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Entries in Romance (3)

Thursday
Jan252018

Appreciation Fans the Flame on Love

Pam Farrel really cares about marriages, and she wants people to know the value of romance in the loving husband-wife relationship. In this Marriage UPGRADE just in time for Valentine's Day, she focuses on an attitude that can "fan the flame."

Appreciation can positively change the atmosphere in our marriage; vastly improve the confidence of our mate and raise the temperature of our own passion toward our husband,” Pam says. “In short, appreciation steams up the windows of desire in our heart.  

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, and I (Dawn) agree. Appreciation is a great way for those who are married to prepare for this special day. Pam shares some practical ways to help your man feel he is number one in your heart—not just on Valentine’s Day, but every day!

Pam continues . . .

For the past few years, a few times a year, I run a Romance Challenge for Wives. Together, we look at the 26 traits, A to Z, that make a wife more loving, more caring—and yes, more desirable—to her husband.

These wives value love, cherish the institute of marriage and even recognize the significance of their man; yet they are looking for a few more creative ideas to fan the flame on love.

They long to keep that spark and sizzle in their love life.

In the heart of a woman is a desire to help their man feel like the luckiest, most blessed male on the face of the globe!

Yet, women struggle to keep gratitude and thankfulness in their hearts—especially toward the man God gave them to marry.

Because we women can drift to feelings of frustration toward our spouse, we need a way to drift BACK to emotions of appreciation, gratitude and gratefulness toward our husband and marriage.

If you are struggling to find anything positive about the man God gave you, here is the baseline:

He had the good sense to marry YOU!

We can have confidence that God will meet us in the middle of our desire to be more loving and appreciative because He commands us to have an attitude of gratitude:

In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (I Thessalonians 5:18).

One of the basic components of a strong love is when a man feels appreciated, valued and esteemed.

I love the look in the eyes of newlywed brides. They beam as they hang on the arm of their groom. That gleam in the eye and broad smile—that is appreciation!

When he senses you feel you won the grand prize when you married him, his heart will be drawn toward you; and then your worth is like the upward trajectory of a positive stock market report. You become priceless!

The Bible encourages, “…esteem them very highly in love…” (1 Thessalonians 5:13). Esteem means to regard as particularly important; admire, approve, favor, treasure.

Is that how you feel about your husband?

As a motivated wife, you have the honor of being the spark plug for your marriage, the igniter of romance and the match to light the flame of intimacy.

If you want to kickstart appreciation to fan the flame on love, simply say “Thanks!”

How?

Try one of the ways below to tangibly express your gratitude to your man:

♥ Admire in a letter or with your verbal praise one of his good qualities
♥ Applaud his effort or an accomplishment
♥ Approve of his choice (of anything) heartily!
♥ Commend of him in front of his friends or colleagues
♥ Compliment one of his handsome features
♥ Positively inquire more information about one of his interests
♥ Accept one of his quirks with a quick hug or kiss when you see it
♥ Laud an accomplishment with a gift or a family party to celebrate.
♥ Warm toward an idea he has brought up by asking to learn more.
♥ Support one of his dreams by placing a photo of him doing it on your desk or refrigerator.
♥ Sympathize with an emotional hurt with a hug. 
♥ Adore his body in the bed room.
♥ Enthusiastically embrace one of his opinions with an “I so agree!”
♥ Show pleasure of his company with a “So nice to have you in my life”.
♥ Be sensitive to his stress by giving a shoulder or neck rub.
♥ Be mindful of one of his needs by running an errand or picking up an item without being asked.
♥ Be responsive to one of advances for “red hot monogamy”.
♥ Order a coffee mug with “I thank God 4 U!” printed on it, then bring him breakfast in bed, complete with the coffee mug.
♥ Place a thank you note on a helium balloon and float it into his office.
♥ Make your own list, A to Z, why you are thankful for your man, then read it to him; give it to him, one letter at a time; create a photo book with pictures of him for each letter and each trait you find attractive; or write the list on the same kind of paper you sent the first love note on!

Which of these “appreciation fans" would make the biggest difference in your marriage today?

What are you waiting for?

