Sunday, October 31, 2010

Let God into Your Marriage

As crazy as it may seem to mix romance and religion, there is a definite connection. God, that is, the God of the Bible is a God of love. He created us with that same capacity, and expects us to demonstrate love to those around us; we could say that He especially expects us to demonstrate love to those who are closest around us.

There have been a number of studies done, which show that religiously active people have better marriages. Why is that so? Well, the studies couldn’t really give an answer to that. But, let me give you my own. None of us is perfect (just in case you didn’t notice that) and we all need help to overcome our weaknesses. By allowing Jesus to take part in our marriage, we can count on His help to overcome us. But, there is one more step that religious people find helps them. You see, when we put God in the first place of our lives, we take ourselves off the throne and put another there. This change in focus, if one is truly committed to it, causes us to take ourselves off the throne in other areas of our lives. In other words, we stop being so self-centered, and start being “others” centered. Nobody can be romantic while focusing on themselves.

Day 16 – How about taking your family to church today? I know that this doesn’t sound very romantic, but forming a habit of going to church will help you be a better husband. That is romantic. Your wife wants you to be the best husband and father in the world; it’s time to start learning how; let God help.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Where was that Cute Little Shop?

As I’ve already mentioned in a previous post, women love to shop. Yeah, I know, you already knew that; and I also realize that you don’t like it. However, we’re talking about romancing your wife in this blog, and sometimes that means we do something we don’t like, just because she does.

Remember though, doing something with a bad attitude is worse than not doing it at all. So, get your emotions and your attitudes under control. Just the fact that you are doing it for your wife aught to give you reason to be content, if not joyful. Remember, you love her; and true love is true long only when it overcomes other things. In other words, it’s easy to love someone when everything is peachy, but true love shows itself in that it stays strong in the midst of adversity.

Day 15 – So, let’s take out wives shopping today. Stop; take a deep breath; let it out, and keep on reading. I’m not talking about going to the mall and shop for clothes; I’m talking about finding someplace fun to shop (I know that idea may seem a little strange to you).

Almost anyplace you can think of has some sort of little shop, or area of shops that have cute little crafty decorative things. Or, maybe your town has a couple of antique shops. It could even be a store that makes hand-made chocolates or even a curio shop for tourists. There’s got to be something that’s within driving distance of your home.

It might take a little research in the phone book, or asking around to find these places; but that’s okay, preparation for romantic acts is part of the fun. Take your wife out and have fun looking over all the little trinkets and bobbles and junk. Let your imagination run free, and act on it too. If you see something that gives you a funny idea, share it with her; remember, the idea is to have a good time together.

You don’t necessarily have to buy anything in order to have fun on this type of shopping expedition; the fun is in the discovery. If you see something you want; or better yet, something she wants, it’s okay to buy it; but don’t feel pressured to do so. Oh, one thing I recommend buying. Stop somewhere on the way back for an ice cream cone.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Movie Night

There’s a great word in the English language, it’s called “compromise.” Anyone who deals with others on a regular basis needs to learn this word; because to get along with others requires giving up what you want once in a while.

Let’s take movies for example. One of the reasons that married couples go out to the movies so rarely is that they can’t agree on what to see. She wants to see a love story, while he wants an action movie. Occasionally they agree on a comedy, but it doesn’t usually work out that way.

Day 14 – Okay, since we each want to see something different, it’s time for a compromise; let’s see both. Make an agreement with each other to sit through the type of movie that the other one wants to see. Not only sit through it, but try to understand and enjoy it as well. That way, you both get what you want, and you get to be together as well.

I know, it may be a little hard for you to sit through some mushy chick flick that your wife wants to see; but look at it this way, how hard is it going to be for her to sit through all that blood and guts?

Personally, I prefer doing my movie nights at home. Not only is it cheaper, but you can have your choice of snacks, and can pause the movie when it’s time to go to the bathroom. We have a video projector (for my ministry) so we can even go “big screen” in our living room. 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Seems Like There’s Never Enough Time

Get up early in the morning; get the kids ready for school; find the homework assignment they lost; off to work; drop the kids at school; work like a maniac, skipping lunch, so you can get out on time; take the kids to football practice, ballet, and their karate lessons; grab a bite to eat on the way to the PTA meeting; rush home to catch the news, and fall into bed. With a day like that, no wonder most of us feel like we hardly know our spouses.

