"Even when the rainbow seems to pass right by me....I'm still finding Gold in the clouds....."

10 February 2013

Keeping Romance Alive.........

Monday and time for Marriage Monday hosted by E-Mom from over here.

She has told us we can write on any topic relating to Christian marriage.

Since the small group I lead is doing a topical study next week that I've titled "Keeping Romance Alive in Marriage", I thought I would just write the main points here as a MM post.

I've been thinking of romance lately because it seems like all the tacky women's magazines this month are talking about it in regards to Valentine's Day, etc.

And unlike tacky women's mags, we as Christians know that there is more to marriage than.....s-e-x.  That it doesn't equal love.

And soooo many young girls (and many older ones!) still think that the physical equals the emotional. SO untrue!!

So, how DO we keep romance alive in our contemporary marriages??  We're all busy, right? especially those of us working outside the home and dealing with teens who are very involved in extracurricular activities. Add church, working out, running the home, and maybe leading a ministry or being involved in a ministry/volunteer work and wow....not much time for romance, right??

It doesn't have to be that way!!

Let's look at Song of Solomon which is the love letter God gave to us and a picture of physical (and emotional!) love meant for a husband and a wife.  These Scriptures are FULL of romance, are they not? 

 "Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth---for your love is better than wine." Song of Solomon 1:2

The world is fixated on love because we are all desperate to experience it.  Yet the only true source of true love is GOD!  We can experience real love with each other (married couples, and friends (in a different way)) and it's only possible through God.  and.....in reaching the world for Christ, we need to do it through love.  The love of God.

What are some practical things we can do to keep the romance alive in our marriage?  Here are some things you can try in your marriage:
  • Know, and meet on a daily basis, the love language of your spouse!
There are 5 primary love languages....ways we "feel" emotionally loved by someone. If you don't know these, refer to the book The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. Dave and I had the pleasure of hearing him speak at our church last year......and I determined to get back in the habit of meeting Dave's love language every day (Words of Affirmation). It does help!!

  • Know your own love language and communicate your need for it to be met if it isn't happening. (mine is Gifts)

  • Touch.  A lot. Hold hands. Even in public, in church, in the house. 
  • Kiss. Every morning. Every evening.

  • Play together.  Do the fun things that you might have stopped doing as life got busy.  Board game nights, movie nights, bike rides, walking, running, boating, tennis, golf, hiking, camping, reading....whatever your interests are....do them together. HAVE FUN!

Dave on summit of Treadway Mountain
Schroon Lake area of the ADKs
30 June 2012
  • Take care of your self!  for the life of me, I cannot figure out why some women "let themselves go" after the babies come along. Once my 2nd daughter was born, I was 39 and my brunette hair was starting to get grey. I had a newborn!! I started going for colors every 8 weeks (I now have to go every 5-6!) to keep my brunette..the color Dave loves!  He likes my natural hair color so I want to keep it as long as I can. I plan on coloring my hair until I'm at least 70 or a grandmother!  Seriously, though, use make up if needed, keep your clothes trendy (you don't have to spend a lot of money to do this), and freshen up before your man walks through the door! Get your hair cut....I read something from a hair magazine that said if you are still wearing the same style you had 10 years ago, you need a change. Even if it's just in how you part it! And..... the most important thing, in my opinion, is to take care of the body God gave you.  Work out (it's healthy, it will help you sleep, it aides in sex, and you do want to look your best, right?). Encourage your spouse to work out too but even if he doesn't (like mine) keep your routines going.  I want to live the best life I can with what God gave me.  I think it's important to eat well, get physicals, and work out. Keeping our bodies in shape does make the male's eyes stay on us.......remember, men are visual!!
  • Create an ambiance of romance.  What better time to start than this Thursday, Valentine's Day?  Light candles for dinner.  Wear your special perfume.  Bring out the silk tee shirt or nightgown. Put on soft music of your favorite genre. For us that would be either ballroom dance music or classical. Feed each other dessert.......buy a favorite flower.....and eat dark chocolate. There are things in it that tend to "create a mood" if you know what I mean! 

  • Have "Date Nights". This means with no children. Hire a sitter if your children are too young to leave home. As soon as our oldest was 6 weeks old, we started going out once a month. We interviewed and hired Christian teen sitters because we don't have any extended family near us.  It was so worth it! Now that one is away at college and the other one is old enough to leave home alone, we try to have date nights every couple of months...sometimes it's just a quiet walk or an "at home" date, cuddling on the couch with a netflix movie.  Make it fun like back in your engagement days!
and Pray.

If you think the romance has gone out of your marriage, bring it to the Lord.  I have found that when I bring God my burdens...even my marriage burdens, I get a deep peace that He sees, knows, and understands. Maybe I need to work on something...maybe it's my husband that does....either way, by bringing it to light and leaving it with Jesus, you can trust Him to work things out and give you peace about it.  

I'm thankful for my marriage. Sometimes I've taken it for granted.

but one thing I do not want to take for granted is the love between Dave and I.  Sometimes it's been super easy to be romantic with him and sometimes it's been hard. Right now we are in an ok place.  We're busy people with jobs, ministries, and obligations/housework/extracurricular events. Sometimes we don't see each other until bedtime! Sometimes we only have energy for a quick kiss......this is life.  But remember: romance is different from love.  The love is strong when you are committed.  The romance will happen when you put effort into each other.  

Now, go and plan a stupendous Valentine's evening for your love..........

"Many waters cannot quench love, nor can the floods drown it" Song of Solomon 8:7

to read other Marriage Monday posts, head over to Chrysalis!


Beth said...

These are great tips, Faith. I think my husband and I are doing a lot of them, but it's always good to be reminded of a few that fall on the back-burner. Thanks so much for your commitment to marriage and for the gentle nudges that mean so much, if we'll just do them for our spouses!

e-Mom said...

Awesome. Loved your tips! I'm all set for Valentine's Day, thanks to you. (Dave is one blessed husband.)

Sorry I didn't get over here earlier to link you up... our system crashed today. (Not fun!)

Thanks for for joining us for Marriage Monday, even in the midst of your busy schedule.

Hugs, e-Mom

Tami Boesiger said...

LOVE these! So practical and easy to follow. Thanks.

Denise said...

Really like this post.

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Great ideas, Faith -- good reminders! Have a great Valentine's Day!!

Melanie said...

Thanks for posting, Faith. My husband and I don't normally "celebrate" Valentine's Day because we like to rebel against the commercialism, lol. We find romantic things that others wouldn't probably see as romantic but are to us. For example, we had a free day today so we both sat upstairs in our "reading nook" in the hallway near the window talking, reading, on our laptops, etc. This morning he started a fire in the woodstove and we sat in front of it with our coffee, talking. That's our romantic time :)