25 Easy Ideas To Add A Little Romance

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Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

Romance (n): 1. a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love.[1]

  1. Scent your bed sheets. Scatter a few flower petals over them in the evening…and suggest flipping off the TV for some “alternate entertainment.”
  2. If you’re not the normal dish-doer between the two of you, wash them.
  3. Set a “touch goal”: How many times can your fingers linger on his back, or rest on her knee? Can you rub her shoulders when you walk in the door? Run your fingers through his hair?
  4. Make your marriage a budget item. Start planning for a getaway, however small. Sparing the cost of a cup of good coffee for each of you once a week might make a good start for a decent vacation in a year!
  5. Ask God for romance in your marriage—and that He’d open your eyes to practical solutions…maybe even change your heart. He set aside a whole book of the Bible for it. It’s a priority for Him, too.
  6. Create a CD of songs that communicate the depth of your affection.
  7. Rub your mate’s feet after a long day.
  8. Make or buy chocolate covered strawberries, and a glass of something bubbly to go with it. Set it on a table in the bedroom as a surprise.
  9. Perfect the art of the massage with each other. This takes a lot of honest communication, and a genuine desire to learn. (Er, not unlike other elements of romance.)
  10. Raid your pantry, and transfer a few key items (chocolate sauce, perhaps?) to the bedroom.
  11. Write a love letter, address it to your spouse, and stick it in the mail.
  12. Take a walk together.
  13. On a night when the kids are out—or when you’ve hired a babysitter—make your spouse’s favorite dishes (or order them in!), add some candles, and perfect the classic candlelight dinner. Don’t forget dessert (ahem).
  14. On your way home, stop the car and pick a bouquet of flowers.
  15. Comb your wife’s hair.
  16. Identify what steals the romance in your marriage, and pray about their remedy. Then talk—and act—about what you can do to protect your relationship.
  17. Start a conversation with, “Remember when we…?”
  18. Are your underwear, or your spouse’s, in worse condition than your car? Consider a sexy replacement. For the underwear.
  19. Paint your wife’s toenails. Even if you aren’t an expert, there’s a chance that the fun may be worth it. (You shouldn’t need a dropcloth.)
  20. Remove your undergarments. ‘Nuff said.
  21. Grab your spouse’s favorite snack or drink on your trip to the store.
  22. Cuddle
  23. Make love in a different room.
  24. Dim the lights, plug in “your song”, and dance a little in the dark.
  25. Leave that text, e-mail, sticky note, or voicemail that shows how much you respect your partner for life—and how glad you are that they’re yours.

How to Confess A Sexual Sin To Your Spouse

PART 2

When I confessed my sin of pornography to Star about 15 years ago it was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do. It was also one of the most painful times for my wife.

She was shocked. She felt like she had just been hit by a truck. She thought I was a sicko. She thought I needed to be admitted for sexual addiction counseling. We had just rebuilt our marriage from a pile of ashes and now this?

My confession broke trust, exposed insecurities, and shattered any intimacy we had built over the 3 years before. But, I don’t regret it for a second…

3 Ways to Keep Your Marriage “HOT”

I’ll admit, I’m somewhat of a pyro.

My older friends can attest to my disorder.

When Star and I lived on 10 acres, we, actually I, would frequently build huge fires. When I say huge, I’m talking about ‘2 story high flames‘ huge. I’m shocked we only got 1 visit from the fire department!

What’s fascinating to me about fire is how a small spark can grow into a raging flame so quickly. As long as there’s oxygen and something for the fire to consume, such as wood, it will continue to burn and grow.

If the oxygen supply is low, such as at high altitudes, or if the wood is wet, the fire will struggle to burn. If the wood is completely removed from the fire, or if the supply of oxygen is cut off, the fire will die.

Fire thrives when good dry wood and a fresh supply of oxygen are present. The fire will continue to intensify to the degree wood and oxygen are supplied.

The same is true in marriage…

I’m Tired of Great Weddings!

How to turn a great wedding into a great marriage

George Booth and I collaborated on this post together.

I’ve been to some great weddings!

We once attended a wedding in Ireland where we traveled with a plane load of fellow Scots and celebrated for almost a week.

I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of a colleague in Azerbaijan where we danced, ate, and celebrated into the wee small Azeri hours.

I’ve been to great weddings in the prettiest of Scottish Castles and great weddings in the grandest of Cathedrals – but quite frankly I’m getting tired of great weddings!

The more I think about it, I haven’t been to a bad wedding. Every wedding I’ve ever facilitated, attended, or observed has been great.