In today’s hustle-bustle society, it seems like we’ve lost the simple things of yesteryear. Sitting down with a friend for a cup of tea, rocking in a porch swing of an evening, talking a walk down a tree-shaded lane. What has happened to these wonderful, simple ways of spending time together?

Day 13 – Let’s take a moment to return to yesteryear; slow the pace down, and go for a walk with your wife. That’s right, you remember how to do it; one foot in front of the other. Just make sure you slow down and take your time; it isn’t a race. Spend a half hour, or even longer, just walking down that tree-covered lane, hand in hand.

If you want to make this especially fun for her, take a moment to do a little prep work for your walk. Find a few rocks about the size of your fist. Write her name on one side (the top side) with an indelible marker, or even better, with a paint marker. On the bottom side, write a love note, favorite Bible verse, or just “I love you.”

Scout out the route for your walk, and place your love note rocks in strategic places, where she can find them as you walk. Don’t forget where those places are, because at first she won’t be looking for them. You may need to point the first one out to her.

Don’t forget to bring something along to carry the rocks back home (preferably something that isn’t too obvious). You know she’s going to want to keep them, and you know who’s going to have to carry them home. 

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Share the Load

Life is full of inequities, but marriage shouldn’t be; at least, it shouldn’t be if there is something we can do about it. Yet, quite often, we find that it is so, even though we really could do something about it, if we wanted to.

Fifty years ago, most women were stay at home homemakers. While their husbands went off to the office, store, or whatever work they did; they stayed at home, cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids. Amongst the changes in our modern society is the almost total disappearance of this “traditional” family model. Today, most women are in the workplace, but still having to do all the same work at home.

Yeah, I know guys, there are things that you do at home as well. But let’s be honest, our “working wives” typically do more at home than we do. While we’re watching the ball game, they’re often up to their eyeballs in dirty laundry.

Day 12 – Today’s romantic act may not seem very romantic at all. But, I have it on good authority, from many women, that it’s not only romantic, but very sexy. How’s that for a motivator? Okay, ready? Here it is… help her out.

Tonight, after you eat dinner, allow her to sit at the table, while you clear the table and wash the dishes. Don’t make a big production out of it, just do it. Don’t even tell her you are going to do it, just be matter-of-fact about it, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Anything you do to call attention to your actions will totally destroy what you are trying to do.

Okay, so what do you do if she asks you about it? Good question. That’s where you respond with something like, “I know you work hard, so I just wanted to help out.” If you don’t get an immediate hug and kiss, I’d be very surprised.

Oh, and now that you found out it doesn’t destroy your masculinity to was dishes, maybe you could do it a little more often. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Just an "I Love You" Call

There's no such thing as saying, "I love you." too many times. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that a couple should say "I love you" to each other at least 10 times each day. Now, there are many ways of saying those three words, but to women, one of the most important is to say them verbally.

You see, just as men are visually stimulated, women are aurally stimulated. It's the words that we say which bring her emotionally close to us. Believe it, or not, the Bible even teaches this, in Ephesians, chapter 5, "sanctifying her by the washing of the word." The word "sanctifying" literally means, "separating her unto yourself." So, if you want your wife separated unto yourself; or, in more modern language, stuck on you, then make sure you make good use of words.

What? You don't know any good words to say to her. I find that hard to believe. I would venture to guess that you know the words, but may be a little uncomfortable using them. Well, are you a man, or a mouse? If you are a man, I'm sure you can overcome an uncomfortable moment; and maybe even grow to like it.

Day 11 - When was the last time you called your wife on the phone, just to tell her you loved her? I don't mean you called her for something else, and finished the call by saying, "I love you." I mean called her just to express your love, and nothing else. You used to do it when you were dating, but all too often, we break that habit along the way. If it has been more than a day since you gave her an I love you call, it has definitively been too long.

