For those of you who have been married for a while, you realize that a wonderful marriage doesn’t just happen. As a matter of fact, it takes a lot of hard work and intentional choices by both spouses to keep your marriage alive and healthy! One area that we’ve discovered in our own marriage that has tried to fade out from time to time is the romantic spark.
Can you relate?
Imagine this if you will: You and your beloved are all alone on a warm summer night sitting out on a beachfront patio eating dinner under the stars. You hear the sound of waves crashing as the sand is swept up into the rolling tide. The clear sky allows you to gaze up on the star-filled sky and the soft lighting of the moon is shadowing your spouse’s face just right. And you embrace. Romantic isn’t it?
Well let us give you a little peek into our real-life “romantic” nights raising our young family: We frantically rush after dinner to get the house tidied up – encouraging our three children to finish quickly (and with a smile). We brush teeth and read stories at lightening speeds. We pray and sing a few songs to the Lord before we end our bed-time routine with a Scripture to meditate on. We turn off lights and walk out of bedrooms to hurry out and finish up our “romantic” dinner.
Five minutes roll by…
“Mom! I can’t sleep! Can you and daddy come pray for me?” says our youngest son. “But of course. baby. We’ll be right there.” And the prayer turns into a conversation about someone who has mistreated our baby. And then there are tears, and more prayers. And before we know it, the night is gone and we are tired. And we think to ourselves, “Maybe we can try this another time.” And another time seemingly never comes. Can you relate?
Perhaps your circumstances differ from those above, but the concept is the same: you are desperately wanting to keep the spark alive in your marriage, but life keeps wearing you down. Today we want to share with you 5 tips to help keep your marriage spark alive.
5 Tips to Help Keep Your Marriage Spark Alive
1. Don’t have Hollywood expectations.
Seriously. We’ve found that in times past we would compare our ideas of what a “romantic” night together should be based upon scripts from movies. It wasn’t intentional, but it definitely played a role in our disappointments when those “perfect” scenarios like the one we described above (the beach, not the interrupted attempt for an at-home dinner) didn’t play out. But we wised up quickly realizing that it wasn’t the scenario that mattered as much as it was time with one another.
2. Keep a fresh perspective of one another.
We do our best to keep a fresh perspective on one another. To us, this means asking God to help us see what He sees in our spouse and not what we may see out of frustration or sleep deprivation. This alone has helped keep the spark alive simply because we can focus on the core of who God has created us to be aside from our current circumstance.
3. Just simply enjoy one another without an agenda.
As humans we are selfish by nature. So when we are not walking in the Spirit, we are pursuing our own agenda. For some, this agenda for romance may be overshadowed by a need to feel loved through sex or physical touch. For others they may expect romance to be all about talking and laughing the night away. Whatever the case, be sure that you do your best to always keep an open mind when it comes to romance with your spouse. That way you can leave it up to God to bless you with new ways to love one another. After all, He loved us first and He is love – so God is the author of romance!
4. Put your spouses needs above your own.
This is very straight forward. Philippians 2:3 KJV tells us:
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
We do our very best to follow this and it helps us keep excitement and hope alive in our thriving marriage.
5. Always keep the lines of communication open.
This has perhaps served as the greatest blessing of our marriage. There have been many ups and downs the last 15 years of our marriage – but we have always communicated during these times. It isn’t always easy to talk when you are upset or hurt, but it is imperative that you work through your issues rather than ignoring them or letting them fester as this only leads us to unforgiveness. By keeping the lines of communication open, you are already showing God (and your spouse) that you are willing to work through the obstacle at hand, and that alone is an attractive trait!
We encourage each of you to work hard to keep your marriage alive and thriving with God’s love. It is not an easy feat, but worth every ounce of effort you put out (and then some).