May 3, 2012

Marriage Matters

 

The most expensive date costs less than the cheapest divorce lawyer.

Invest into your marriage... DAILY.

While you may have a preferred way of doing that, maybe it's time to mix things up. Here is one suggestion that utilizes technology, and another that utilizes a resource from a book:

Install an app on your smartphone to spur you on: I'm a BIG fan of one app in particular that has all kinds of practical ideas based on the book "The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Smalley. It's a quick source of inspiration when you want an idea to invest into your marriage, and includes these platforms:

For Droid: Love Your Husband App
For Droid: Love Your Wife App
For iTunes: Love Your Husband App
For iTunes: Love Your Wife App

Take on the Passion Plan: Author Jim Burns (in his book Creating An Intimate Marriage) prescribes the following:

You will need to reserve at least:

15 seconds a day

15 minutes 5 days a week

1.5 hours a week

And another 1.5 hours a week

Here’s The Passion Plan explained:

Kiss passionately for at least 15 seconds every day. Daily passionate kissing keeps the fire burning. Kissing is intimate and romantic. A prostitute once said, “I will have sex with my clients but not kiss them. Kissing is far too intimate.” Passionate kissing for even fifteen seconds a day releases feelings about each other that say, “I love you. I want to be with you. You are special to me.” This is not about sex, it’s about romance. One last thought: There is no rule that you have to keep it at fifteen seconds. Go ahead and splurge…go for longer!

Take 15 minutes at least 5 days a week to connect and talk. Frankly, if there is not emotional intimacy or connection, there will be little interest in healthy romance. Find time to connect. Find time to communicate on a deeper level. We have friends who are in pastoral ministry who have a set standing appointment just to sit on the couch, hold hands and talk about their lives with each other. The kids can take a 15-minute break, their church doesn’t need them for those 15 minutes and the investment of time talking and connecting speaks volumes to the pastor’s spouse. Cathy and I like to take our dog for a walk. This is our time to share our hearts with each other. Too many times, I’ve seen this as physical exercise or taking care of the dog and then I realize this time together connecting was very important for Cathy…and me.

Date and court your spouse for at least 1.5 hours a week. A non-negotiable, regularly scheduled date with your spouse speaks volumes. This is a time to not talk about insurance, the bills or your work problems, but rather focus on each other. The question I have to ask myself as I prepare to go out with Cathy is, “Am I only giving Cathy my emotional scraps?” Dates don’t have to be fancy or expensive. I find that Cathy can put up with a fairly crazy schedule if she knows she has my full attention on a weekly date. If you are too busy to date, you are too busy with lesser priorities.

Schedule into your life 1.5 hours a week for sexual intimacy. If you are like most people, you may stumble on the word schedule. Spontaneity is wonderful when it comes to romance and let’s hope for many breathtaking spontaneous moments. But all marriage authorities do agree that a scheduled regular time for sexual intimacy can bring a spark back to the relationship quite quickly. Believe me, if you do this, you will get past the word “schedule” very quickly. One pastoral couple I know from Tennessee schedules sexual intimacy every Wednesday. He has to preach on Wednesday nights and his wife told me he is never long-winded anymore. Even during the day, they may flirt with each other with an email that simply reads, “It’s Wednesday.”


"Honor marriage, and guard the sacredness of sexual intimacy between wife and husband." (Hebrews 13:4a, The Message)

Originally Published: May 3, 2012
Category: Marriage
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