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Loving Extravagantly  

You might think by the title of this message that showing your love to each other extravagantly would involve spending a lot of money on each other - that it would involve taking an expensive vacation or buying expensive gifts for each other. Although loving extravagantly COULD involve those things, it could mean something much different. Loving each other extravagantly involves showing your love to your partner in a lavish way - beyond what comes normal - spending more of YOURSELF rather than money on your spouse. It involves showing "Random acts of kindness" and thanks-LIVING, and showing random acts of romancing to each other.  

You see, too often when we marry we start to take each other for granted. We don't even realize it's happening to us. It starts to happen without us even noticing that it is - very subtly. The problem is, we become so familiar with each other, day in and day out, that we gradually forget to continue to do things for each other which will KEEP the "spark" in our relationship - and that can lead to marriage problems.

Doing little things that show favor and affection, displaying and saying our appreciation for one another and treating each other in respectful ways - being "intentional" in how we show our love are a part of the attraction we had to each other in the first place & will help to keep our marriages vital. It feels good to be noticed and appreciated by someone else. We too often forget that and start expecting things to be done, leaving aside common courtesies and appreciation for each other. Eventually our partner can feel no more appreciated than a piece of functional furniture.

When our love was new we didn't expect things to be done for us by the other person. We noticed every little action they did and showed our appreciation. But after marriage, because of the busyness of every day life and the work it takes to maintain a home, jobs, and family, we can forget our partner still has an inner need to be appreciated, respected, and honored by someone - someone special that will take notice of the little things they do. That someone special used to be us (and hopefully still is)! But some partners find themselves yearning to feel appreciated.

Some spouses faithfully, yet sadly, live with that yearning for the rest of their lives if their partner doesn't change their actions. But some become attracted to someone else outside their marriage for that very reason. (This doesn't justify their sinful behavior but it explains what happens in a lot of unfaithful marriages.) You see, the other person notices those nice little things that are done for them. Of course, to them those niceties are all new and unexpected, so they'll naturally notice it more than the tempted spouse. As they notice the "niceties" and find ways to honor them and express their thankfulness, the unappreciated spouse begins to feel better about themselves again and sometimes begins to feel an unexpected spark inside - an attraction, because they're no longer being taken for granted. Tragically some people act upon that attraction and that's when marriages are most threatened by infidelity.

We want to say right here that this isn't always the reason affairs start because some people will be attracted to others outside the marriage even if their spouse does all the right things to make them feel valued and appreciated. It's a character flaw within the unfaithful spouse to do what is wrong, which really has little to do with the person they're married to. (Although often they'll still blame the other spouse because they'd have a hard time living with themselves if they thought it could be their fault.)

With that said, we still want to make the point that "even if we have an unbending commitment to our mate, most of us are blind to how we lose our marriages by slow erosion if we don't keep replenishing the soil." (William Doherty) We need to be aware of importance of continuing to show our spouse they're appreciated no matter how long we've been married.

Top Ten Reasons to Date Your Spouse Frequently
by Carwin Dover

The hecticness of work, community service projects, church activities, and family often relegates a marriage relationship to the bottom of the list. At times, it's necessary to give attention to others. It's also important to keep something else in mind. Your spouse is the one most likely to be with you when you're teetering around with a cane! With that in mind, take time to date your spouse regularly. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Marriage Relationships are Dynamic - They're alive and always changing. They need to be fed and stimulated to stay alive.

2. There's Always Something New About Your Spouse - Dating is a good way to create a safe environment. Your spouse is more likely to let you know what's new!"

3. Invest in the Future - Just like a savings account — it's easier to add a little to an existing account and watch it grow than to start a new one from scratch. That's because the interest grows exponentially over time.

4. You Got Married Because You Dated!  It only stands to reason that a good way to stay married is to keep dating.

5. Marriage Can Be Compared to a Set of Tires - During the course of driving, there's normal wear and tear. Dating serves to maintain alignment, balance, and pressure. When done well, your marriage will last a lifetime.

6. Dating is an Opportunity to Focus - Day in and day out, various distractions, pull your attention away from your spouse. Dating each other helps you to refocus on the person at the top of your priority list.

7. Remember the Good Time - A good date will often bring up pre-marriage memories. Recalling memories can generate anticipation for your next meeting.

8. Create Your Future - Dating lays the framework for future family gatherings. Great dates attract your spouse and family to want to spend time with you.

9. Laughter's The Best Medicine - Laughing together makes it possible to hurt together when you must.

10. Remind Your Spouse, "I Love You!" - There are many ways to say, "I love you!" A date is one of the special ways to do that and to honor your spouse.

