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Marriage That Thrives, Not Just Survives (Commitment: Part 2)

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Read Part 1: Building A Thriving Marriage Through Unconditional Commitment

Commitment isn’t a one-time vow; it’s the daily currency of a lasting marriage.

Against all odds, John Betar and Ann Shawah have crafted a love story for the ages. Their enduring romance blossomed during the Great Depression and has weathered the storms of war, social change, and disaster over eight decades of marriage. In a world of fleeting romances, John and Ann are living proof that true love isn’t just for fairy tales.

Ann’s future seemed set for an arranged marriage when she was a teenager. But destiny intervened when she met John Betar. Smitten, the young lovers eloped with little more than their passion to sustain them, settling in New York simply because they lacked the means to journey farther. Their community doubted the marriage would last, but decades later, John and Ann still greet each morning hand-in-hand, gazing at each other with devotion.

John and Ann built a prosperous life together, raising five children and welcoming over a dozen grandchildren. They stuck to simple yet wise principles: “Get along. Compromise. Live within your means and be content.” With faith in God, John and Ann credit their lifelong love to a sense of divine blessing (1).

Inspired by John and Ann’s lasting love? Their epic story offers valuable lessons in sustaining commitment despite challenges. Similarly, the biblical tale of Ruth and Boaz gives a beautiful example of unconditional marital devotion. In this series on building a thriving marriage, we’ll explore the principles that have made these iconic bonds solid and enduring.

The Original Power Couple of Commitment

Unconditional commitment in marriage doesn’t end with the wedding vows and saying “I do,” nor does it fade when the honeymoon glow wears off. Commitment isn’t a one-time vow; it’s the daily currency of a lasting marriage.

The story of Ruth and Boaz gives us a godly model for commitment in marriage. Their tale in the Book of Ruth shows devotion when life gets messy. Ruth was a Moabite lady married into a Hebrew family. After her husband passed, loyalty led Ruth to stick with her mother-in-law Naomi instead of heading home. When Naomi moved back to Bethlehem, Ruth pledged, Where you go, I’ll go too. Your people will be my people” (Ruth 1:16). Ruth left behind her culture and faith to stand by Naomi.

In Bethlehem, Ruth started working hard, gleaning in the fields. There, she met Boaz, Naomi’s honorable relative. Seeing Ruth’s tireless service, Boaz protected her. His care showed extraordinary commitment. United by respect, compassion, and duty, Ruth and Boaz wed. Ruth became King David’s great-grandma and an ancestor of Jesus. Ruth and Boaz didn’t just fall in love; they built a legacy of loyalty, character, and divine destiny.

Ruth and Boaz model unconditional commitment, requiring sacrifice, but the rewards are enormous. Their tale promotes extending grace in spats, giving love without expecting squat in return, and persistent mutual forgiveness – godly principles that can sustain marriage through daily struggles. By following this biblical blueprint, a husband can renew devotion every day, no matter what comes his way.

Just as Ruth and Boaz found strength in their divine commitment, so too can modern couples find sanctuary in their vows, especially when life’s inevitable stressors attempt to fray the edges of their union. Whether facing financial hardships, health crises, or the myriad obligations that come with family and faith, a steadfast commitment to each other and God acts as a bulwark, turning challenges into opportunities for deeper intimacy. Yet, it’s crucial to remember that even the most golden of threads can snap if stretched too thin. In moments where commitment risks becoming a vulnerability—perhaps due to a spouse’s neglect or worse—it’s not just permissible but essential to seek divine guidance and prioritize your well-being. After all, God’s commitment to you is the model upon which your marital commitment is built, a commitment that is as concerned with your individual flourishing as it is with the growth of your partnership.

What Unconditional Commitment Really Means

Unconditional commitment is the bedrock of a strong marriage. It means loving and supporting your partner without conditions or limitations. This commitment is the cornerstone of a marriage, providing a stable foundation to build a life together.

Every marriage faces its own stressors, whether financial struggles, family pressures, or work demands. These challenges can test the strength of a marriage, making commitment all the more crucial. When life pushes you to the edge, commitment is the force that pulls you back into each other’s arms. It creates a sense of intimacy and unity, helping you to face challenges as a team rather than as individuals at odds with each other.

While unconditional commitment is the foundation of a strong marriage, it has risks. Complete devotion can leave you vulnerable, especially if your spouse takes advantage of your trust. The danger increases if there’s a pattern of spousal abuse or disregard for your well-being. In such cases, it’s crucial to prioritize your safety and lean on God for guidance and reassurance.

When life pushes you to the edge, commitment is the force that pulls you back into each other’s arms.

The Dynamic Duo: God and Your Spouse

      Weekly Prayer as Marital Super Glue

Prayer and Bible study aren’t just spiritual habits but the superglue binding a marriage together. Committing to each other comes more naturally when both partners are committed to God.

Schedule weekly prayer sessions as a couple. Spiritual practices like prayer and Bible reading aren’t just solo endeavors but team sports. When you and your wife commit to growing spiritually together, it reinforces your marital bond (2).

Setting aside dedicated time to pray as a tag team draws you closer to God and closer to each other. It’s a chance to align your hopes, share your hearts, and support each other’s walks with the Lord. You’ll deepen mutual understanding and trust when you bare your souls before the only One who truly knows you both.