Pam Farrel is an international speaker, author of over 45 books including Red Hot Romance Tips for Women (which this blog is adapted from); Red Hot Monogamy,  A Couple’s Journey with God, and  best-selling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. Pam encourages women to join the 26 day Red Hot Wife Challenge, and her husband Bill hosts the Her Best Friend phone APP to equip husbands to romance their wives. Learn more about Pam and Bill Farrels’ ministry at www.Love-Wise.com.

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Tumisu at Pixabay.

Thursday
Jan122017

What to Do When Your Marriage Seems Stuck

Sharon Jaynes has captured my imagination and challenged my life with a number of books. In this Marriage UPGRADE, she challenges those who have a spouse to consider whether the "romance" has faded ... and what we can do about that.

"Sometimes we can get so busy taking care of life," Sharon says, "that we forget to take care of love."

I (Dawn) know without a doubt how busyness can kill the spark of married love. I've seen it happen too many times. But it's not enough to diagnose a problem; we need a solution.

Sharon continues . . .

What do you do when you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ in your marriage?

Maybe you truly adored your husband in the beginning, but now you can’t remember why. Maybe you honestly admired his finer qualities, but now you can’t remember what they were. Maybe you appreciated his wonderful attributes, but now you take them for granted.

Between taking out the garbage, paying the bills, running the car pool, mowing the lawn, disciplining the kids, and folding the laundry, sometimes the passion of marriage gets lost.

It happens to all of us at one time or another.

We can get so busy taking care of life that we forget to take care of love.

None of us got married so we could have a long list of chores.

If you’re like me, most likely you got married because you were madly in-love and couldn’t imagine life without your man! You got married because your heart skipped a beat every time you laid eyes on him. You couldn’t wait to tie the knot and build a life with this incredible person God had miraculously brought into your life.

Maybe you still feel that way. But maybe you could use a little reminder—a re-stoking of the romance.

In the book of Revelation in the Bible, God had this to say to the church at Ephesus:

“I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first” (Revelation 2:4, NIV).

Ephesus was one of the most loving churches in the New Testament, and yet somewhere along the way they lost that initial thrill of knowing Christ. Their love for each other and for God had grown cold.

So how do you get that lovin’ feelin’ back?

God gave the church two simple steps, and I believe we can apply them to our marriages as well. “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first” (Revelation 2:5a, NIV).

REMEMBER how it was in the beginning.

RETURN and do the things you did at first.

For most of us, life is just daily. However, the accumulation of small struggles can nibble like termites to undermine the foundation of what appears to be a healthy structure as surely as the unexpected, earth-shaking rumble of sudden disaster. And routine, even good routine, can rob us of the joy and passion of marriage… if we let it.

One day I took John’s words in Revelation to heart, and decided to remember and return by romancing my husband for fourteen days straight.

Everyday wasn’t earth-shaking romance, even though there was some of that.

  • One day I simply put a sticky note on his bathroom mirror that said, “I love you.”
  • Another day I placed a box of Red Hot candy on his car seat with a note that said, “You’re a hottie.”
  • One morning I warmed up his towel in the dryer and had it ready when he got out of the shower.

And you know what happened? At the end of the fourteen days, Steve had a skip in his step and smile on his face like a Cheshire cat.

And what happened in me? I can hardly describe the love that welled up in me, as I loved my man well.

Hear this… I changed.

I don’t have a big, bad personal story of how God took a terrible, tumultuous marriage and miraculously transformed it into a storybook romance filled with white-knight rescues, relentless romance, and rides into the sunset leaving all danger and darkness behind. Although our marriage has been all that at one time or another, it’s no fairy tale.

Our marriage is a daily journal, one page after another, one day after another. I'm guessing just like yours.

Some entries are smudged with tears; others are dog-eared as favorites.

Some days are marred by unsuccessful erasures that couldn’t quite rub away hurtful the words said; others are finger-worn by the reading of precious events time and time again.

But on those days when I see my marriage slipping back into the mundane cadence of passionless routine, I pull out my list of ideas, and put a smile on Steve’s face.

And that’s my challenge to you and to me today.

What do you need to do to love your husband well today?

Sharon Jaynes is a conference speaker and author of 21 books. Click here to read a sample chapter, watch a video, or download free resources for her latest book, A 14-Day Romance Challenge: Reigniting Passion in Your Marriage; or visit Sharon’s blog and learn about her other resources.

