164 - Building Romance Into Your Marriage
|Written by Patrick Morley & David Delk|
|Wednesday, December 10 2008 13:05|
Excerpted and adapted from The Marriage Prayer (Moody Publishers, Fall 2008)
Some mornings there is dew all over the ground, almost like the remains from a heavy rain. Other days the grass may be nearly dry. Why the difference?
Dew forms when the temperature drops low enough to cause the moisture in the atmosphere to condense. The more water vapor in the air, the higher the temperature at which dew forms. The dryer the air, the colder it has to get.
Romance in a marriage is like dew condensing from the air. If the atmosphere of your marriage is dry, romance is hard to come by. Rather than being romantic, small actions toward one another—a smile, a word, a held hand—can seem forced or even manipulative.
But if you saturate your marriage with love, time and affection, then small moments of connection mean a lot more. In the right conditions, those small, tender actions condense into something that becomes romance.
How can you help your spouse feel cherished? It won’t usually come as a by-product of a few big actions; it will flow out of the atmosphere from lots little things that demonstrate daily love.
When Romance Is Gone
In our busy world it’s easy for the feeling of romance to fade away. “There’s just no fire there.” “He doesn’t love me anymore.” “She acts like I’m her brother, not her lover.” “It feels like we’re just living together as roommates.”
We hear this from men and women all the time. What’s going on when this happens? There are at least two possibilities...
The first is that you have unrealistic expectations. Every day won’t feel as electric as the movie theater at eighteen years old. The loss of a job, sick in-laws, teenagers whose grades aren’t what they should be, the death of a friend, and intense projects at work—life is filled with all kinds of circumstances that simply cannot be romantic. That’s okay.
As Pat has said before, all disappointment is a result of unmet expectations. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page about the stresses and realities of what’s happening in your life right now. Your life-stage and current circumstances profoundly affect the state of your romantic relationship.
Still, when weeks and weeks go by with no romance, then there’s a problem. Often what has happened is that we have forgotten to treat our spouse with care and respect. We have misplaced our priorities and let other things distract us from moment-by-moment care for our spouse.
Why is there a lack of romance in your marriage? Perphaps you have forgotten what your “love” actually looks like to your spouse. You aren’t actually cherishing your spouse the way God cherishes you. You don’t love God more than them and them more than anyone or anything else. When we “love” like this, romance withers and dies.
First Corinthians chapter 13 is a great diagnostic to evaluate our daily love. It shows us how true love acts toward others. Perhaps you’ve read it many times, but what if we made this passage specific for you? How would your love measure up?
Insert your name in the blanks below (where “love” appears in the original).
________ is patient, ________ is kind. ________ does not envy, ________
Glad you asked. Here are some key ideas for how to create an atmosphere that promotes romance. As you read them, consider which one might best apply to your situation.
NBAS (No-Brainer Action Step)