In article one we defined what passion means to you in your marriage. Article two dealt with developing and demonstrating that romantic passion. In this final article, we’ll focus on how to use the power of romantic passion to spark your physical intimacy engine to reach the “celebration” God designed for you and your spouse to wholly enjoy.
Starting your physical intimacy engine — using your passion
In a recent survey, women were asked the following question: “How do you want your spouse to add romance to your marriage?”
41% said by giving flowers unexpectedly
32% – cook dinner for her
10% – write her a love song or poem
8% – watch a romantic movie together ( “True Lies” with Arnold Schwarzenegger?)
and 2 % – feed her grapes (I say pomegranates!)
That survey was conducted by the American Florist Association! But still, women named flowers as the most universal sign of expressing romance in relationships. By the way, guys, Erika loves it when I go out of my way to buy a flower(s) from a shop instead of just getting them from a vendor at an intersection while I’m driving. She is impressed by – and really appreciates – the effort it took for me to go out of my way to say, “I love you” or “I think you are special”!
But here are some other practical ways that might help you reach the “celebration” God intended for your marriage:
Make it a priority Margie Sims (writer for Marriage Partnership magazine) says to be deliberate. This may sound pretty academic, but it sure works for some couples. Schedule everything from date nights to “crock-pot” dinners? if you get what I mean! You don’t have to go out all the time. There are many creative ways to having “celebration” even when the kids are at home. Be innovative? but get it on the calendar!
Include personal hygiene as part of the planning. Guys, make sure to clean under your fingernails and shave extra close either in the morning or again when you shower before the “celebration”. Ladies, wear perfume that he likes for that time. Both of you, simply keep your body (and clothes) desirable and fresh. It been said that if the elastic on your underwear doesn’t snap back- go out and buy a new pair!
Honor and respect your spouse’s sexual comfort Only do things that you both agree to do. Don’t do anything that will cause a separation from God. If either of you feel that the particular act will not be God-honoring — stop. Lastly, don’t do anything that will cause emotional or physical pain.
Read Song of Songs I hope you get through it in the first reading. Enough said!
Create emotional foreplay all day long keep the “crock-pot” cooking! Don’t be a microwave. Sex begins anywhere, author Dr. Kevin Leman says, “Sex begins In The Kitchen”. I say anywhere in your house! Be creative. Think outside of the box (bed)!
Sneak home in the afternoon you may just be more energetic and productive at work for the rest of the day. Renew your wedding vows — we have heard many stories of how this one act of honoring your spouse has recharged intimacy batteries beyond imagination. This could be a formal ceremony at a church or elsewhere or in the quiet solitude of your home. Dig out the original vows and have your kids stand in as your wedding party.
Ladies ask him to paint your toe nails this could be done in conjunction with the concept of Songs 7:2. Awesome!
Kisses lots of kisses. Let your spouse tell you how, where and when they liked to be kissed and caressed. You just might be surprised!
Plant sexy notes or pictures in lunch bags, briefcases, dashboards, palm-pilots, voice, and e-mails, in drawers (both dresser and the underwear type!). They can help build excitement and anticipation.
Follow your instincts when you get thoughts of being romantic or making love with your spouse, act on them instead of burying or shoving them aside. If you can’t act on it now, make a quick mental or written note to follow up as soon as possible. If necessary, make the first move. Leave a subtle hint or simply talk about it together without being dogmatic or demanding. Create the mood with music, surroundings, scents, lighting or even mirrors — whatever works for the two of you. Just remember the conditions of sexual comfort as mentioned earlier.
Work at being an awesome lover working at great sex in marriage is just like working for the marriage itself. “Working” means that you are willing to serve your mate with a sacrificial heart. Be conscious of pleasing your spouse and even putting aside your own agenda for self-gratification. Strive to be patient and sensitive yet exciting and responsive at the same time. Try to maintain a conscious effort to reach mutual (not necessarily simultaneous) satisfaction.
So what have we learned about God’s design for intimacy in marriage?
Intimacy in marriage has three dimensions:
Spiritual — live a marriage that is God-centered
Emotional — sincerely communicating love for our spouse by serving and sacrificing
Physical— celebrating the real, genuine and passionate you
The Challenge … making the right move
You have been uniquely designed for the purpose of having and enjoying a spiritual intimate relationship with Christ. He wants you to be able to enter into an deep intimate relationship with your spouse so He inspired the writings in Song of Songs in the Old Testament of the Bible – the only book of the Bible wholly devoted to spiritual, emotional and physical intimacy in marriage. That relationship serves as a model for the bride and groom in Christian marriages: serving, sacrificing and glorifying God. This is the kind of “celebration” that God has designed especially for you and your spouse. So enjoy it!
If your marriage is more spouse-centered but you long for the kind of intimacy in your marriage that has been described in this series “Recharging Your Intimacy batteries”, I invite you to investigate what God has in store for you, your spouse and your marriage by getting connected to a church body, searching for guidance in the Bible, attending Christian seminars on marriage and reading some of the resources listed at the end of this article.
Don’t let your Romance Battery get run down because you let it go unused. But when you need a “jump-start”, try using some of the techniques we’ve discovered from God’s design for intimacy in marriage.
Kevin Leman wraps it all up in these words: “The key element in making sexual intimacy exciting is for the partner to be gentle, loving and caring in all things. Loving your partner, meeting their needs and putting their priorities first in your life is a matter of being genuinely concerned and letting them see that concern”
The Bible wraps it up this way in 1st Thessalonians 3:12 “Pray that the Lord will make your love increase and overflow for each other”.
And with passion!!
Copyright © 2003 Duane Careb, used with permission.
Duane is on staff with Growthtrac and is a regular contributor to our featured article library. He and his wife Erika are voluntary marriage mentors for pre-married couples within their church. They also serve Growthtrac as seminar leaders and teachers of various Bible-based marriage topics, custom written upon request. They have five married daughters and seven grandchildren!
Read more about Dr. Harley’s book, Love Busters.