You’ve heard me talk about being *that girl,* the one who spends time and energy pouring in to her marriage, the one who chooses to pursue her husband… that one! And we’ve been talking on the podcast lately about purposing to strengthen our marriages, and I’m making that commitment too! This is one way that I strengthen my marriage.
My husband was actually more stoked than I was when we saw these—because he knows that it’s difficult for me to switch out of laundry, carpool, dishes and meal mode and just focus on being together. Massage gives us the gift of relaxation and time together to reconnect with my husband and spend time thinking about just the two of us. A simple massage with some essential oils (mixed with my favorite carrier oil) allows me to focus on how my body feels—and for me (and many other women!) that’s 9/10 of the struggle. When I’m focusing on my body and my husband rather than my to-do list, good things happen for both of us. But listen, maybe you’re like me and you just want to start with your feet?
When I share something, I choose it because I think it is something that will resonate with my audience. This is that thing. 😉 And with Father’s Day coming up, I have a great idea. Remember this podcast about creating a partnership that lasts? I shared this at Valentine’s Day and we had such a great response, we wanted to share it with you again. So many men are hard to buy for, but a gift that keeps on giving TO BOTH OF YOU is the perfect sort of thing our men like! This is a brilliant way to show him how much you appreciate all he does for you and your family!
Melt is a video series that will train you HOW to do massages for each other. It is appropriately presented (PG!) by Denis and Emma Merkas, clearly presented, easy to squeeze in just 5 minute segments, and best of all, easy to implement! Don’t miss the Father’s Day Sale good through June 19. Take just a sec to see if you think it’s a good fit for the man you are celebrating this Father’s Day! (And don’t forget, this is probably a gift that will give you something in response… after all, you and your hubby will both learn to give fabulous massages!)
I don’t like to buy a gift just because Hallmark says I should. That’s why I love this video series. It’s an investment in my marriage! So what is at the top of your list this Valentine’s Day? If you answered “nothing,” or “folding laundry,” keep reading—because I get you. It’s not that we don’t love our husbands, right? It’s that we’re just.so.tired. After a long day, intimacy is often the last thing on my mind. I just want to unwind and relax. Trouble is, my husband’s idea of relaxing and mine can look very different, IYKWIM.
Does this sound familiar? “Hot monogamy, you say? I just want to sleep!”
Statistics tell us that men and women struggle to find time for intimacy in their marriage. In fact, most married couples I speak to tell me that one of the first areas in the relationship to take a hit when the stress of life comes is physical intimacy. It’s easy to put a tender caress to the bottom of the list amidst the busyness of life—when in reality, physical touch is one of the best de-stressors we have in marriage!
Last year, I was introduced to a series of videos that I think are going to change the way my husband and I see date night. I figured I’d check them out and was so impressed, I’m sharing them with you. Let’s just say I think you’re gonna love this idea. 🙂
Looks good, right? Show this to your man, ladies, because I know he’ll want to give it a try after seeing this video. My husband was actually more stoked than I was—because he knows that it’s difficult for me to switch out of laundry, carpool, dishes and meal mode and just focus on being together. Massage gives us the gift of relaxation and time together to reconnect with my husband and spend time thinking about just the two of us. A simple massage with some essential oils (mixed with my favorite carrier oil) allows me to focus on how my body feels—and for me (and many other women!) that’s 9/10 of the struggle. When I’m focusing on my body and my husband rather than my to-do list, good things happen for both of us.
Forget “50 Shades of Grey.” The real thing is better.
Marriage should be a passionate love affair that never gets boring.
In short, monogamy should be hot!
If you’ve “lost that loving feeling,” here’s my challenge: This February, mark a few nights off on your calendar (Valentine’s day is a great place to start, but I’m talking about a habit, not a holiday) and make an evening of relaxing together. If you enjoy wine, put the kids to bed and take some wine and cheese to your room. Light a candle (or ten, if you’re candle-obsessed like me) turn your favorite music on, and watch these videos together. (I tell you my 5 favorite things about them at the end, so keep reading!)
Not sure where to start? Check out MELT as you make your plans. Not gonna lie: When I told Jay I was looking into this last year, his smile said it all. We have loved using these this year!
