Reading that title, I’m sure you’re wondering why I would point this out on August 31. First of all, I didn’t know it was romance awareness month until we were at least halfway through August. Second, I’ve had kind of a crazy month so I didn’t get to this post as early as I intended. And third, does it really matter which day you become aware of the importance of romance if you then act on it in your marriage? The benefits of being romantic will still pay off in September, October, and beyond.I have a section in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, about being romantic in the marital bedroom, giving specific tips on how to increase the Romance Factor in your sexual intimacy. I love throwing out practical ideas that couples can use right away and get an immediate payoff. That often fuels our desire to invest more in our spouse and our lovemaking.
But when I was recently asked about the romance between me and my husband, I realized something important: Romance is not one-size-fits-all. You have to decide what that looks like in your marriage.
If my husband brought me flowers on holidays, I’d wonder what had possessed him. Not merely because it would be uncharacteristic for him, but because getting flowers isn’t a longing of mine. It’s nice, but I’d far rather have other things.
It’s important to find out what makes your beloved feel desired, wooed, cherished. Here are a few ideas:
Do you remember when you were dating, and you basked in one another’s attention? He wanted to be with you, you wanted to be with him, and if a world outside of the two of you existed, you didn’t know it. (Well, unless it was a particular sports season or the like.) You soaked up those moments, likely believing they would last forever. After all, this was true love (or “twoo wuv”), and you’d always want to spend every moment you could with him.
And then you got married and life intruded. Or maybe life intruded before the wedding vows. Regardless, that early limerance didn’t last forever. Those feelings of infatuation and adoration can feel like a drug high, and eventually you sobered up. It’s a good thing, of course, that you’re not ignoring everything and everyone around you to be with your mate. While it’s often part of falling in love, it’s not practical for our long lives.
However, we can pendulum swing so far into ho-hum habits that we forget all those feelings. Those romantic feelings that came with clearing your calendar for your him, doing things together, looking your beloved in the eye, eagerly showing affection. If we want romance in our lives, and a long-lasting marriage, we have to make time for undivided attention. We have to remind ourselves and our spouse that the two of us are we. This is one reason I believe sex in marriage is so important. You can’t really engage in other things (at least not physically) while having sex. It’s an activity that requires focus on the two of you, as one flesh.
I first typed Gifts, then changed it to Thoughtful Gifts. Because, as I pointed out, I’m not a flower bouquet girl, so my hubby bringing me flowers wouldn’t thrill me nearly so much as if he brought me some office supplies. (Yeah, many writers get super-excited visiting places like Staples or Office Depot.)
Gifts that make an impression are ones that show you really considered the recipient. You know what she likes, what he enjoys doing, what will thrill the love of your life. And you make an effort to secure and present it.
Now I’ve written a bunch of posts here with sexy gift ideas for your spouse (for example, 8 Sweet Valentine’s Gifts for Your Spicy Wife and 8 Cool Valentine’s Gifts for Your Hot Hubby). You can peruse my blog, but you can also go to great sites like Gifts.com. (Seriously, you can get lost on that site finding all sorts of ideas.) I’m partial to the personalized items. Recently, I received a monogrammed picnic backpack from Gifts.com which combines my desire for undivided attention, my husband’s desire for practicality, and our need for romance. Giving this to my husband would say, Let’s go have some fun together! You know, in a park, or tailgating, or just spreading it out on our bedroom floor.
This says, “Come, my love, let us go out to the fields and spend the night among the wildflowers.” Song of Songs 7:11
It has a cheese board, y’all! An insulated wine bottle holder and a cheese board! And all that other stuff you see — 30 pieces total. Click on the picture for more info about this particular product.
Anyway, be prepared to take some time, think through what your spouse would enjoy, and then shop for the right gift. That extra thought can make the difference between a what were you thinking?! reaction and you know me so well! kiss. Make your offering sweet or make it sexy, but find a thoughtful gift.
One of the aha moments I had when reading through the Song of Songs is how much those two lovebirds talk to each other about each other. It’s all ooh, my man is the sexiest and my woman is hotter than Helen of Troy. (That’s a loose translation.) They go on and on with verbal expression of love.
Now ask yourself when you last really told your husband how much you love him, with specifics. When you last complimented your wife’s appearance, skills, heart. Do your words regularly demonstrate romance and passion?
Proverbs 16:24 says, “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Given their power, you’d think we’d use them more often to express love to our mate. For many, romantic words have real weight. Telling your spouse what you adore about him, how she makes you feel, what you want to do later in the bedroom…these are all ways to keep the spirit of romance alive and kicking.
If you’re uncomfortable saying the words, write them down! Or text your honey-bunny. Who doesn’t appreciate a good love note? It can be anything from a long love letter (for which I give tips in Hot, Holy, and Humorous), to a post-it note on the bathroom mirror, to ♥XOXOXOXO♥ texted to their phone. Just find some words to stoke the romance in your marriage.
So now you’re aware: You should be romantic in marriage.
Not that you didn’t know that, but we forget sometimes to make the effort. But don’t you think we should commit to show romance to the one we love?
What are your ideas for romance? What counts as romantic to you?