 

Tuesday
Feb102015

His Plimsoll Line

Pam Farrel, a relationship specialist with her husband Bill, often uses examples to help couples understand how to better love each other. In this early Valentine’s Day Marriage UPGRADE, she begins with a short history lesson.

“In the late 1800s,” Pam said, “Samuel Plimsoll discovered that nearly 1,000 sailors a year were being drowned on ships around British shores because ships were being overloaded.”

What’s that got to do with love? Stay tuned. I (Dawn) think Pam’s example is excellent!

Pam continues . . .

Plimsoll headed up a campaign to require that vessels bear a load line indicating when they were overloaded. The Plimsoll line is a mark located on a ship’s hull that indicates the maximum depth to which the vessel may be safely immersed when loaded with cargo.  

Your husband has a “Plimsoll line.” Load him up too much and his life or health or your relationship will sink.

You are the dock guard checking his “waterline” to keep him free from overwork, over commitment and over-the-top stressors.

One of my favorite verses of the Bible is a tiny phrase Boaz says to Ruth—a woman he is interested in romantically. Boaz said, “. . . all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence.”

This word “excellence” can be translated virtue, valor and valiant, and it’s the same word used of David’s mighty soldiers.

You are a warrior wife! God has called you to be a defender of your husband, your marriage and your family. 

There are three ways you can be a Warrior Wife:

1. Upgrade Your Attitude

How well do you know your husband’s stress? Is he carrying stress about his work (or lack of it), the kids, your finances, his health, your health, the church, the headlines and plight of evil in our society, those under his leadership, the community, the extended family, or a country or mission God has laid on his heart?

Colossians 3:12 encourages us to care:  “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.”

2. Upgrade Your Understanding

To build empathy, often we need a better understanding of how our husband might process the stress of life.

In Men are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti, we layer on God’s foundational truth of Genesis 1:27—God made us male and female—and share that biology explains that men and women process stress differently.

We women talk our way through stress. When I am stressed my sister knows it, my mom knows it, my best friend knows it—the clerk at the grocery store will know it!

Men on the other hand, when they are stressed, the go to their favorite easy box to rest and recharge. But God helped us girls out so we can recognize these recharger boxes, most are actually shaped like boxes (like on a waffle): the TV, the garage, the football field, baseball diamond, basketball court, tennis court, pool table, soccer goal, the computer, the refrigerator and the bed!

In fact the bed box, that intimacy box is a favorite box for men to go to when they are all stressed out. It is kind of like the free square in the middle of a BINGO card—they can get there from every square on their waffle! 

3. Upgrade Your Creativity

Since Bill and I started teaching this, we developed a new code word for expressing our desire for intimacy. One of us might ask, “Want to play some Bingo?” (Just seeing a BINGO card in his brief case or on his desk lowers Bill’s stress!)

So, where does your man like to go when he is stressed:  Fishing, hunting, for a run, TV or a movie, sports, a hobby, the garage, surfing, boating? Some choices are healthier for managing stress than others. If you offer to schedule some R and R with some physical activity he enjoys, it might keep him away from the burger and fries—or another unhealthy habit that could put him in an early grave.

Ask him about his favorite pursuits, then schedule a visit to his “favorite boxes.”

Resources can help us focus. In Red-Hot Romance Tips for Wives, there are 26 traits to help you become a more loving wife, including this “virtuous” warrior for my man attitude.

Or join the Red Hot Wives Challenge. I will send you a daily inspiration for 26 days to arm you with more romantic ideas and ways to help when your man’s load is approaching the dangerous Plimsoll level. (See resource links at the end of this post.)

God is aware the life of a leader is stressful; and if we pray, God will give each of us the discernment we need to give the encouragement our man needs

Take a few minutes to think about the stresses your husband may be facing today. Is there anything you can do to lower his Plimsoll level?

Couple-Building Resources:

  • Book - Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti
  • Book - Red-Hot Romance Tips for Wives
  • Challenge - Red Hot Wives Challenge.

Pam Farrel and her husband Bill are relationship experts, international speakers and authors of more than 40 books including Red Hot Monogamy: Making Your Marriage Sizzle; The Secret Language of Successful Couples; and Red Hot Romantic Tips for Women.” Visit their website, Love-Wise, for more information and resources, or Pam's blog.