Build Intimacy and Trust in Your Marriage through Massage: Here’s Why It Works:
1. Massaging each other is an opportunity to slow down… together
High-speed internet. 24 hour email access. Real-time status updates. Is it just me? Or does the world seem to spin faster these days? Sitting down to a decadent massage together provides a rare opportunity to stop and be together, focused entirely on each other. For just 30 minutes, you can dim the lights, play some soft music and treat each other to a muscle-melting massage. This is a wonderful escape for multi-tasking wives and the husbands who love them.
2. Massage in marriage is a 100% “hands-on” experience
It doesn’t take a marriage therapist to tell you that giving your spouse a massage enhances your intimate connection and builds trust in your marriage. Intimacy is a requirement for healthy relationships, but it doesn’t always come automatically. We need to make space and time to foster our intimate connections, and massaging each other is one very simple way to do that. On top of the time you spend together, you very literally have your hands on each other, helping to reinforce the intimate bond. As you start to work knots from aching muscles and your partner falls back into you, you can take that as a sign of complete trust. The entire experience is seriously incredible. And, if you are both so inclined (and I promise you, it will be hard not to be) it can lead to wonderfully intimate and steamy sex, too.
3. Massage speaks to several “love languages” at once
Treating your husband to a massage is a beautiful way to show him that he’s very much appreciated and loved. In fact it hits almost every Love Language, if you think about it. Massage very clearly speaks to the Physical Touch love language, of course. But if you think about it, it’s also Quality Time spent together, it’s an Act of Service (especially if you don’t ask for one in return!) and if you play your cards right it can make for a gorgeous gift… just package up some massage oil and a scented candle in a big bow and then go on to actually massage your husband and watch him melt with joy.
Last year, I visited my massage therapist several times, due to complications from surgery. The last time I saw her, I asked how I could teach my husband to do some of her techniques at home. “Training,” was all she said. So imagine my excitement when Denis Merkas, a Registered Massage Therapist, contacted me about the MELT: Massage for Couples video series that he did with his wife Emma. I was really excited (and not just because I got to watch the videos, too!).
Denis shows couples that massaging properly is easier than you think!
I really do think this can lead to closer marriages, and can help to reduce stress for both of you. If you’re worried that your husband will never understand how much you need massage, ask him to watch these with you and practice what you’ve learned together. It’s a great way to bring something new and needed into our marriages and invest in our future. Even the arrangement of how you sit is no mistake – before any technique was created or routine designed, Denis and his wife researched the most romantic way to position our bodies, because the bed simply wasn’t good enough.
It’s easy, too—Denis recommends you stage your massage experience into three separate date nights… “it’s unlike anything you’ve ever done before. Simply add oil and follow along to the videos online. Use your iPad, Laptop or even SMART TV, the videos are device ready.”
Here are a few things I loved about the MELT series:
1. Denis keeps things PG-rated.
Sure, there’s romantic music and the couple is massaging each other, but clothes stay on, and the focus is on learning how to give a massage. (Yes, she’s wearing a strapless top, but that’s so you can see the proper technique on her shoulders). As Denis says, if things lead somewhere else, that’s fine–but that’s not what his video series is trying to teach you. So you don’t have to worry that this is pornographic in nature! It isn’t–it really is just about learning technique.
2. We learned that we were doing massage wrong—and how to do it right.
These videos break down our misconceptions about massage—which shows what we’re doing wrong—and how to do massage right! (hint: no thumbs allowed!) I have now become the massage favorite during movie night at our house. It’s easy!
3. The videos are short to watch together
Each video broken down into short tutorials that are under 5 minutes in length. Each focus is on learning one technique. About 6 videos form a series, and there are 3 series altogether: The Basic Strokes, the Highlights, and the Deep Tissue stuff. The Basic Strokes Series teaches you how to actually move your hands to achieve maximum impact–and maximum ooohs and aaaahs.
You’ll watch 7 short videos and learn a new technique with each one, and then at the end there’s a 15 minute video that features a routine using all your new techniques. The Deep Tissue Series focuses on how to use your thumbs to really work out knots. It’s so helpful–and at the end is a 30 minute routine that you can use on each other.