This weekend, great weddings will be happening all around the world where a beautiful bride and a handsome groom will enjoy with their fortunate guests, all the spoils and pleasure of months and often years of meticulous planning and paying! They’ll be great. People will laugh, parents will cry, and everyone will hashtag their memories to the happy couple’s Instagram tag – #greatwedding

So why with all these great weddings do we only know a handful of great marriages? Why do we pour so much time, energy, creativeness and money into great weddings but we are reluctant to invest in having a great marriage?

Finally Free (Zondervan)

Porn sucks.  I hate it.  I hate everything about it.

I hate what it does to men.  I hate what it does to women.  I hate what it does to marriages.  I hate how it affects kids.

Unfortunately, a lot of my clients struggle with porn.  I wish they didn’t.  But, they do.

But, there is HOPE!!!

If you’re struggling with porn, the Gospel is the answer.  How?  Read this book by Heath Lambert for starters:

Heath beautifully articulates the Gospel in a way that not only applies to someone’s struggle with porn, but in a way that deals with any type of habitual struggle with sin.

I highly recommend this book.

20 Ways To Protect Your Marriage

Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. Additionally, Janel’s husband serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com

20 Ways to Protect

You’ve probably got insurance on your car—which you lock pretty much everywhere, maybe with the addition of a swanky alarm.

And let’s think about it. You’ve got safeguards, insurance, and forward-thinking measures for your health. Your house. Your mortgage. Your cash. Your kids (carseats, seatbelts, bike helmets, savings accounts…).

We protect what’s valuable.

But ADT’s got nothing for affairs, broken hearts, or lonely marriages…

Let’s Talk About Sex

This post was written as a Date Night Guide for Church Project’s Valentines Day Date Night on February 13, 2015

Adam and Eve

Sex in the Garden of Eden…can you imagine?

Adam and Eve were in a lush garden with flowers and vegetation not yet marred by the presence of sin. They likely heard running water in the nearby river and animals were walking around freely. And maybe most significantly, Adam and Eve, “…felt no shame.”

“…and they become one flesh. The man and his wife were naked, and they felt no shame.”
Genesis 2:24-25

Make no mistake, Adam and Eve had great sex. What was the key ingredient?

5 Ways Gratitude Can Rev up Your Sex Life

Guest Post: Janel Breitenstein is a married mother of 4 who writes frequently for FamilyLife. Janel and her husband John currently serve with eMi in Uganda. Additionally, Janel’s husband serves on the Board of Marriage Revolution. You can visit her blog at www.agenerousgrace.com  

Intimate Couple

It was nearly a decade and a half ago that I read, “Intimate Issues: Twenty-One Questions Christian Women Ask about Sex.” But still, Melinda’s story in one of the chapters stuck with me:

Melinda and her husband were understandably discouraged. She’d never been able to experience sexual climax. But she decided that rather than complain, she’d thank God for every little thing when she and her husband made love. Every satisfying kiss, every enjoyable sensation meant she was no longer wondering whether she’d feel something:

It was wonderful because it changed my attitude about lovemaking…[to] “There will be something to thank God for.” Slowly, I began to tune into my sexual feelings. It has been a long process but I have now experienced orgasm. I believe thanking God had a lot to do with it.

Can gratitude really do that?

Even now, this gets me thinking: What else can thankfulness do for Christian sex?

The truth: A lot.

Marriage Must Reads

Catching Foxes” by John Henderson

We must prepare for marriage well – a preparation not of guest lists and wedding attire, but of our souls. Our hearts must be awakened, matured, and strengthened in Jesus Christ. We must learn to appreciate the covenant of marriage. We must learn to wear Jesus Christ. Our hearts must be focused on Him. We must be filled with His grace and learning to follow His words. This book aims to help us accomplish this kind of preparation for marriage.

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy” by Gary Thomas

Your marriage is more than a sacred covenant with another person. It is a spiritual discipline designed to help you know God better, trust him more fully, and love him more deeply. Scores of books have been written that offer guidance for building the marriage of your dreams. But what if God’s primary intent for your marriage isn’t to make you happy. . . but holy? And what if your relationship isn’t as much about you and your spouse as it is about you and God?

Thriving Despite A Difficult Marriage” by Michael and Chuck Misja

It’s a hard reality for some: Marriage is difficult, disappointing, and painful. Your spouse is unwilling to change. How do you continue, and not just exist but thrive? God can help you move beyond suffering and mere surviving to finding joy and supernatural thriving.