Husbands, go all out in your love for your wives, exactly as Christ did for the church–a love marked by giving, not getting. –Ephesians 5:25 (The Message)
Many couples expect romance to just happen, but we have found that intentionality is the key to rekindling romance. In two places Scripture says, “Husbands, love your wives” (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 3:19). It’s directed to husbands, but it is the right advice for wives too. As we mentioned earlier, what’s really inspiring is that in the original Greek wording, the meaning is closer to “keep on loving your wife,” or “keep on treasuring your wife.”
When the stress of life gets in the way of our romance, Cathy proactively applies what she calls the Three Golden Rules for Romance.
Make it beautiful. It’s hard to hold on to negative feelings in the grandeur of nature. Beauty almost always reduces stress and allows us to get past our petty problems. Beauty reminds us that God created the universe in part for our pleasure. We are writing this devotional from one of the most beautiful spots on the planet, Napili Bay, Maui. It has been a place for us to rejuvenate our love for each other and our love for God. It has brought closeness to our marriage and our family. Obviously, a couple doesn’t have to travel 2,500 miles to find beauty. It can be found in a park, on a mountain, in a garden, or anywhere that brings beauty alive for you as a couple.
Make it new. Adrenaline makes the heart grow fonder, so create interest by changing things up. Choose an activity that requires teamwork and togetherness. Just this morning we took a hike together and visited a new spot. Even when it comes to sexuality, a new and fresh experience can bring life to something that we would have never thought could become mundane. The act of doing something new together creates a bond and makes the moment feel charged. Sure it takes some intentionality, but that is part of what rekindles romance.
Make it interesting. Communication is one of the keys to romance, sexuality, and relationships. Catch a foreign film, read a book, or take a class together. We like to go on short road trips and explore new places. Anything that gives you new material to discuss and ponder is going to be good to rekindle the flame. The couples who quit developing common interests are the ones who begin to feel that their relationship is stale. Friends of ours took a ballroom dancing class and it was a spark that brought them closer. Work at rekindling the romance. For most couples the embers are burning. They just need some attention now and then.
• What experiences in the past have rekindled romance for you?
• What is missing from our romantic life right now?
• Of the Three Golden Rules of Romance, which one do you think we need in our relationship?
A STEP CLOSER:
The Rekindling Romance Experience
Together plan a day or longer that will incorporate all Three Golden Rules of Romance. Look at your schedule and set a date for you to accomplish this. (Typically, to rekindle romance you don’t need to have all three of these experiences, but this is your “supercharged” time to accomplish all three.)
• Make it beautiful. ________________________
• Make it new. ____________________________
• Make it interesting. _______________________
• Date for this to happen: ____________________
(Excerpted from Closer: 52 Devotionals to Draw Couples Together by Jim and Cathy Burns; Bethany House, 2009.)