4. Everything builds on each other.
It’s amazing! Each night you feel like you’ve learned something new, and at the end of the series, you will have confidence in your technique and understanding of how massage works.
5. They’re easy to watch together and do together.
(Translation: great date night!) You just watch one of the short ones a night and then practice on each other. Because you’re watching the technique, it’s easy to say, “I’ll go first, then you try it.” Or, to make it more enticing for him, let him massage you first. That way you can’t fall asleep because you have to massage him afterwards–so he won’t worry that if he massages you the night will be over because you’ll be in dreamland. I’ve been saying a lot on this blog that it is so important to start going to bed together at the same time so that you have opportunity to connect.
Instead of watching one more show on Netflix, or browsing Pinterest, or playing one more video game, this gives you a reason to head to bed.
You watch a video, pull out some massage oil, and then do it! And as you touch, it does help nerves to fire. If that leads to something else, woo hoo! As someone who does carry a lot of stress physically, massage is such a service to me and helps me feel closer to my husband.
So many men carry stress on their backs and necks, too, and if we can learn to release that, we can actually change the dynamic in the marriage.
Only $99.00 until February 14th with LIFETIME video access to some incredible massage techniques. There’s a 60 day money back guarantee, so what do you even have to lose?
Visit MELT: Massage for Couples—because, as Denis and Emma, the creators of MELT, say every couple deserves a little massage.
I sent these to my daughter and her husband because they have a toddler and a newborn—and as you know— “T” is for “toddler” and “tired.” 🙂 I’m winning points like crazy this Valentine’s Day… and I’m not even counting the ones I made with my sweet man.
I dare you to try it and not have fun. 🙂
Give each other a romantic back rub at home – it’s the perfect Valentine’s Date idea, dim lights, scented candles and massage oil makes for the most memorable Valentine’s Day you’ve had in a longtime!
Current special ends February 14, 2017! Click here
Oh yeah and one more thing… these are not only great for cheap stay home date nights (works out at around $25 a date night if you split it over three nights!), they also make amazing gifts for any couple. You can buy a few gift vouchers at the promotional price now and use them whenever – they never expire! That means you can stash them for birthdays, Christmas or even wedding presents and gift them along with a beautiful massage oil and a scented candle for a unique, awesome gift that will really make an impression!
…we, my husband and I, are one less parent now. Jay’s dad passed away a a year ago on a misty October morning surrounded by the family he started nearly fifty years ago. And we were all there. Grandchildren, great-grandchildren. A lot happens in fifty years.
Time goes by fast, doesn’t it? Something about December turning to January reminds us all that time is passing. On Christmas morning, I watched as my husband unwrapped his present from Mom—a watch that belonged to his dad. He spent the rest of evening cleaning and polishing it—and remembering.
For forty-nine years, dad stayed faithfully married to mom. My grandparents were married nearly sixty years. I can still see grandpa chasing grandma around the kitchen. Sadly, these kinds of marriages are fast becoming the “exception” and not the rule.
This generation struggles to do what Jay’s parents and my grandparents did—but somehow, we need to figure it out.
Times are surely not harder now than they were then. My grandparents struggled through infertility, the depression, loss and heartbreak. What set them apart? Commitment. Sexual fidelity. Longing and vision—a longing to create a legacy of love and a vision for how to get that done.
I want that longing in my own marriage. I want that vision. When we had three twenty-four-hour days right.in.a.row to just “be,” over our anniversary, I made a list of things that I believe have helped to get us to the twenty-five year mark. By God’s grace, we’ll make it to 50 beautiful years. That year will be beautiful. It will be 2039. And it will be here before we know it.
Good marriages don’t just happen. They’re built, nurtured and protected. They start with love and longing and make the distance through dedication and sticky resolve.
You’ve got what it takes. Be committed.
Twenty-five Ways to Stay Married for Twenty-Five Years
Take your vows seriously
We say our vows and kiss and people clap—but I wonder… do we know what we’re doing when we say “I do?” Probably not. A vow is meant to be forever… until death do us part. It better be serious if we even consider breaking a covenant like that. There are deal breakers, I get that–but “I’m just not happy” should not be one of them.
