Saturday, October 13, 2012

Keep the Challenge Going

Today’s the last day of the CMBA’s (Christian Marriage Blogger’s Association) half marathon. Since the beginning of the month, Christian marriage bloggers have been striving to put up a post a day for the 13 days of the half-marathon. Being the last day, the thought occurred to me, “Why stop now?”

Granted, this is supposed to be a daily blog, and sometimes I actually manage to keep it that way. Although I’ll have to confess, I don’t always succeed. Trying to come up with new ways to be romantic each and every day can be a bit of a challenge; especially with all the other challenges of a busy life, work, and ministry.

However, my thinking didn’t stop with thinking about the blog, but went on to how that same attitude of continuing on needs to be in our marriage as well. Many of us guys are willing to give being romantic a try, at least for a few days or weeks; but that’s not the point. You see, just being romantic for a little while really isn’t going to get you what you want. That’s like the guy who is only romantic when he wants sex, and then once he gets what he wants, goes back to ignoring his wife and her needs.

Being romantic has to be a lifestyle. It’s not about doing something so that you can get what you want, or doing something to satisfy her, or even doing something to get her over being mad or upset. Being romantic has to become a way of life; a constant expression of your love for her, in ways that she will understand as loving. That’s a horse of a whole different color.

One of the things I’ve learned through my personal journey is that emotions follow actions. So, the best way for me to make sure that I stay in love with my wife, is to do loving things towards her. Love breeds more love. As I keep myself doing romantic things, I help myself to keep my mind focused on her, so that it isn’t distracted by other women.

The other important lesson I’ve learned (there have been many of them) is that a loving marriage can only happen when both parties are focused on the other, rather than being focused on themselves. Now, here’s the rub, one of the two has to make the emotional investment to start it.

You see, because I have invested in my wife’s emotional state, she is more interested in investing in mine. But, at the beginning of this adventure, neither of us was doing a whole lot to invest in each other. Yes, as strange as it may seem, we’d gotten to a place in our marriage, where we were both so busy with other things, that we didn’t have the time or energy to invest in each other. Somebody had to break us out of that, and I (with a big push from God) decided it had to be me.

It took a while, but my investment paid off. Funny thing is, it paid off first in me, long before it paid off in her. Like I said, emotions follow actions. So, because I was acting romantic and loving, I started feeling romantic and loving. Eventually, that rubbed off on her as well. Now, we’re both romantic and loving towards one another.

So, whatever you do, don’t give up! The journey of romance is a lifelong journey. You may find a few bumps along the way, but you can overcome them. Challenge yourself to do something romantic towards your wife each and every day, even if it’s just something small. You’ll be glad you did.

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