When our two teens are home, we appreciate their willingness to babysit while we race away for an occasional afternoon sushi lunch, coffee date out, or cool twilight bike ride. Now that my teens are back volunteering at camp, free babysitting options are more limited. Keeping four-year old Daniel at his normal early bedtime, though, gives us several hours in the evening for at-home date-nights. Board and card games crowd our dining room table right now and I'm taking a break from making a killer Star Wars deck -- well, trying. My man usually wins, but he hears love in quality time and recreational companionship, so I've been culling Bobo Fett and Darth Vader cards. In the games, we get competitive, our eyes dance across the table from each other, and romance kindles.
Curling entwined on the couch, we've picked up C.S. Lewis's book, The Great Divorce, a thought-provoking allegory. Other nights we've loyally (okay, fanatically) clicked our way through multiple episodes of Netflix television series.
This quest for a passionate vibrant marriage isn't just for the school year, for weekends, or for when the kids grow up. For our marriages to be joyful, fulfilling friendships and connected partnerships, instead of just roommates-in-passing, we've got to be intentional.
So, besides the flirty pair of short-shorts I only wear at home for him, and the colognes he wears that instantly grab my attention and make me want to kiss him, we strive to carve out time for each other, to forgive repeatedly, to communicate kindly and respectfully, to laugh, pray and hug often.
And my secret weapon? This practice I've become convinced of? It's the verses that run through my mind, running in my head like memories. Truth nuggets with the power to shape, transform, and renew me --and the people around me. My verse for the last two weeks is phenomenal, and my mom gets credit for using it first. Perfect for marriages, it is nonetheless great to pray in any relationship: for family, friends, neighbors, co-workers and acquaintances.
"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other,
and for everyone else,
just as ours does for you.
May he strengthen your hearts
you will be blameless and holy
in the presence of our God and Father
when the Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." (I Thessalonians 3:12, 13)
So, want to add some steam and romance to your marriage this summer? In addition to sending off your older kids for camp or coordinated sleepovers for occasional sound-proof romantic nights, sidle over to your man. Be intentional. Speak love in a language he understands. Plan some romance, and grab these verses with me.
Photo credit: Microsoft clip art