The battle lines were drawn the day we said “For better or worse.” Us against whatever may come. Expect the “worse” and hang on to the “better” when it comes.
Be the best reason to come home
I want my husband to think of me as the best reason to get off work early. I want him to know that a warm house and the president of his fan club is waiting for him. A respite. A warm embrace. A bowl of cereal or filet mignon is all the same when it’s served with love, grace and affection.
Date each other
Why do we stop doing this? Men: it’s not that hard to get a card for your wife or leave her a little note on the bathroom mirror. Wives still want to be asked out—husbands still want to know their wives desire them.
I have to force myself to laugh when money is tight and babies are crying and teenagers are demanding; but the reward is worth it. Life is hard. Laugh at the rain.
We start out dreaming—and when the dreams die, a little piece of ourselves die with it. Don’t stop dreaming. Create new dreams, set new goals. Begin again, together.
Don’t play emotional games
Enough said. Less Jersey Shore, ladies.
What would happen if we made the happiness of our spouse … first? A lot less divorces, I imagine.
Try new things
A few years ago, we became foodies—together. #truestory
Work it out
Look each other in the eyes and say the hard thing—with love. Work it out. Don’t take ANY advice from Washington. Compromise is essential in every successful relationship.
Let it go
“Frozen” is on to something. Just don’t slam the door as you turn away. Don’t hang on to hurt. Let it go. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Bitterness makes you the prisoner. Let it go.
Chase him around the bedroom
Hey. After 25 years, we’re realizing we are not going to stop the clock. Don’t waste time playing hard to get. NO REGRETS.
Love your own body
After seven children, my body looks like something out of a National Geographic magazine. That’s okay. My husband wants me to love my body—so that I can love him without embarrassment or shame. Those are our stretchmarks… his and mine. So I own them. They’re badges of honor… and reminders of a love we share and life well-lived.
As often as you can. The dinner hour is precious time to connect. Leave time for candles—even if you’re serving cold cereal.
Protect your time
Gardens that are not tended to die. Gardeners make time to garden. Give your marriage the time it needs and watch it flourish.
Compliment each other
Let me help you:
“I love the way you look in that color.”
“You look smokin’ hot today!”
“Baby, you are gonna turn a lot of heads today. Mine first.”
Don’t withhold sex from your spouse
Pat Benetar said it best: “Stop using sex as a weapon!” We were too young to understand that song when we first heard it but there comes a time when we figure it out.
You know how I feel about that. Yes. They’re all ours. They’ve made our lives richer and our days louder. Share the load and grow.
Why do we stop exploring? The same reason we stop dreaming. My grandparents were always up for an adventure—and we are, too.
See the bright side
Harder than it sounds when life knocks the breath out of you. Try.
Don’t give up
Too many marriages end because they give up just a day before the answer comes. If couples can survive the holocaust and the Great Depression, we can surely make it through financial setbacks, disappointing outcomes and bad days. I’d say my husband and I have made it through entire bad years. Not fun, but keep your eyes on what’s to come. Grandbabies are coming. Better days are coming. Don’t give up.
Tell the truth
Even when it hurts. Trust is not easily rebuilt.
Forgive each other
Seventy times seven.
Do things that make you both happy
When we were younger, we loved to go garage-saleing on Saturday mornings. Now, we like to sit in our bedroom with a cup of coffee on Saturday mornings and hope the kids sleep in just long enough for us to drink it while it’s hot. It makes us happy.
Your vows include fidelity. Nothing drains the life out of a marriage faster than adultery. (I put porn in that category.Women who share their husbands with the ghosts of other women are broken in a hundred different ways.) Save your bodies, all of your lives, only for each other.The culture has lied to you. It’s not “just sex.” It’s more than that. It’s the embodiment of all your hope, your trust, your deepest giving—in a sacred, beautiful gift.
“To have and to hold.”
Be faithful. Marriage is a beautiful, gut-wrenching, free-falling, faith-building adventure—and it’s worth it.
A man designed my bathroom. I know it. How do I know this? Because a woman would never think to put a massive mirror right outside the shower door. I caught myself glancing in the mirror yesterday as I stepped out of the shower. I stopped for a moment and took in my reflection—something I don’t often do. I won’t lie—seven children and 44 years has taken a toll on my body. A wave of insecurity washed over me as looked in the mirror. I didn’t like what I saw.
