We just concluded our first ever Couples’ Conference at our church. For months, I excitedly prayed and planned for God to bless. After all the labor, the conference began with a fabulous banquet. The meal rivaled any restaurant experience I’ve had before! Then the spiritual meal was served up.
As one of my mentors, Rick Houk, began to speak, the Lord convicted my heart of areas in my marriage that needed His help. Because of my training and current profession (which is my calling), it’s easy to default to what we learn by proxy rather than on purpose. Frankly, many preachers can talk a good game when it comes to marriage, and that’s exactly the problem – for many it’s a game!
Let me say that my wife and I are not the perfect couple. We’ve had, and continue to have, our share of struggles. Our marriage isn’t on shaky ground. We are not constantly at each other’s throat. We enjoy each other’s company but we both agree that God can improve our marriage beyond our wildest imagination. And then it hit me.
There have been many times in my marriage that I have allowed my busy and stressful schedule to ruin our marital romance. Sure we frequently go on dates. We enjoy being with each other all the time. But sometimes I’m just too lazy to be romantic. I’m just being honest here.
So as I sat in the sessions over the span of the conference, the Lord impressed upon my heart to be a more romantic husband. I don’t care what people say, every woman wants to be “swept off their feet” and enjoy a romantic husband. And by the grace of God, I want to be the “Don Juan” my wife deserves to have.
So I wrote down some thoughts that I’d like to share with you. This can work for both the husband and wife, though some principles will work better if initiated by the husband. If any married couple ought to have the romantic flames burning brightly, it ought to be those who know Jesus Christ as their Saviour, the ultimate Lover of our soul!
Shall we form a romantically challenged support group and help each other rekindle the romance in our marriage? Here we go.
Go Back to Basics. Remember what you did when you first fell in love? Do it again! During those stressful and busy times, remember how you treated your wife (or fiancé) in the early stages of your courting/dating/marriage life? Remember the excitement, the enthusiasm, the passion? Bring it back! I know there are now kids in the picture, a more demanding career, and maybe more responsibilities but don’t let those hinder you from doing things that made your spouse fall in love with you. In Revelation 2, Jesus challenged the church at Ephesus (who left their first love) to remember, repent, and repeat the first works. That’s good romantic marriage advice, too.
Research What She Likes. I have a confession to make. As hard a time I’ve given women about their Pintrest pages, it has become a valuable tool for me in our marriage. I will once in a while go in there and see what my wife has been “pinning.” It basically tells me what she likes. I think she knows this because I’m noticing her leaving me “breadcrumbs” (clues) along the way. I’ve got no problem admitting that I can be pretty clueless sometimes. So her “leadership” in this area definitely helps. After all, didn’t Peter instruct us to “dwell with them according to knowledge?” Use what you know and surprise her. Be spontaneous. Be creative. Be original. But don’t stray too far from what you know she likes. This works too, for wives, as you look at your husband’s social media sites or listen to what they talk about the most. If all else fails, you know what men always want…
These are two good principles to start with. Set yourself back on that romantic road. Be excited once again about your marriage. Rejoice with the wife of your youth! Next week, we’ll look at a few more principles to help our romantically challenged support group.