Tag Archives: marriage

5 Holidays to Celebrate with Your Spouse (Besides Valentine’s)

Valentine’s Day is over for 2018! Either you nailed it, or you have 364 days to show love in other ways to your spouse. Actually, how about we all express our appreciation and desire for our beloveds throughout the year!

However, if you like having a little nudge from a holiday, be assured that February 14 is not your only opportunity. On today’s High Five Saturday, let’s talk about five upcoming holidays on which married couples can celebrate their hot, holy, and humorous love!

Blog post title + illustration flip calendar with heart on front

1. Steak & BJ Day

This year: Wednesday, March 14, 2018

The theory behind this holiday, clearly concocted by men, is that Valentine’s Day is for women — what with the emphasis on greeting cards, flowers, candy, and romance. Meanwhile, what does a man really want to get from the love of his life? Two things: steak and a blow job.

However, I know plenty of husbands who enjoy Valentine’s…and plenty of wives who also enjoy steak and giving their husbands fellatio. So perhaps Steak & BJ Day would be a win-win in your marriage!

For tips on giving a great blow job, check out the chapter on oral sex in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

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2. International Kissing Day

This Year: Friday, April 13, 2018

This holiday celebrates kissing for kissing’s sake, whether or not it leads to other affectionate activities. Why not devote extra time and focus on smooching with each other on this day?

For more on kissing, check out 5 Kisses You Need to Master and my more extensive tips in the Hot, Holy, and Humorous book.

3. National Sex Day

This Year: Saturday, June 9, 2018

It’s either impossible or a complete waste of my time to track who came up with this holiday. Yet it’s become a hashtag on social media and a goal for some couples to make love on this particular day. Although this year you have a whole Saturday to accomplish this challenge, the holiday actually occurs on June 9 every year. That’s 6/9. Get it?

If you want tips on having great sex…yeah, that’s pretty much my whole blog, as well as my books. But in case you want to know what qualifies as sex, check out this post: What Is Sex?

4. National Romance Awareness Day…oh wait, MONTH!

This Year: Wednesday, August 1, 2018, and beyond!

Apparently, a single day dedicated to romance is insufficient. We need an entire month! Now, research shows it takes about twice that long to really develop a new habit, but a full month of romance might convince you of its benefits so that you’ll keep it going for years to come.

How to do romance well? Three blogs I follow share quite a few romance tips. Check out The Romantic VineyardLove Hope Adventure, and The Generous Wife.

5. Your Anniversary

This year: _____________________, 2018/2019

If you couldn’t fill in that blank, you’d better figure it out quickly! Because of all the marriage holidays one can celebrate, your own anniversary is probably the one your beloved cares most about. It’s the day unique to the two of you and your marriage.

How should you celebrate? I suggest you ask the spouse who cares the most about this day and commemorate the way they want. Within reason, of course. I mean, I’d love to go to Australia for a full week to celebrate our upcoming 25th! But we’re going to Chicago for a few days, because that’s where I’m traveling already for a business trip and it’s what we can afford. Likewise, figure out how you can do your anniversary up big without breaking your back or the bank.

Of course you don’t need any of these holidays to celebrate the love in your marriage. But if you enjoy the special days, find one or more of these to mark on your calendar and start the joyous anticipation now.

Speaking of marriage (as if I do anything else), I had a wonderful opportunity last Saturday to chat with popular Canadian talk show host, Dr. Drew Marshall. I’d love for you to pop over and listen to the 20-minute interview! Click below to find our segment from February 20, 2018, the Valentine’s Day Special.

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Bonjour from France!

Just a shout-out to all of you following and reading the Hot, Holy & Humorous blog! I miss y’all and posting here. But I’m actually on a vacation/business trip. And while I’ve tried to write posts and get them up, the internet in the French countryside is spotty at best. There are short windows of time when the connection is working, but I simply can’t get a whole post — with the research, links, pictures, etc. — done with this service.

I will say that if you can manage to travel, whether it’s all the way to a French Chateau or just up the road to a state park, studies show that it’s for good for couples to experience new activities together. You get the same brain buzz that you had when you were first falling in love. I definitely plan to bring Spock with me next time I travel to Europe (miss you, hubby!).

Why not stoke your marital romance? And if you need more ideas, I encourage you to check out The Romantic Vineyard blog.

Where I’m at now:

Picture of French countryside chateau

Chateau Les Carasses, Languedoc, France

Thinking of and praying for you!

It All Comes Down to This

This has been a hard week in the United States, with the death of citizens and police officers and a lot of mourning, reflection, and conversation. I’ve seen repeated pleas on Facebook from people longing for our citizens to get past this violence and move toward peace and understanding for one another.