Stretch marks. A lot of them. My legs show signs of aging. My tummy. Ugh. Don’t get me started. Things aren’t where they used to be. No doubt about it: I won’t be a cover girl for “Shape” magazine anytime soon.
God’s word echoed in my heart. “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”
In its time. (“My time has come and gone,” I thought.)
Believe me when I say I’ve had this conversation many times with my husband over our nearly twenty-five years of marriage. I’ve told him how embarrassed I feel at the sight of “me” and it’s turned into a classic “he said/she said,” because I’m here to tell you, Jay says that on this issue, he speaks for men in general—and he thinks we women have it wrong.
I’ve had the opportunity to talk with many men on this topic, as my husband and I often do marriage workshops together, and almost across the board, in healthy marriages (where porn, especially, is not an issue) women are grappling with a lot more than men wish we would.
The way we see ourselves as wives is a big deal to our husbands. We may see dimples on our thighs or sagging breasts—but they see thighs and breasts! It’s true!
Most husbands we’ve asked say that they don’t even notice the flaws in their wife’s body. They just want to be wanted! Women don’t have to be overweight to struggle with their self-esteem in this area, either. Some of the most beautiful women I know struggle to be intimate with their husbands because of—you guessed it—body image.
It’s a sensitive topic, isn’t it? I would venture to guess that I’m not alone in my struggle with the full-length mirror—but I’m learning something: It’s an intimacy robbing, joy-stealing lie, this belief that our husbands want us to look like the women we see gracing the covers of magazines.
Why why why is our culture so obsessed with being skinny? I’ll tell you why: because on some level, we believe it. We believe being skinny is the ideal, too.
I thank God for the perspective my husband brings to this tender topic, because he always brings me back to reality. He recently said, “Since when has it been unattractive to have hips? Since when does ‘attractive’ only fit inside a size 6 pair of pants?” God’s original intent was that we would be one flesh with our husband—without that shame and embarrassment that the world has put upon us.
The flip side of this, of course, is the woman who feels too skinny, too flat-chested or too “boyish” to be beautiful. Here’s a secret: a good husband doesn’t want you to be flawless; he wants you to want him. It’s true! Ask.
Are you enjoying the body God has given you? Are you finding joy, delight—and pleasure in your body when you are with your husband? If not, you’re missing out on something amazing.
Be encouraged today as you’re thinking about your relationship with your husband— especially if you struggle in this area. God’s design and intent for marriage is that the sexual relationship between a husband and wife would be a fulfilling one—not just for him, but for YOU!
I’ve written about this before and I’ll say it again— sex is about more than just making babies. Herbert Miles said, “God created the one flesh experience to be the most intense height of physical intimacy and the most profound depth of spiritual oneness between a husband and wife.” The sexual relationship that you have with your husband is precious.
Don’t allow the world to define it for you.
If you’re struggling in this area, here are five very simple, practical things you can do right now to begin to enjoy your body, flaws and all:
Communicate with your husband about how you’re feeling. Ask him for his perspective and let him know exactly what you are struggling with.
Be real with your girlfriends. My husband sometimes cringes when I tell him I’ve talked to my best girlfriends about intimate issues. “You talked to her about that?” My answer? “YES I DID! And she helped me gain a right perspective!”
Take care of your body. You only have one. Take care of it. You are worth 30 minutes of exercise a day. If you need to, get up earlier—but make this a priority. Eat right. You’ll feel better about your body when you like what you see.
Stop comparing yourself to others. We are all different. Different body shapes. Different figures. Be the best YOU that you can be.
Take a risk in the bedroom. Every woman’s idea of “risky” is different—but if you’re hiding under a flannel nightgown every night, it might be time to stop doing that. My hunch is that if you’ve got a good man, he’s going to love the idea of you… naked and unashamed … passionately in pursuit of his affections.
Enjoy your body! Love your husband—and let him love you.
Some would say that 10 years of marriage is a tremendous milestone to reach. And I would be inclined to agree.
