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
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
"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
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
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
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:
"DO NOT LET ANY UNWHOLESOME TALK COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTHS, BUT ONLY
WHAT IS HELPFUL FOR BUILDING OTHERS UP ACCORDING TO THEIR NEEDS, THAT
IT MAY BENEFIT THOSE WHO LISTEN" (especially our spouse), or as it's
worded in the NASB version, may our words "GIVE GRACE TO THOSE WHO
God bless you as you pursue living in covenant love with one another.