How to Keep Romance Alive in Marriage
Romance in Marriage
We like to think about it. We like to sing about it. We like to watch it. We like to read about it. But what is romance and how does it play out in marriage? How do we keep the romance alive? Sometimes, we can compartmentalize romance, but romance is not an event, it's an environment we can create in our home and in our marriage. This aroma of romance or “aromance” permeates every area of your life.
In 2 Corinthians 2:15, it says, "For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."
Each and every day, the way that we live can be an aroma to God because of Jesus in our hearts. Not only does it speak to God with an aroma, but it’s also an encouragement to other Christians. Maybe we should ask ourselves, “what do I smell like?”
We’ve talked about marriage for 32 years, because marriage is the foundation is the anchor of our culture. God created marriage. It's a God-ordained covenant which is basically a commitment on steroids.
A Recipe for Romance
Romance should be an environment within the relationship. What we've done is we've unpacked this message around a recipe - a recipe for romance. Lisa is a phenomenal cook. She's written a couple of cookbooks and a lot of times when you're cooking, the aroma is great.
(Lisa) Invariably, if I chop onions, bell peppers, put a little garlic in, and start sauteing, Ed will come in and he'll go, "Oh, what are you making?” Because you cannot keep that aroma contained in the kitchen. The smell is going to go throughout the house. Romance is like a recipe that’s not going to be contained. It's going to spread like wildfire and we're going to celebrate it.
Romance Wreckers in Christian Marriage
I know some couples here are really dealing with some difficult issues, about 50% of married couples say that they struggle in the areas of intimacy, sex, and romance. Others have totally disengaged and they're not having any sort of intimacy whatsoever.
Marriages go through highs and lows, and seasons where you are more fulfilled, and seasons where you are less fulfilled.
1 Corinthians 7:3-4 (NIV-1984). It says, "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise, the wife to her husband. The wife's body does not belong to her alone, but also to her husband. In the same way, the husband's body does not belong to him alone, but also to his wife."
God's desire is for husbands and wives to be fulfilled by one another. It is critical that we understand one another’s needs. However, it’s possible to wreck the aroma of romance. The following personalities are romance recipe wreckers. These are cooks that don’t need to be in the kitchen.
Rick and Rhonda Rude
Is there an environment in your marriage where you're just rude to one another? There's no softness. Are you guilty of giving your spouse just this crassness, this abruptness that we call rude? When there's negativity, it takes 20 positive comments to erase one negative comment.
Al and Abby Average
The next couple is Al and Abby Average. You've read the stats. An average married couple makes love 1.2 times per week. Al and Abby Average keep score of their sex life.
Mark and Mandy Monotony
Mark and Mandy Monotony rely on the glory days when he romanced her, but now that they’re married, he’s hung his courting jersey in the rafters. They stick to the same, monotonous, boring, and predictable romance routine.
Women can be guilty of this too. When we’re dating, we take time to do our makeup. We work out and make sure that we feel our best physically. Yet, over time, we become monotonous in how we present ourselves and prepare for our husbands. Be more intentional about breaking the monotony for your date night and all of those things.
Curtis and Karan Critique/Critical
Curtis and Karan Critical keep a constant diet of criticism, where they’re constantly tearing one another down.
Ted and Tina Tired
These two are always tired, worn out, and busy. They have energy for everyone else, but not for one another.
Tom and Tammy Technology
45% of spouses say that technology is a problem in marriage and 43% of spouses take technology to bed. Whether you read books on your iPad or you’re an old-school page-turner, you have to figure out how far you're going to go and work on having a good balance. The problem with technology is we're just staring at a screen, and we forget to talk to one another.
Steve and Sara Sweatshirt
It’s the family that always wears the same sweatsuit to the point where it could be a uniform. Be open to a little bit of feedback, when you find yourself getting too comfortable about your appearance. When we’re working from home, it can be easy to throw on athletic attire and work throughout the day without even thinking about your daily upkeep. Before you know it, you’ve gone the whole day without showering or combing your hair. Consider how you are presenting yourself to your spouse, even on those lazy days.
Matt and Mary Money
Matt and Mary Money are so freaked out about finance, and they’re always asking, “How much does that cost? How much that cost, how much does that cost?”
Romance is creativity. We have found that some of our most creative moments have been founded or created out of financial restrictions. You are able to think more creatively in order to get it done.
Don't let your budget limit your creativity. We have a creative advantage when we don't start with cash money.
Ira and Irene Ice
Ira and Irene Ice is when you “ice” one another out. Your Christian marriage is a unit. Freezing one another out and isolation only does damage to your marriage and yourself.
Greg and Gertrude Greeter
When you greet your spouse, there’s a two-second rule. Don’t give more romantic energy to your dog than your spouse. Give your spouse a real kiss when you greet them.
Ned and Noana No
How many times do you just say “no” to your spouse? Instead of saying, “no”, try, “Honey, how would it be if we waited tomorrow? It's been a really rough day.”
1 Corinthians 7:5, “Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent…and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
This way, you are saying no in a way that’s respectful to your spouse’s desires and needs. It is a privilege that you are able to satisfy the needs of your spouse. If you look at your spouse with disdain, disrespect, or with some type of low-grade energy, you're never going to experience marriage the way God wants you to.
Pornography Ruins Romance
The problem with pornography and the problem of social media is no spouse on planet earth can compete with those porn actors and actresses. Pornography ruins marriages. It ruins lives. This culture is sitting at the feet of the enemy himself to teach us a counterfeit lesson about sex through pornography.
Lessons for Sex in Christian Marriage
Let's learn from God, the one who created it, and understand that sex is how we disciple and serve our spouse. Now when you want to have sexual intercourse, don't say that. Just say, "Honey, let's disciple one another."
SEX in a Christian Marriage:
S - Sex is Supernatural.
God invented it. He created it for one man and one woman for marriage. Jesus modeled it in his intimate relationship with the bride, being the church, and couples desperately need it.
E - Enjoyment – Sex was created for pleasure, then procreation.
God created sex for our enjoyment. If sex isn’t enjoyable for you in the context of marriage, seek counseling to overcome those barriers.
X – Sex is God-created, not X-rated.
God invented sex and romance. Jesus modeled it in His intimate relationship with the bride of Christ.
Recipe for Great Marriage Romance
- Check the temperature. The temperature of your marriage should be 52.2. This is not the temperature, there are 52.2 weeks in the year. Date your spouse once a week. Twice a year, we spend the night away from our kids.
My definition of kids is Keeping Intimacy at a Distance Successfully. We love our kids, but we also need room for romance and intimacy.
- Clean out the pantry. You have to get the issues in your marriage out on the table.
- Enjoy the meal. Enjoy marriage, find something you enjoy doing together. It creates that environment for romance. You used to love each other. Go back to those activities that you used to do together.
When you follow this recipe, it will create a relationship that not only honors God but will create a Christian marriage that won’t end in divorce. This type of marriage is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit. You can’t do or have the things God wants you to have without the Holy Spirit.
- Talk to your spouse and tell him/her that you love them and want to get on the right track. If you’re a Christian, perhaps you could even pray together. You will be amazed at what God will do if you invite Him into your marriage. You both need to make a commitment that you want a healthier marriage.
- Seek help. Find a counselor. We have resources to help you. Click here.
- Join a small group. This should be a high priority so you can surround yourself with other couples who will help you.
- Attend church. Going to church every weekend will be massive for your spiritual growth and your marriage. God doesn’t want something from your marriage. He wants something for your marriage and being in church is part of the anchor.
- Get to work. Don’t just talk about wanting to heal your marriage. Instead, actually do the hard work, together.