But in reality, in today’s society, every year of marriage is a great milestone. We are constantly surrounded by the world’s standards and ideas, standing in opposition to what we believe and practice.
This past January my husband and I celebrated 10 years of marriage. We are both so very grateful for every year that God has given to us, and try not to take for granted what he has blessed us with. For we know there are many who struggle in their marriages, and only by his grace do we make it.
So what makes a marriage healthy and successful?
Foundation of Faith
First of all, 2 people who desire to love God FIRST, and their spouse next. To have common ground between them, no matter their upbringings, based on a foundation rooted and established in the truth of God’s word. To actively seek after God and be open, ready, willing to grow in their faith, no matter what the circumstances are that bring it about.
It is so important to agree on the ultimate authority of God’s word in your lives. For we are but human and full of error – yet the word of God is without error.
Proverbs 30:5 “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who trust in him.”
Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
I used to struggle with asking forgiveness when I was younger. I would sit by myself and count to 10, or 30 seconds, or a minute, 2 minutes….trying to psych myself up for asking forgiveness. It was stubborn pride speaking, and it was wrong. When I got married, my dear mother gently warned me to not let my husband be the one to always come reconciling, but to be the one to seek out forgiveness. And oh did I ever need to do just that a lot during our first years of marriage!
For a marriage to be successful, you have to be willing to put another’s needs before your own. To love God FIRST, and your spouse next means. To surrender your rights, even when you just might be in the right, and seek a situation of forgiveness. Don’t let stubborn pride hold you back – you know when you’re wrong! Every seconds you wait counts – pray for a heart of forgiveness for both you and your spouse.
Every marriage needs an element of fun. It’s easy when you’re dating to find fun things to do together – there aren’t many responsibilities dampening the excitement, save for working or school the next day. But as you get older and your responsibilities become greater (children to engage with, work with, help, teach, raise; more demanding jobs; household to look after; tighter finances; complicated life situations; spiritual journeys) the fun can start to fizzle out – UNLESS you actively seek to keep the fun times rolling!
Leading up to our anniversary, my husband planned date nights out to different ethnic restaurants – we ate Italian, Croatian, Greek, French (fries, that counts as French, right?!), Spanish and Turkish. At each restaurant we took photos of ourselves and our dishes and did a little write-up review. It was a lot of fun and something creative we hadn’t done before.
There are loads of great dating ideas out there on the great wide internet, whether you stay at home and plan an evening of intentional time together, or head off on a weekend away. Do little things that make him smile (like buying a bottled Starbucks frappuccino from the grocery store to have ready for when your husband gets home) and plan bigger events (like shipping the kids off to the parents for a night)- but whatever you do, do something FUN together!
Really, there are many more than three things that are critical in marriages. What are some others you’d add to this list?
The holidays are over and our budget is non-existent… not to mention it’s just too stinkin’ cold to even put my big toe on my front porch. My electric blanket is on high most nights and my dreams consist of warmth and memories of the sweet smell of summer. I’m not a winter girl. Never will be and never was. I grew up on an island… where life revolved around beach days… so, these coming months are very hard on me.. Even now, living in the south… it has been COLD! But this also brings a sense of cabin fever. Days spent homeschooling kids who are just itching to run the neighborhood. Gray days and rain decorate my windows… and then I get a text.
” I’m declaring tonight movie night. Do we have popcorn?”
Instantly I smile like a giddy school-girl. I know exactly what this means.
“YES!” I respond
YES YES YES!!!
A date night in! Taking place in our light blue bedroom. The kids are upstairs promptly by 8 p.m and the teens get control of the living room T.V. When hubby sends me texts like these, I know an in-house date night will take place.
Sometimes just doing nothing is the best date of all.
No need for child-care, new outfits, or added expenses. There are many ways to make a DATE NIGHT IN even better than a night out.
For us, any in-house date night consists of a prompt bed time for our little ones. With 5 kids under 10, they have to be upstairs by 8.p.m lights out! The babies usually fall asleep right away and our 9 year old usually reads by a reading light. Daddy reminds the kids… NO coming out of the room!
I also have teenagers and cannot ban them upstairs… so for us, date nights when the teens are home usually take place in our bedroom. The older kids enjoy having dominion over the television and we are left alone. It’s a win-win.