After hearing the news, my own fingers hovered above my keyboard as the Facebook status prompt stared back at me. I wanted to say my own piece, to add something brilliant to the discussion.

But I didn’t. I didn’t know what I could add to the discussion. Rather, I just kept thinking that we need to somehow return to the basics.

I see it in violent conflicts across the world, in racial tension here and elsewhere, in churches with internal battles, in our workplaces, communities, and homes. And I see it all the time in marriages. How we miss the opportunity to do what’s right because we don’t really have the foundational principles running through our lives.

Frankly, it’s why my own marriage struggled for so long. Sure, I could break down all the reasons we had problems, explain the inherent difficulties of merging two lives from disparate backgrounds, and on and on. I could even say that God wasn’t answering my many, many prayers that He heal my marriage. Except that God and I know better.

What ultimately improved my marriage was me getting back to the basics. I had to learn how to daily treat my husband the way God wanted me to treat him — with patience, kindness, love, honor, selflessness. And, believe me, I’m still on the journey of learning. As imperfect as I am, I have a long way yet to go.

I know some of you are struggling through some great hardships in your marriage. And you have no idea how things can turn around. I’ve heard some of your stories, and there are some heartbreaking challenges you face. You’re probably questioning your spouse’s love, your marriage’s future, and perhaps even your own faith.

When we go through crises — whether a country faced with cop/citizen conflict or a despairing marriage — we might do best to breathe and think about returning to basics. What can really make a difference in the moment.

Jesus gave the standard, and it’s one I now try to live my life by. You probably know it as The Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Luke 6:31).

Marriage Memory Verse 7-9-16

Matthew 7:12 is another source for this statement, and in that passage Jesus says that principle sums up all the law and the prophets. Yep, it all comes down to this — treating others the way you want them to treat you.

What would that look like in your marriage today? What if you really listened to your spouse the way you want to be listened to? What if you valued his opinions the way you want him to value yours? What if you tried to meet his intimacy needs the way you want him to meet yours? What if you prayed for him the way you want him to pray for you? What if you sought the very best for your beloved the way you want him to seek your best?

I give all kinds of advice on this blog, trying to break down what the loving response looks like in a particular situation. And I find inspiration and practical help from others who do the same. But the foundational principle for everything I say comes down to the Golden Rule: Treat your husband or wife with the same loving care you’d like him/her to give you.

Today, let’s all ask ourselves how we’re doing with that. I bet every one of us could do better.

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Are You His Type?

I’m too short for my husband. Our nine-inch different in height means I must stand on tiptoes and he must lean down for us to kiss one another’s lips. When we dance, our bodies don’t quite line up, which I try to compensate for with higher-heels (or higher-heeled cowboy boots). When I ask him to reach stuff on the top shelf, he sometimes looks at me like, “How short are you?” Answer? Not tall. And quite possibly shorter than any of the girls he dated before me.

It would be more convenient if I were a few inches taller. And I think he’d like not bending his neck down so far. But, despite repeated prayers to God when I was a teenager, I stopped growing at some point and that was that.

Am I his type? Not when it comes to height.

Are You His Type?

I’ve heard from wives who believe that their husbands dating women previously with different appearances or noticing other women now who differ greatly from how they look…means hubby doesn’t really like their body or beauty type.

From talking to men, reading their comments and emails, and studying research and information about their “species,” I have some thoughts on that.

He wouldn’t have asked you out, dated you all that time, and married you if he wasn’t attracted to you. By and large, this is truth. A guy might have a brief encounter with a woman he doesn’t find all that physically appealing, but he wouldn’t invest all that time and effort with his eventual wife if he didn’t think she was worth eyeballing, touching, and becoming intimate with. As visual as many men are (and yes, I know not all, and women can be visual too), they are motivated to find a woman who is visually pleasing.

Beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder. What appeals to one person won’t necessarily appeal to another. If your body type is not the typical definition of gorgeous in our (twisted) society, that doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful. You, my dear, have your own physical, and even sexual, appeal. What matters most is you believing the truth that God created you as a beautiful woman and that you are beautiful in your husband’s eye.

Your attractiveness is strongly affected by your inner beauty. When men are surveyed on which character is more appealing from the TV series Gilligan’s Island, the sexy bombshell Ginger typically loses to the sweet, bubbly, and personable Mary Ann. Sure, the actress who played Mary Ann was pretty, but if you’d switched those actresses’ roles, I think the Mary Ann character would still win out. Because who she is makes her more attractive. Likewise, I remember a conversation with several girls in college about a guy who wasn’t objectively good-looking, but he was so nice, funny, and engaging that every one of us agreed he was highly attractive. Who you are impacts how you appear to those around you, especially your husband. If you’re a happy wife who fights the frump and makes him feel loved, odds are you’re hot in his heart.

