I’d been a really long, hard, over-full day. If memory serves me right it was near Christmas when life overflows with hustle and bustle. I was cleaning up the kitchen after a church gathering and I was dog tired. In our quirky family, we have a goofy habit of singing loudly and off key as a stress reliever (you really should try it sometime - wink, wink!). So, in my silly way I was singing at the kitchen sink while my hubby tidied the living room. I started singing “Make the World Go Away” in a way that would make just about anyone listening want to go away. Well, my husband whipped out his phone and recorded my crooning! Of course he didn’t let me know what he’d done right away - he waited until an opportune, semi-public moment. It’s been a few years, but that man still has it on his phone and giggles like a little boy when he pulls it out once in a blue moon for someone to hear.

The story makes me a laugh, but there’s a ring of truth deeper than a little silliness or embarrassment. In our marriages we all need to “make the world go away and get it off” each other shoulders. That’s the specialness of the intimacy of romance and marriage - the feeling that the rest of the world just sort of melts away for a little while when you share something close, sweet and heart to heart.

When you first fall in love it doesn’t take a lot of effort to “make the world go away.” But after you’ve been married a while, life has a rude way of cutting into your romance. There’s responsibilities, disappointments, set-backs, bills to pay, babies to tend and work that drains our energy for one another. It’s hard to “make the world go away” for your spouse when you feel so caught up in it yourself! 

There are four actions you can regularly implement in your life to help you get off the treadmill of going-going-going and get back into that sweet spot of love and closeness in your marriage.

S - sexual intimacy. Notice I didn’t just say “sex.” Life gets crazy and sometimes the seasons of life make it immensely hard to find time for this important aspect of your marriage. But, even if the demands of life don’t allow you to find each other in the bedroom before you start snoring you can make an effort to say or do something that makes your honey’s spine tingle! Make an effort to be intimate every day. Whisper a little something in his ear, send her a text to make her knees melt. Make an effort daily to connect with your spouse on this level. 

"So do not deprive each other of sexual relations. The only exception to this rule would be the agreement of both husband and wife to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time, so they can give themselves more completely to prayer."

1 Corinthians 7:5 NLT

The apostle Paul said this part of your marriage was so crucial it should only be put on hold when you are setting aside devoted prayer time. Is that the only reason you press pause on sexual intimacy in your marriage?

T - talk. Take at least 20 minutes every day to talk to each other. All the successful marriages we’ve witnessed did this - even when the kids were little. The minute Daddy came home, Mommy and Daddy took time out on the porch or in a certain room and told the rest of the family it was their special time. Mom put the timer on so the kids knew when it was OK to come bounding in to see Daddy. For us, right when my man walks in the door usually isn’t the best time to chat - especially when things have been stressful at work. He needs a little time to wind down and sort through the events of the day before talking about them. Whether it’s right when you both get home or another time of day, or if you’ve got kids or not, make talking to each other a daily priority.