is that you’re happy with me. If I couldn’t, if I couldn’t tell you that I was unhappy sometimes is because I didn’t want to risk hurting the one person I treasure most. I’m so sorry.”

When the husband is invited to a farewell party for the dance instructor, his wife gives him a gift—something he wants that finally comes in a box—dancing shoes. With the song “The Book of Love” playing in the background, the viewer watches him wrestle with his passion for dance. Then, on the way home, he looks at the dance studio window and sees a dance invitation for him.

Looking dashing in a black tux and carrying a single red rose, he takes the department store escalator to where his wife is working late and hands her the rose. She asks why he isn’t at the dance. He tells her to dance he needs a partner, and his partner is right in front of him. He asks her to dance, but she doesn’t know the steps. He promises to teach her.

The Promise of the Ordinary

As someone who will be married thirty-two years on Saturday, this is one of the most romantic movies to me because anyone who has been married for a period of time can understand how that relationship needs to be nurtured in order to remain strong.

When we’re young and in love, passion runs rampant and we may not be able to keep our hands off our partner. Once the wedding cake is eaten, the dress cleaned and put away, the honeymoon over, and photos framed, couples face spending the rest of their lives together.

Then, the kids come. The house payment needs to be made. The car needs to be inspected. And everyday life has a way of stealing away the joy we may have felt on our wedding day. The passion gives way to the ordinary. We may feel taken for granted. Or even forgotten. Perhaps even cast aside for someone else in search of that passion again. But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can hold onto those marital promises especially in the ordinary. That’s what real romance is all about.

We can hold onto those marital promises especially in the ordinary. That's what real romance is all about. #tellhisstory #marriage #romance Click To Tweet

The Promise of One Another

The longer I’m married, the more I value my relationship with my husband. I want him to feel like the most important person in my life, to know I have his back. I need to build him up so he can be the man God created him to be.

For that to happen, I need to pray for him daily, show him how much he means to me, and love him always, even on those days when it may feel a little harder. And I want to honor him with my words and attitude. As a Christian woman, I need to model Godly behavior, especially when my patience is tested or I’m frustrated about a situation.

Strengthening our marriage demands daily prayer and guidance. Every marriage is different, and I understand some marriages fall apart. My heart aches for those couples. If you are married, remember—no couple is perfect. However, with God’s help, you may be able to have the kind of relationship you desire.

Strengthening our marriage demands daily prayer and guidance. #TellHisStory #marriage #romance Click To Tweet

The Promise of True Passion

True passion, true love, is the kind that runs deep—the kind that withstands the mundane, the kind that supports a job loss or life-altering illness, the kind that vows are made of—for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

That’s a promise we make to our dance partner—it’s a promise to care for him or her, a promise to teach her the steps, a promise of a partnership. A promise for a lifetime.

Your Turn: How do you maintain promises in your marriage?
How Do You Maintain Promises in Your Marriage? #marriage #romance #TellHisStory Click To Tweet

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  1. Joanne Viola

    Lisa, marriage is such a complicated relationship and yet, worth all the effort. We are married 42 years and I would surely do it all over again, even with all the twists and turns. They all served to strengthen our love and commitment to one another. Blessings and Happy Anniversary!

  2. Linda Stoll

    32 years is something worth celebrating! Thanks for talking about marriage in THIS season of life, Lisa. These are the good old days …


  3. Barbara Harper

    That is one of my favorite movies, and that escalator scene and following is, to me, one of the most romantic in movie history.

    Great post, Lisa. Romantic love isn’t just the exciting beginning. It’s treasuring each other through the hard and mundane in life as well.

    • Barbara Harper

      Oh–and Happy anniversary!!!

  4. Michele Morin

    We wrote our marriage vows and then memorized them for the ceremony, so from time to time, we repeat them. Keeping promises to honor and cherush fresh in our minds keeps them fresh in our lives.

  5. Donna

    Lisa, such a beautiful post and such wise words of wisdom for all married couples. We celebrate 36 years in December, and for sure everything has not been perfect, but I love what you say about the committment, it is choosing your partner despite those twists and turns! Wishing you a very Happy Anniversary!!

  6. Jeanne Takenaka

    Lisa, I love that movie. I think I need to watch it again. 🙂 You have so many great thoughts about keeping marriage relationships strong. The reminder to choose my husband, to pray for him, to love him well even when it’s harder . . . these are things that strengthen love in a relationship.

    Happy Anniversary, friend!

  7. Theresa E Boedeker

    That is a good movie! Commitment, the desire to keep trying and sticking through thick and thin and trying new things. My sister and I were talking about this last night. It definitely applies to marriage. Marriage has ups and downs, but it is our commitment to keep being faithful and keep loving one another that drives me to keep working on it. Having our daughter get married renewed our commitment to keep making this work so we could be a good example to them and future grandkids.

  8. Lois Flowers

    Happy Anniversary, Lisa! After 27 years, my husband and I are in it for the long haul. We’re stuck with each other for good, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 🙂