Hubby gets a movie off of AppleTV and popcorn is popped.
Just this past Friday, my teens were out all night at a friends house…
So I bought snacks ( Taquitoes and nachos) and we caught up on some shows on our DVR… in the living room!!! ALL TO OURSELVES.
In the past, we have been very creative:
-Dinner by the fireplace in the winter
– light up the fire pit on a summer evening. Just for the two of you. Sit together and enjoy the summer sky.
– pick up take-out or cook dinner for the two of you later in the evening, take out those candles, decorate the table and enjoy…
– We have party lights in our screen porch, in summers we have been know to close the sliders (and the curtains) and we went on a “time-out” while the kids watched a movie in the living room… Just 30 minutes of sitting next to each other in the porch does wonders… ( my teens kept an eye on the little ones)
– Movie night after the kids are asleep
– Game night
– Music night… Set up in the backyard on a summer night with cool drinks and Pandora… our favorite…90’s Alternative. Brings us back to when we were teenagers… dating, wild and free…
– Cornhole competition…. We have been known to get pretty competitive…
– Grill out! Our neighbors are used to the smell of something yummy being grilled at 11 p.m at night… or during a snowstorm. The weirder the weather, the more fun we have with it. it’s even better to eat it on the floor of the living room or in bed.
The best thing that comes out of a date-night in is the re-connection you and your hubby have. Forgetting the stresses that life seems to strangle us in and remember the person you fell in love with… For one second, shedding the mommy/daddy hat and simply being together. Silly, crazy and in love.
They say that everyone has a soundtrack to their lives…. take the time to find out what YOURS is….
then play it!
Have FUN! And let me know how your date-night IN goes!
Today I am in the book of Ephesians 5:22-33. It’s kind of a long passage compared to what I usually do here, but I want to talk to you about marriage and it’s one of the better passages to study for this particular topic.
Starting in verse 22, we read,
“22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. 25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
Hmmm. Can you say, “hot topic?” I think it’s interesting that the passage doesn’t instruct the wife to love her husband or the husband to respect his wife. I believe it is because we already give each other what we want to receive. For example, I want my husband to love me, therefore I’ll love him like I want to be loved. Conversely, he wants me to respect him, so he will respect me. It’s what comes naturally to both of us—most of the time. Yet over and over again in Ephesians, Paul urges a husband to love his wife and urges the wife to respect her husband and respect his leadership.
At the end of the day, we make a decision as women to love and respect our husbands and we choose how we will do it. It is a choice that we make, not just because we love our husbands, but because of our reverence toward God and a desire to obey His Word.
There is a blessing, mom, that comes when we yield ourselves to the way God wants things to be done. Just as much as we can choose not to respect our husbands, our husbands can choose not to love us. Sometimes, that respect is an act of obedience, not based on whether or not they are loving us the way we want to be loved at any given moment. It’s tough stuff sometimes, isn’t it?
I talk to women all over the country at conferences and different events where we are speaking. Many of my interactions are with homeschool moms. It is amazing how many men we have met over the years that feel like their wives do not respect them. Most of the time, it’s simply because the wife has not verbalized to her husband how much she respects him, or she not said “thank you” to him for what he does for his family. Little things really do mean a lot.
When he makes a decision in the home, we demonstrate our respect by our response to that decision. If we roll our eyes or make fun (or whatever) it sends a message loud and clear. It is easy to respect him when he makes a decision that we approve of. It’s not so easy when they do something that we don’t approve of.
The truth is, our respect for him needs to be unconditional. I’m not saying that we respect something that is sinful, but we respect our husbands by honoring their decisions, by respecting the gifts and abilities that God has given them, and making sure they KNOW how much we respect them by verbally communicating that to them.
If you’re struggling with this area in your life, sit down for a few minutes and read Ephesians 5 again. Ask the Lord to show you what that looks like in your marriage.
Next time you feel irritated or upset and you want to get frustrated when your husband makes a decision (like not asking for directions or whatever your pet-peeve is) remind yourself that you are honoring God when you honor your husband.
Busy mom, respect your husband. There is a blessing to be found in doing things God’s way.