Make romance a part of the marriage diet!
So last week we looked at the joys of marriage, now we want to ensure we keep it alive. A TV talk show host was interviewing one of Hollywood's biggest male stars, a man known for his prowess with the opposite sex. He asked him, "What makes a great lover?"
"Two things," the actor replied. "First of all, it is a man who can satisfy one woman over a lifetime. And it is a man who can be satisfied with one woman for a lifetime."
What a great answer! To build a lasting marriage of oneness and intimacy, spouses must be committed to meeting each other's physical and emotional needs. The problem is that, sometime within the first year or two after the wedding ceremony, something happens in most marriages. Those romantic fires that burned so brightly during engagement are allowed to faint to embers.
We tend to lose our romantic creativity. At some point in almost every marriage, a couple realises that they just don't experience the same romantic feelings they once enjoyed, the period of engagement now seems like an exciting introduction to a dull book.
The foundation of a marriage is a solid commitment of unconditional love and romance is an outward expression of that love. It is the fire in the fireplace, the warm response of one spouse to another that says, "We may have struggles, but I love you". We ought to make romance a part of our everyday diet in our marriage relationship. Look at what the Bible speaks of in Proverbs 5:18-19:... and rejoice in the wife of your youth, as a loving hind and a graceful doe, let her breasts satisfy you at all times. Be exhilarated always with her love.
That's a powerful image - to be literally exhilarated by your spouse, lose your mind, be intoxicated, literally drunk! This type of romance is part of what sets a marriage apart from just a friendship.
Romance and Excitement
I find it interesting that God found romance and sex so important that He dedicated an entire book in the Bible, Song of Solomon, to encourage us to experience it.
"May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine, your oils have a pleasing fragrance...Draw me after you and let us run together!" (Song of Solomon 1:2,4a)
Throughout the book, the lover (Solomon) and his beloved (Shulamith) talk enthusiastically about romantic and sexual love. They obviously enjoy each other's bodies. Solomon speaks of his bride: "How beautiful your feet in sandals, O prince's daughter! The curves of your hips are like jewels, the work of the hands of an artist…Your two breasts are like two fawns, twins of a gazelle....Your stature is like a palm tree, and your breasts are like its clusters. I said, `I will climb the palm tree, I will take hold of its fruit stalks.' Oh, may your breasts be like clusters of the vine, and the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine. (Solomon 7:1-3, 7-9)
While we cannot base marriage solely on romantic feelings, we also can't deny our need for the closeness and intimacy. Without those qualities in a relationship, a couple will drift into isolation.