Confidence is appealing. Let me be frank, ladies: Wives who constantly complain about their appearance, demand heaps of reassurance, and argue with their husband’s opinion can wear a guy out. Wives who own their beauty, present themselves with confidence, and yes, ask for reassurance when they need it are more appealing. Of course, you won’t immediately flip a switch and have a shot of confidence wash over you. You must intentionally work toward dealing with your self-consciousness, self-doubt, self-flagellation to become more comfortable with your body and your beauty.

Back to my height-challenged existence…

I used to think that my husband got cheated by not getting the tall woman he, I assumed, wanted. I wished God would grant me a belated wish, a medical miracle, and make me grow a few more inches.

But honestly, I’ve learned that my husband doesn’t see it that way. And I no longer view myself negatively either. For him, it’s just a little bending to kiss the woman he loves, a slight adjustment for us to dance in tandem, and appreciation of a physical characteristic that defines me. Even as my body changes – spreading a bit in the middle – he’s in love with the woman he sees, knows, touches, chose.

And why wouldn’t he feel that way? I feel that about him. My husband is not objectively as physically attractive as he was twenty years ago, but to me, he’s absolutely the best looking guy in every room I enter. He’s my type and I’m his type, because our love for each other means: “You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Songs 4:7).

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Star Wars and Fighting for Your Marriage

If you have not seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens and want to be completely surprised by all parts of the plot, DO NOT DO NOT DO NOT read any further. Save this post and read it after you’ve seen the film. Because I am going to mention something from the movie — which is not integral, but I hate when people give away spoilers without warning.

So…SPOILER ALERT. You have been warned. This post will mention something specific from the newest Star Wars installment.

Star Wars and Fighting for Your Marriage

In the first trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI), there was one stand-out romance — between Princess Leia and Han Solo. Their obvious chemistry, care for one another, and personal character made them a good match. After seeing the originals, I was certain they rode off into the sunset and lived a happily ever after.

Princess Leia & Han Solo from Return of the Jedi

Happily Ever After?

Fast forward 30 years, and along comes Star Wars: The Force Awakens in which Han and Leia appear on the big screen once again. But what has happened in the time since we last saw them? Well . . . (SPOILER ALERT COMING) . . . they are estranged, separated, existing on distant points of the galaxy.

And I was so disappointed.

Look, I understand the reasons the story makers gave for these two not being together, the massive challenges they faced. But why couldn’t the people who fought and defeated the Empire and its Dark Side of the Force fight for their marriage?

When asked what kept my marriage together — despite some super-bad years — one of the factors I cite is our dogged unwillingness to give up. We were simply too stubborn and determined to make our marriage work. And since we didn’t want to live in a bad marriage, we had to figure out how to achieve a good marriage.

Many marriages are facing 2016 with ongoing turmoil and/or a sense of hopelessness. You can’t imagine how you can keep it together.

Yeah, well, I suspect you’ve fought your own Death Stars in your life. Think of all the other situations in your life you’ve gotten through — an illness or injury you recovered from, a dysfunctional family you emotionally survived, job frustrations or losses, deaths in your family, etc. You are not made of mush. You’re a resilient person with some serious perseverance skills.

Isn’t your marriage worth digging deep into your I-can-do-this reserves and fighting for?

Isn't your marriage worth digging deep into your I-can-do-this reserves and fighting for? @HotHolyHumorous Click To Tweet

I’m not saying that every single marriage is worth saving. If you’re in an abusive situation, you need to find your resilience to leave and get help. But most marriages aren’t facing abuse, but rather selfishness, misunderstandings, frustration, and exhaustion.

And you can’t win is exactly what the true dark side — aka Satan — wants you to think.

Hollywood, frankly, thinks this too. That marriage is something that works great when it works, and that you can leave when it isn’t working great.

But those of us who rode it out in the trenches, climbed out into the sunlight, and found redemption for our marriages know better.

You can fight for your marriage.

Your marriage is worth fighting for.

With God’s help, you can win.

I’m still seriously disappointed in the outcome with Princess Leia and Han Solo. I just want to go back to believing that the people who fought so hard to save each other when they were young would fight as hard to save their union when they got older and it got tougher. Surely someone in the galaxy had some Yoda-like wisdom to help them figure it out.

(Hey, maybe I should rename my blog to The Marriage and Sex Jedi.)

Yoda - Do or do not. There is no try.

Face this new year with a true Star Wars attitude. Your marriage and your sexual intimacy are worth fighting for. They can improve. Your marriage can win.

But you don’t need “the Force.” Start instead with God’s power and plan for redemption.

I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 1:18-20)