A friend asked if David and I were doing anything special for our 17th wedding anniversary. We normally do try to get away, or at least have a date night. Turns out, this year we didn’t have anything planned, not even dinner.
There was a time when having no special plans would have sent me sailing, not in a good way. This time I responded to my friend in a way that even surprised me. I said, “You know, the longer I’m married, the less I need things. Yes, it would be nice to do something special, but honestly my husband IS the greatest anniversary present. I’m just happy to have him. I’m in love with him more every day, and HE IS THE GIFT. I don’t need anyTHING. I just need him.”
Do we have this marriage thing all figured out? No, not at all! Neither of us are perfect, and we still have heated, come-to-Jesus meetings on occasion! But we do work through disagreements differently now than fifteen years ago. And today, our marriage is better than ever!
We women love new recipes, while most men are into devouring them (the food not the women…well aheeem…never mind), and both want a successful marriage. So here’s a recipe for a smokin’ hot marriage.
Let Jesus be the foundation. Because I’m naturally a leader, it has taken effort on my part to allow my husband to be the spiritual leader, at times. I understand, all marriages are different, and people are in different places in their journey with God. But I think God honors that my husband seeks Him and follows Him in all matters of business and family.
Meet the other’s needs. My husband loves me like Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her. Now I know this sounds impossible, but really! He loves me selflessly. He forgives me. He goes out of his way to serve and provide. He’s my best friend, and he meets my emotional needs by listening and caring.
Guess what this does for me? Makes me want to do whatever he wants (within reason). I submit, yield, serve and love him even more, not because I have to, but because I really want to. He treats me like a queen, and in return, I want him to feel like a king. So I take care of his needs. It’s a two-way street. It requires us both to give 100% at all times. THIS works!
Flirt with each other. We don’t wait for special occasions to date. Sometimes we even have candle-lit date nights at home, if our children are with grandparents. We’re playful in the kitchen, the office or wherever, really. We allow our children to see us loving on each other. It’s healthy for us, and for them to witness it (nothing inappropriate, just hugs, kisses, or little flirtatious comments). It’s good for our children to know we’re in love, and it demonstrates to them how a healthy marriage should look.
Protect the marriage, and one another. Now don’t confuse this with us being controlling or insecurely neurotic. There’s not a controlling bone in my husband’s body. But he takes his role of protector seriously. For example, he makes sure I have a phone and something safe to drive. And we’re both protective over our marriage. Not only do we pray for God’s protection over it, we try to never put ourselves in compromising situations with members of the opposite sex.
And last but not least…
Take time to delight. I see him staring at me from across the room, and I love it, especially when he doesn’t know I’ve noticed. He always tells me the only problem he has with lust is that he still lusts his wife after all these years (I know…TMI)! But guys, this is really good for your woman to know, that you’re not addicted to porn, you’re just addicted to her! If you want to get a response from her, let her know you still find her sexy and beautiful. Don’t just tell her, show her. Pursue her. Admire her from across the room. Delight in her!
Now ladies, I’m not perfect at this, but I really try to care about myself and the way I look for my husband. It’s one of the ways I delight in him. Men are visual, so most of them want to come home to us fairly put together. And how hard is it, even if we don’t “feel” sexy, to just put on something sexy every now and then before bed? Honestly, it’s not going to be on that long anyway. What’s the big deal? It’s like packaging a gift or decorating a cake, or even a room (for you designers). Why is this so difficult for us? Just put yourself in a pretty package and present it. Most husbands will really appreciate that you cared enough to take the time to do this.
These are just a few things that have pushed us out of survival mode into thriving mode, and it rocks for us both! Try it, maybe it will you too!
1) As most of you know, God’s asking me to write a book. And those publishers, well, they want me to have a bigger platform to sell the book. If you like what you’ve read here and you haven’t done this already, I humbly ask you to consider taking less than 30 seconds to click the “subscribe” button. Your information will never be shared, AND you will get an inspirational post in your email on the days I post (Monday and Thursday mornings).
2) A blogger friend, Sheila Wray Gregoire, generously linked my post, Random Things I Learned About Marriage The Hard Way, to her blog last week and to her Pinterest page the week before. I want to encourage you to visit her at To Love, Honor and Vacuum. Browse her blog. Check out the numerous books she’s written, including “The Good Girl’s Guide To Great Sex.” She’s passionate (as I am) about God’s design for marriage, and I’m sure you’ll love her style.