So, sometime during your work day, maybe on a break or at lunch; take a moment to call her up and say, "I just called to tell you I love you." When she asks what you want, reply by saying, "Nothing, I just called to tell you that I love you." That dripping sound you will hear through the phone is her melting.

Matter of fact, lets go one step further. Why not make a habit of calling her every day, just to tell her that you love her.

Monday, October 25, 2010

There’s Something About Flowers

I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s the perfume, or possibly the color, or it could even be that they are fragile and delicate, or even just that they’re pretty; but, the fact of the matter is that just about all women love flowers. They especially love flowers when they receive them as a gift without any special reason.

Many guys only give their wife flowers on Valentine’s Day, or their anniversary, or some such holiday. Or, even worse that that is the guy who only gives his wife flowers to say, “I’m sorry.” Now, don’t get me wrong, those are all good reasons to give flowers; but how about giving her flowers just because it’s Monday. Yeah, just to say, “I love you.”

Day 10 – I’m sure you’ve already guessed today’s romantic act; go out and buy your wife some flowers. Okay, so it’s not very original, but we can make it original. Most guys only buy red roses for their wives; how about buying her some other kind of flower? I don’t know about your wife, but mine really likes exotic looking flowers. In fact, she’d much rather receive something like that, than receive roses.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on flowers to be effective, either. As men, we tend to think we need to buy a dozen roses in order to seem romantic. Okay, so you buy that dozen long-stem roses and give them to your wife; for that you receive one point. Of course, had you just bought her one rose, you’d also receive the same one point. It isn’t how much you spent, or how big the thing is, it’s that you did it. Better to buy her one rose a day, for a week, than to buy her a dozen at once. With the one a day plan, you receive 7 points, instead of just one.

For several years, when we were living in the motorhome, I could only by my wife one flower at a time. Because we traveled constantly, she couldn’t have a vase on the table, so I made one to hang on the wall. It was a heart shaped wooden plaque, with a test-tube to put the flower in. You know, now that we’re in a house, she still has that “vase” hanging on the wall. Every time she gives a tour of the house to someone, she makes sure to tell the story of her vase.

So, let’s go back to an oldie, but a goodie, and buy flowers for our wives. 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Focus on the Good

Supposedly, we all got married because of loving the other person. Back then, if someone had asked us about them, we would have been able to give a long list of wonderful character traits about our mate. However, all too often, somewhere along the way, we stop focusing on the good, and start focusing on the bad. After a number of years of marriage, many people talk much, much more about their spouse’s bad traits, than they do about the good ones.

Okay, none of us are perfect; so it is easy to find those faults that we see in the other person. But, anyone who focuses on the negative in someone is going to develop a negative attitude about them. Instead of keeping the flame alive in their marriage, they’re throwing a bucket of water on the smoldering embers.
Remember that wonderful girl you married? Guess what; she’s still there. Maybe she’s got a few more years under on her, but that same wonderful person is still inside. Take a good look, I’ll bet you can still find her.

Day 9 – Today’s romantic act is going to require a little thinking. Ready? Got your thinking cap on? Okay, here it is. Think of 3 wonderful things that are special about your wife (if you can come up with more, that’s a bonus). Then, sit down and write her a love letter, telling her those three things. Now, don’t freak out on me here; you can write a love letter. Here, I’ll help; I’ll give you an outline:

1.      Tell her “I love you. I think you are special.”
2.      Tell her the first thing you think is special about her. You don’t have to get long winded, just blurt it out.
3.      Tell her the second thing you think is special about her.
4.      Tell her the third thing you think is special about her.
5.      Finish by saying, “Just in case I haven’t said it in the last five minutes, I love you. Thank you for being my wife.”

That’s it; you’ve got your love letter. Oh, a couple more details. Make sure you sign it, just to be sure she knows who it’s from. Also, when you are writing the three things that make her special, really avoid saying anything like, “even though,” or “sometimes;” or for that matter, any words that can be considered negative, or lessen the impact of the compliment you are giving her.

Put your letter in an envelope, with her name on the front, and leave it somewhere where she is sure to find it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Honey Do's

It’s Saturday, the day that every man wants to kick back, sleep in, relax, and maybe go fishing. Right? Whoa, wait a minute. That may be what you want to do, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best thing for you to do with your day; especially if you want to spend the night the way I know you want to spend it.