When Your Husband Pays More Attention to His Car Than to Your Love Life

Have you ever experienced this in your marriage: Your husband gets excited when he gets the time to work on his car, or on the landscaping in your back yard, or on his "latest" hobby? But when you want him to pay attention to you he is slow to the call or seems to think up excuses about other stuff he needs to do? Just how do you get your husband to think of you as his "latest" hobby!

If the romance is dead or dying in your marriage learn the next three principles to help you revive some of the intimacy in or out of the bedroom. If you understand the implications and follow the three principles listed below it will be easier to "get the motor of your romance running again..." and your heart and mind will be in the right place with your spouse.

The perspective of romance and sexual intimacy in the Marriage is dependant on three things.

1. Be intimate only with your spouse.

If you share more emotional or physical intimacy with anyone other than your spouse, for any reason whatsoever, you are defying God's Word and breaking trust with your spouse. Breaking trust, even if your spouse doesn't see it, can be devastating. Never break this trust.

2. Pay attention to your spouse's intimacy needs.

The Bible says, 1 Corinthians 7:5, "Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer." God wants you to be with your spouse. To not do so also defies God's Word in a significant way. God created your union so that you would give pleasure to one another.

3. But what if your spouse just doesn't pay attention?

Perhaps it is time to look at yourself instead of your spouse as the reason. Did you stop doing the things that you did before you were married? Did you stop complimenting him? Do you spend more time thinking about the kids than simply saying, "I love you" to your husband? Sometimes, so that we can be comfortable, we forget to take care of ourselves for our spouse's benefit. Changing that state of mind might be the most powerful statement you could make

Some professionals suggest changing your lifestyle to add pizzazz or to accommodate for your marital growth. And some suggest paying attention to yourself first--love yourself first. I recommend putting your spouse before yourself and letting them know that is what you are doing by verbalizing it, by acting it, by understanding why you want to do it. And those actions, words and new perspective will help you improve your romance in the long run...and in the short run!

Dr. Randy Carlson's new Marriage

How To Have a Wonderful Marriage

"Keep courting and dating after you get married" Prov 17:22. It is amazing at the maneuvers of men to woo and to win a woman and the wiles of women to be attractive and appealing to a man. Then too soon after the wedding bells turn into bills the courting stops! It must not. This is the first step to the honey leaking out of the honeymoon.

Remember when you were dating and she said, "Let's run to the mall. I need to get some hair spray" and you jumped to your feet, eager to do her bidding?

Remember the thousands of other things you did to please her just because you loved her and wanted to win her affections? Keep working at winning her affections. It worked then and it will work today.

Remember how you fixed yourself up to be as beautiful as you could and put on some of that come hither and get closer perfume to be attractive to him? Keep it up, it worked and will still work to make him attracted to you.

Humor That Hurts
Steve & Cindy Wright

Have you ever been with a couple when one of them says a "cutting, sarcastic remark" about the other spouse right in front of them, and even YOU'RE embarrassed by it? So often these "barbs" are treated by the one giving them as if they're a joke.

Cindy and I have to confess that there have been times within our own marriage that we've fallen into the trap of "zinging" each other with sarcasm, claiming we're "just kidding". And yet later, as we've "talked out" such incidences we've come to realize that humor that hurts, not only isn't funny to the one it's aimed at, it can cause great damage to the health of one's marital relationship.

Proverbs 26:18-19 (from The Message) says: "People who shrug off deliberate deceptions saying, 'I didn't mean it, I was only joking,' are worse than careless campers who walk away from smoldering campfires." We've experienced the truth of those words all too many times as arguments and hurt feelings flair up causing sometimes pretty serious damage between the jokester and the one at the receiving end of such insensitive and careless humor.

The Bible states that love "ALWAYS PROTECTS" (1 Corinthians 13:7). That doesn't mean love enables, or covers over, or makes secret those things that should be brought to the light. Giving "protecting love" is being very careful and prayerful of when, where, and with whom we share "personal" details of our married life.

To truly love our spouse is to protect them by showing honor and respect for their feelings—not revealing or doing anything that will embarrass or "cut them down". By doing so, we're dishonoring them and showing that we don't value them.

Take a few minutes to discuss this Marriage Message with each other. Keep in mind that:

  • What may seem funny to one may not be funny to the other.
  • Male and female humor often is very different from one another.
  • Humor is, as it's perceived and received.

Use this as an opportunity to learn, but not argue. Ask each other:

  • "Have there been times when I was "just kidding" that hurt or embarrassed you by what I said?"
  • "In what ways can I safeguard and protect you with my words and our actions?" (Be specific.)

We know that talking about this has made a positive difference in the health of our marriage. We pray that it will be helpful to yours!

Our prayer for you this week is that together, we'll all make a concerted effort especially within our marriages, to live out the words written in Ephesians 4:29 where it says:


God bless you as you pursue living in covenant love with one another.

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