A Romance Writer Looks at Marriage

Posted by on Jun 3, 2015 | 11 comments

A Romance Writer Looks at Marriage

I’ve been thinking about the responsibility of a Christian romance author to portray a godly view of marriage. I hope you’ll let me know what you think! 




Wandering Wednesdays

I met the love of my life the summer I was sixteen years old, but I didn’t fall in love with him then. He was a good friend first. It took a long time and a lot of hard lessons to create a love that is still growing after almost forty years.

Romances in books always have a happy ending, but not so in real life. There is nothing romantic about a broken heart, and happy endings derive from a lot of hard work. Being in love, and true love that lasts a lifetime are not always the same thing.

True love grows and matures over time. The best friend who made me laugh, was patient while I studied, and put up with me through a long bout of mono, was the real thing. He didn’t kiss me on the first date or even the tenth, and didn’t hold my hand for a long time, but he was there for me and cared about everything that happened in my life. I could trust him because I knew he respected me and wasn’t going to betray me for any reason. He was there every time I went searching and came back hurt and confused.

Too many girls plan the perfect Pinterest wedding but fail to prepare for the marriage. Weddings should not be all about the bride, but about two people starting on the adventure of becoming one. The wedding is the first day of a lifelong journey. The consummation of a marriage, while important, does not magically confer the status of “one flesh,” it is a part of the equation. A one-flesh relationship grows out of making the choices that lead to unity day by day, and trial by trial over a lifetime.

Without proper preparation before the wedding, real life reveals two people with very different ideas about how things should work. When the daily hassles of rent, groceries, and saving for a house in a tough economy take over, many find themselves wondering what went wrong.

True love works through the difficult stuff of life with compromise, patience, and hard work. Paul wrote that the wife is should respect her husband. The lack of his wife’s respect and trust devastates a man. When he makes a mistake, rather than holding it over his head, she must learn to keep silent and assure him of her support, encouraging him to try again.

Men are to love their wife as Christ loved the church, which means sacrifice and selflessness, even at the end of a long hard day at the office. It means protecting her heart and taking the time to seek guidance together through the word of God and prayer. It is easier for a wife to trust when she sees that God’s word is the basis for her husband’s decisions. She needs to see that he cares about her needs more than his own.

Marriage is not 50-50, but 100-100. Marriage is always putting the other first, their needs, desires, dreams, and also their right to make mistakes without reminders of past failure. It’s helping the other person become the best they can be, even if it requires sacrifice. It’s standing together right or wrong.

As a Christian romance writer, I have a responsibility to portray what happens when life is lived the way God intended, but I must also show the consequences when it’s not. A Christian romance writer must  champion biblical marriage, because it is God’s best. The love in a groom’s eyes as his bride first comes into view is wonderful. The trust as a bride places her hand in that of her groom is lovely. A couple who adore one another with all their hearts fifty years later is true beauty—love the way God designed it to be—love nothing but death can separate.

© Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, June 2, 2015

About the author:

Norma Gail’s debut contemporary Christian romance, Land of My Dreams, set in Scotland and New Mexico released in April 2014. She has led weekly women’s Bible studies for 19 years. Her devotionals, poetry have appeared at ChristianDevotions.us, the Stitches Thru Time blog, and in “The Secret Place.” She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, FaithWriters, Romance Writers of America, and the New Mexico Christian Novelists. She is a former RN who lives in the mountains of New Mexico with her husband of 38 years. They have two adult children.

Connect with Norma:

Website: www.normagail.org

Book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQbZIoC_JSE

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorNormaGail

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+NormaGailwrites

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/normagailth/boards/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7874459

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Norma_Gail

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/norma-gail-thurston-holtman/42/71a/3b2

Book Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Land-My-Dreams-Norma-Gail/dp/1941103170

Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas Bookstore: http://store.lpcbooks.com/product/land-of-my-dreams/


  1. Very beautifully said! I love this: Too many girls plan the perfect Pinterest wedding but fail to prepare for the marriage.

    • Thanks for taking time to comment, Mary! I appreciate it. It seems like an epidemic to me!

  2. I love this. People don’t see the beauty in commitment and sacrifice.

  3. This is wonderful. I’m trying to push myself to work on a Christian romance, and it’s a challenge. My husband and I were not Christians when we met and we lived together many years – and I’m pretty sure that truly messed up things. 15 years of marriage and 2 kids later, there is still so much we need to learn! I’m going to keep an eye on your blog, I see you post a lot that would be helpful for me!

    • Thank you for the encouraging words! I am glad you find it helpful!

  4. I love this post. I’m going to share it in my Christian wives group. I absolutely agree with everything you said, both about the real life struggles of relationships, and about the responsibility of portraying it accurately in writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts 🙂

    • Thank you for taking time to share your encouragement with me! I hope you’ll be back sometime!

  5. Thanks for this post, Norma!

    • You’re welcome, Kiersti! I’m glad you liked it.

  6. I love how God shows us so much about our relationship with Him through marriage and parenting. Been blessed to have witnessed some really, sweet romantic moments with my grandparents and parents because of their relationship with the Lord.

    • He is faithful to show us what we need. In this day, we are very blessed to see our families model a godly relationship, so few exist, even among Christians. Thanks for your comment!

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