Remember yesterday, when I mentioned how your wife feels broken if the house is broken, and feels like a mess if the house is a mess? Well, guess what? I can just about guarantee that she’s felling that way right now. Somewhere in your house is something that needs your attention. And somewhere in the house is hidden a list that you and I try and forget about… the dreaded “honey do” list. Yeah, I know, it’s scary, but you’re a man, you can take it.

Do you want your wife to know you care about her? Well, one of the ways we do that is by making sure we take care of that blasted list. The longer something stays on it, the more convinced our wives are that we don’t care about them.

Day 8 – You got it, attack that honey do list. I know; there’s probably too much on that list to do in one day; I’m not saying that you should try and finish it today, but how about putting a dent in it? Not sure what to do? If you really want to be brave, ask your wife to pick out one or two things that she thinks are the most important. Or, each of you pick out one item from the list.

You can even make this a time for relationship building. Ask your wife to help you, or at least be with you, while you do that thing. Garage needs cleaning? That’s a great project to attack together; or, better yet, make it a family project. Gutters need to be cleaned out? Get her to hold the ladder for you. Bedroom need painting? Another great team project, one of you can cut, while the other rolls. Even if you don’t talk a lot while you are working, just doing it together will build your relationship.

This is one of those romantic acts that need to become a habit in our lives. If you can commit to doing just one or two items on the honey do list every Saturday, you’ll find it brings you closer together. Not only that, but you’ll find that she won’t be nagging you as much; having confidence that you’ll do what needs to be done.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Finish What You Started

Hey guys, sometimes when we get working on a project around the house, we hit a bump in the road, and leave the rest of the project for later. It could be that we needed something at the hardware store, had to borrow a tool, ran out of time, or just plain got tired in mid-stream. Whatever the reason, that project can end up sitting there as an eyesore for months, or even years, before we get back to it.

I call it an eyesore; but really, for us, it isn’t so much of one. The person it’s an eyesore for is our wife. You see, a woman identifies a lot with her home. When it is dirty, she feels dirty; when something is broken, she feels broken; when everything is in disorder, she feels like she is. I know, don’t try and understand it, just accept it for the way she is.

Day 7 – You started a project earlier this week. Actually, it wasn’t so much a project, as a romantic act. On Tuesday, I recommended that you buy your wife an article of clothing, and wrap it up with a note to not open it up until today. Yep, today’s the day she’s going to open it. There was something else inside that package, along with the article of clothing. That was a note for her to meet you someplace tonight.

Don’t forget, you’ve got a date with your wife tonight! The worst thing you could do is not show up, or even to show up late. Be sure to get their before she does. Take the time to spiff yourself up for the date. Women like it when we look good; especially when we look like somebody important. 

One final thing, have another gift for her; something small will do. It might be a pair of earrings, a CD from her favorite group, or just a flower. Whatever it is, just leave it sitting on the table, at the place where she’s supposed to sit. She’ll figure out who it’s for. Enjoy your date night!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Gotta Dance

Many things have been said about dance through the years. One of my favorites is: “The truest expression of a people is in its dance and in its music.  Bodies never lie.” (Agnes de Mille). Another great one is: “There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them” (Vicki Baum). When two people dance together, their souls, not just their bodies intertwine. Any couple who truly learns to dance together, as one, is going to find that the rest of their lives follow suit.

Day 6 –  Sometime, when it is least expected, put on some soft music, grab your wife, and dance with her. You need to be a little practical here; don’t grab her when she’s running to the bathroom, or when she’s got her arms full of dishes (although in the middle of washing the dishes might work out really well). Don’t try and get out of this one by saying you can’t dance; it’s not about your ability; it’s about your availability. Nobody, except maybe your kids (and they don’t count on this one), is going to be giving you any style points. But, your wife will be giving you romance points.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Who Doesn't Like a Back Rub?

Touch is an important part of conveying and maintaining love in a relationship. Through touch we show we care, alleviate stress, convey our love, and yes, even increase the feeling of love. However, many women feel threatened by anything that can be construed as a sexual touch, even within the marriage relationship. That's because most women in our society (over 85%) have been sexually abused at some time.