Prayer is a powerful glue when life tries to pull you apart. Keeping God at the center reminds you that everything – even your marriage – is in His hands. With Christ as the firm foundation, you can weather any storm that comes your way. So, huddle up, hold hands, and talk to Jesus…together.

     Daily Rituals that Last a Lifetime

Date nights, quality time, and open communication brightens the fire of commitment. These aren’t just lovely extras – they’re crucial for sticking together in marriage.

Make bringing each other coffee every morning a regular ritual. These aren’t just cheesy romantic moves – they’re daily “I’ve still got you” gestures. Taking a few minutes to serve your wife her morning cup of joe reminds her (and you) that even when life gets hectic, your commitment remains rock solid. It’s a simple way to start each day looking into each other’s eyes, kissing quickly, and saying “I love you” before rushing off.

Small acts of service like this reinforce that your priorities are set straight. Let the minutia wait – your wife comes first. Making her coffee takes little effort but speaks volumes. It’s one of many little deposits that add to a relationship savings worth far more than the cost of beans and water. Take a moment to savor your own freshly brewed cup o’ commitment. Do the little things daily and watch your flame grow from flickering to blazing. Your steadfast devotion will shine through.

Financial Fumbles and the Safety Net of Love

Unconditional commitment can be a massive asset in a marriage, especially during external struggles like financial hardship. When bills pile up and money’s tight, your spouse’s steadfast devotion is a reliable safety net you can depend on. It’s the super glue that bonds you together when everything else feels like it’s falling apart.

Leaning on each other for support and tackling money problems as a team makes getting through tough times much easier. No matter how bad it gets, you can face it with the reassurance you are, therefore, one another.

     Tending the Garden of Emotional Intimacy

A couple of years ago, my daughter had the idea of planting a garden, and she made it happen last year. It “looked” great, and everyone loved it. But this year, she got a job that required her to be gone all week and only came home for the weekends. With no real work put into it, her once lovely garden now looks like a bed of weeds. Relationships are like gardens; they require work.

Emotional intimacy isn’t just a nice bonus in marriage; it’s a must. Here’s a tip: Schedule weekly check-ins to discuss feelings and concerns. I met with a woman doctor the other day, and she told me that she and her husband meet once a week, Thursdays, to check in and be honest. They are in their early 30s, but because of her challenging experience of becoming a doctor, they had to learn to put in safeguards to protect their marriage. Couples need to face each other, literally and metaphorically, continually. Emotional intimacy is like a garden – it requires regular tending… or all you are left with is weeds.

Sit down once a week, look each other in the eyes, and talk it out—water those flowers by opening up. Listen, understand, empathize. Your spouse should know your hopes and fears as well as you do.

     The 24-Hour Rule: Nipping Conflicts in the Bud

As C.S. Lewis in his book points out, genuinely humble people don’t devalue themselves or seek attention for their humility; instead, they are cheerful, intelligent, and genuinely engaged with others, directing their focus outward instead of on themselves. It could be summed up that humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less. (3)  Here’s another tip: When there was a problem in the family, my mom would say, “We got to nip in the bud,” which means we need to take care of this before it grows. Follow the 24-hour rule – address any issues or misunderstandings within a day. This principle is essential for good marital communication.

Being open and honest means putting your spouse’s needs first and talking out conflicts. Don’t let things fester – nip issues in the bud before little problems become significant rifts. A dash of humility helps, too – quick listening and slow to anger. It’s about putting your spouse’s needs above your own and resolving conflicts through open dialogue.

     Daily Doses of Love: The Power of Affirmation

Encouragement isn’t just cheerleading; it means spiritual and personal growth. Here’s one last tip: Send daily affirmations by text or handwritten notes. Uplift each other in good times and bad.

Words of affirmation can make your spouse’s day. Send a loving text out of the blue. Leave a thoughtful note on their pillow. Build each other up and watch your commitment grow stronger than ever. The little things matter most when it comes to sustaining lifelong devotion. With a dash of care and a sprinkle of vigilance, your love isn’t just for now—it’s forever (4).

Synergistic Unity: When ‘We’ is Stronger Than ‘Me

When partners prioritize “we” over “me,” they create a powerful team capable of overcoming any challenge. Sustaining unconditional commitment in marriage is more than possible—it’s a godly duty. It requires effort, honesty, and a focus on mutual growth. By centering on the two main pillars of marital commitment—dedication to God and each other—you lay a solid foundation for your relationship.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lifelong commitment is vital.
  • Dedication to each other and God is essential.
  • Open communication and emotional closeness are crucial.
  • Focus on “we” instead of “me.”

Next Steps:

  1. Schedule regular emotional and spiritual check-ins.
  2. Consider couples’ counseling or retreats.
  3. Join a prayer group and read the Bible together.

So, what’s stopping you? Armed with these insights and practical steps, you’re ready to strengthen your marital bond. The journey may be challenging, but the rewards of lifelong devotion are unparalleled. With God’s help and your perseverance, you can build a marriage that truly goes the distance. Now, write your own epic love story.


  1. Meet America’s Longest-Married Couple
  2. Focus on the Family
  3. C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book 3, Chapter 8, “The Great Sin,” Kindle location 1665
  4. Creating Unconditional Love

Paul Luna

Paul Luna is a pastor, husband & father of four in Oregon. He's passionate about faith, family, & community, he enjoys painting, hiking, & tech.

All stories by: Paul Luna