Wow ladies! I’m so excited about the response to Tuesday’s P31 devotion and blog post, and thrilled at the enthusiasm and anticipation for the Your Life Still Counts Bible Study! (picture me here, smiling from ear to ear, plus super happy emoji). If you didn’t enter to win a YLSC Gift Pack worth $35 yet, there’s still time! Just click here to enter on Facebook.
But let’s switch gears for just a moment. Last week I shared my thoughts about 50 Shades of Grey and how the story line of this book/movie is so far removed from real love and intimacy that it not only damages our hearts, souls and minds, but also has the potential to damage marriages and families. Most of you agreed, and a few didn’t, but either way – I still love all my sisters in Christ! We all have to make our own choices and decisions and let the Holy Spirit be our ultimate guide about right and wrong.
Today though, I want to share something I think we’ll all agree on – that true intimacy needs to be purposely kept alive in a marriage, whether you’ve been married thirty days or thirty years. There are many loving ways to romance your spouse and accomplish that feat, sometimes we just need to be reminded of the importance of doing them.
In case you’re thinking I have the perfect marriage – don’t. Yes I love my husband dearly. And yes he loves me. But we’ve been married almost 25 years, and well, the spark is not always there and we don’t always feel like being best friends or being intimate. Just keeping it real folks.
We also have the added factor that he is usually only home on the weekends due to business travel, so let’s face it, that makes keeping intimacy alive a little more challenging. But it doesn’t keep it from being important.
Maybe your husband doesn’t travel much, but life, kids, busyness, disagreements, financial worries, lack of communication, hormones, work or feeling like you’ve grown apart is preventing intimacy from happening like it did in the earlier days of your marriage. In any case, when ignored, the lack of intimacy can cause long term problems in any relationship.
A few years ago I met Rick Johnson, the founder of BetterDads.net, at an Iron Sharpens Iron Conference in Connecticut where we were both speaking. Afterwards, I read a copy of his book The Man Whisperer, and it not only opened my eyes to the power of my words, and changed the way I spoke to my hubby, but it helped our relationship and improved our marriage. When I made some changes, I immediately saw a change in him and our relationship. Who knew, my husband wasn’t the only one who needed a little work? Smiles.
So when Rick released a new book recently called Romancing Your Better Half: Keeping Intimacy Alive In Your Marriage, I was excited to read it. This book holds lots of truths about this important topic of marital intimacy and romance in a marriage – which is often a subject many men and women want to avoid. In fact, maybe you’re feeling a little anxious right now as you read this post, secretly thinking that nothing in you wants to focus on this subject.
But the good news is, this book isn’t just for women, but men as well. So wife nor hubby has to feel like they’re being singled out as the trouble maker. In fact, it really focuses on the importance of marriage overall, and how much attention both spouses need to give to their marriages, and to each other, especially based on God’s will for a husband and wife.
Rick said on page 31 of Romancing Your Better Half that “our culture is actively promoting the message that divorce is not bad and in fact, marriage might not even be good. It is becoming politically incorrect to even use the word marriage.” So sad, but so true. The only way to set ourselves apart from the divorce epidemic is to make our marriage a priority, even when we don’t feel like it or don’t think our spouse deserves it, and intimacy (physical and emotional) has to be a priority.
Have you been longing for more intimate time with your spouse, more physical affection, better communication, or a stronger friendship? I know those are things I certainly always long for, especially when I haven’t seen my husband in a while or even when we’re together but distracted, busy or just not getting along – and maybe you do too.
One section I found particularly interesting were Rick’s tips on ‘How To Divorce Proof Your Marriage’ – simple tips, just ones we don’t always think about, however, ones that really make a difference:
- make your marriage your highest priority
- learn good communication skills; be willing to talk to your spouse about what’s bothering them
- attend a marriage workshop (or read a marriage book, go to a marriage bible study, etc.)
- get professional marital help earlier than later, it’s nothing to be embarrassed about
- think about your own negative behaviors and try to stop doing them
- keep your sexual relationship alive
- do kind and caring things every day
Rick also shared this statement below which stuck out to me, and is one us wives and our men need to take very seriously:
“Lack of romance and intimacy shrivels our wives like succulent roses left in the scorching heat of the unrelenting sun in the desert of a passionless heart. Men who do not intimately and romantically pursue their wives become apathetic, complacent, and overly involved in work or hobbies.”
Been there, done that. Years ago, even recently. It’s no fun. And it can hurt. But I do believe that over time, a deliberate attempt to build intimacy results in a better marriage overall, and renders a happy couple who can withstand the trials better and protect themselves from becoming a statistic in the divorce epidemic.
Marriage is hard. No doubt about it. But sometimes God brings things into our paths at just the right time, don’t ya think? And I so appreciate the wisdom in Rick’s book and the honesty he shares, and I think you will too.
We may never know why things happen to us or why we have to struggle in our marriages, sometimes making us feel like giving up. But if there’s one thing we do know, it’s that all marriages are worth fighting for in God’s eyes. He sees us, He sees what we’re going through, and He cares. All God calls us to do is trust Him, surrender our marriages to Him, and give it all we have in His strength alone, while believing He always holds our future in His hands, no matter what.
I’ve got a copy of Rick’s book to give away today and entering to win is easy!
Just leave a comment simply sharing how many years you’ve been married. But feel free to share any thoughts on this subject if you want to.
Rick’s ministry is a great resource for men who want to be the best dad and husband they can be. Check out Rick’s website at BetterDads.net.
If you’re interested in getting a copy of Rick Johnson’s book for you and your man to read through together, click here for more info.