Touch releases the hormone Oxytoxin in our systems. This hormone, like all hormones is essential for the body's health, especially in women. However, Oxytoxin has another affect, that is of causing the feeling of being in love with another person. So, any physical contact (obviously not hitting) is useful for a relationship in increasing the feeling of love that both feel for each other.

Day 5 - One of the best, and most appreciated forms of non-sexual physical contact is the back rub. So, when you both get home from work today, or maybe after dinner, give your wife a back rub. For best results, have her lay down on her stomach and straddle her legs. This will give you good leverage, and allow you to reach her entire back without straining (thereby allowing you to give her a longer back rub). If you have a massager, go ahead and use it; if not just use your hands. Rub her whole back, but pay special attention to the neck and shoulders, as they are most affected by stress. One precaution - don't rub too hard, hard enough to knead the muscles, but not hard enough to hurt her. If she says it's too hard, back off a notch.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Suspense - a Great Addition to Romance

Most people don't appreciate the value of suspense in their romance; or, at least, don't make much use of it. I'm not talking about horror movie suspense, I'm talking about the suspense of expectancy. Remember when you were a kid, waiting for Christmas morning? That's the kind of suspense I'm talking about.

Day 4 - Buy your wife something sexy to wear; it can be an outer garment, or something more intimate. Now, I know that most guys freeze at the idea of buying clothes for their wives, but it really isn't as bad as you think. First of all, find out her size. The easiest way to do that, is to look in her closet. Secondly, if you don't know her favorite colors, find out. How? By looking in her closet. If she has lots of clothes in one color, there's a good chance she likes that color. Finally, don't worry about style. I know that sounds a little crazy, but for this romantic act, it really doesn't matter. Don't buy her something you think she'd like; buy her something you'd like to see her in.

Okay, now that you've finished the hard part; that is, buying the article of clothing, wrap it nicely as a gift. Include a note saying, "Put this on and meet me at _____ at 6:00 pm" (insert the address, but not the name, of your favorite restaurant, or one you've been wanting to try). Don't use one of those gift bags to wrap it, because it's too easy for her to peek. Put a tag on it with her name, and "don't open until Friday" (this is the suspense part, you can be sure she'll be wondering about it all week).

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Family Time

Day 3 - One of the greatest needs our wives have of us guys is to know that we are committed to our families. Remember, a woman's world revolves around the relationships she has, not the work that she does. So, when we ignore the family, she feels like we are ignoring her. On the other hand, when we spend some quality time with our kids, she feels like we're showing that we care about her.

So, do something today as a family. Go to the park, or the beach (for those who live in the South), or wherever it is that your family likes to go. Spend some time playing together. Wrestle on the grass. Even put your wife on a swing and push her. In other words, have fun as a family.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Give Her Some Shopping Time

Day 2 - It's Saturday, and what do all women want to do on Saturday? They want to go shopping! Yes, I know, that dreaded word, which causes men to tremble in their boots (or shoes, or sandals). But, hey guys, it's their thing, not ours. So, give your wife a break. Tell her to grab her best friend and go hang out at the mall for a while. Even, do I dare say it? Watch the kids for her, so that she can really enjoy shopping.

Okay, okay, I know, your budget can't handle it; right? Okay, so make a deal with her. Still let her go shopping, but agree on a limit that she'll spend. Whatever limit you set, I'll bet you she won't spend it all. You see, it's not about spending, it's about the experience of shopping. Don't try and understand it, because you can't. Just let her enjoy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

What is Romance?

To most men, romance is sex; but that isn't romance to women. To a woman, romance is about being shown that she is loved; not just her body, but the woman within. It isn't necessarily big things, it's the little things. Romance is when her man takes the time to show her that she is special and that he appreciates her specialness.

Day #1 - Your romantic act for today is to buy your wife a greeting card that says in some way or another, "I love you." Please make sure it isn't a humorous card, as that will ruin the effect. The best way to deliver the card is to put it on her pillow on the bed. Be sure that you don't walk into the bedroom with her, so that she has a moment alone to find and read the card.