On Commitment with Harry Connick Jr.
He’s a three-time Grammy winner, a two-time Emmy winner, and has two Tony nominations. He’s been inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame and has had more #1 albums than any other jazz artist in the country. Harry Connick Jr. is not only one of the most accomplished artists, he also happens to be one of the nicest and most thoughtful in the business; he’s just an all-around class act.Off screen he’s a devoted husband and family man, recently celebrating 20 years of marriage to his former Victoria’s Secret model wife Jill Goodacre, and spending time investing in their three daughters. Risen sat down with the successful multi-talented star in 2014 to talk about what has helped their marriage last over 20 years and how his faith influences him.
Connick Jr. reflects on how he and his wifeboth thought each other could be “the one” when they first met, but still took a couple years of dating and then engagement just to be sure. He shares what has helped their marriage last over 20 years while many marriages in Hollywood end in divorce.
“I think you said it when you said commitment. It’s a commitment; you are making a commitment. This isn’t something I’m doing for 10 years, or 20 years, it’s a long haul, for the rest of my life. I’ve got one wedding ring and that’s the only one I want. Relationships are complex. She happens to be my best friend, I happen to like being with her more than anybody else. Now things are complicated because we have three children. So this isn’t some kind of game. This is about giving meaning to your life, and now we are shaping and forming three other little beings, it’s serious. Fortunately, it’s awesome and fun. But it’s about commitment and you have to commit.”
“Not only so, but wealso glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Connick Jr. shares how his faith influences his values and overall character.
“A lot of the decisions I make are driven by people that have influence in my life – my father, my mother, my aunts and my uncles, my wife, my children. When you make a decision you have to realize that, especially in the public eye, your decisions affect other people. If I make decisions that at the time seem like they are great, I may have to answer for some of those things later in life. Not only for personal reasons, and for faith-based reasons, but for other people. Simply put, I try not to do anything that would embarrass people that love me and I try to do things that are appropriate. I think I can be artistic and challenge myself to do things that are really interesting within the realm of respect for others and myself.”
Be committed. Whether you are single, dating, engaged or married, God wants you first and foremost to stay committed to your relationship with Him. Next He wants you to stay committed to the things He has called you to do. For some it might be being a student. For others it might entail being a wife and mom. Take a step back and ask God if you are being fully committed to Him and what He has called you to do. Think through if there are different things you need to step away from that are distracting you from your true calling. Ask a friend or small group member to hold you accountable to decisions or actions that you need to take so you can be fulfilling your calling.
Persevere. God does not promise us that life, marriage or raising children will be easy. But He does promise us that He will be with us every step of the way. He has given us power and wisdom through the Holy Spirit. If you are going through a difficult time or having trouble, cry out to God in prayer. Ask Him to give you strength. Ask Him to send people or friends that can walk alongside you and support you during the difficult time. Ask Him to show you what He wants you to learn through the trial and to give you Christ-like character.
Reflect Christ. We have the opportunity every day to be a witness for Christ, in our conversation, actions and decisions. People will watch how we respond and react to different situations. Pray and ask God to guide and direct your day so that you can be a witness for Him. Ask Him to show you opportunities to have a spiritual conversation with others. If you are faced with a difficult decision, ask Him to guide you through the power of the Holy Spirit.
To read our entire interview with Harry Connick Jr. click here.