One thing I've discovered though: if your husband is like mine, you can't go wrong with a good meal, his favorite dessert, and some well-chosen lingerie.

Watching my parents, married more than fifty years now, and my husband's grandparents, whose marriage has spanned over seventy years, this year I am encouraged that romance is something God intended would bring us joy "till death do us part." Through their loving relationships, I realize that the roots of romance thrive in something so simple, yet so profound—companionship and friendship. The little everyday things we share.

What a blessing when a woman can look at her husband, or a man at his wife and say along with the writer of the Song of Solomon, "This is my lover, this is my friend."

Discussion:

Read Song of Solomon 1:2-4 and Ephesians 5:21-33

1. Reading these Scripture passages, what do you think was God's intention for marriage, concerning romance?

2. Who is more romantic, you or your spouse? Has it ever caused conflict between you when one of you is "romantically challenged?"

3. How are romance and friendship connected in marriage? Do you believe you can have one without the other? Why or why not?

4. What are the obstacles that might hinder romance in the season of life you are in? Brainstorm with your spouse to come up with creative ways to overcome these obstacles.

5. Think about what made you fall in love with your spouse when you were first together. How can such thoughts help you rekindle the romance in your marriage?

6. If romance is a missing element in your marriage, ask God to renew your love for one another, and perhaps seek out some of the many Christian books on the subject.

Originally posted May 10, 2006


Deborah Raney is at work on her nineteenth novel. Her first novel, A Vow to Cherish, inspired the World Wide Pictures film of the same title. Her books have won the National Readers' Choice Award, Silver Angel for Excellence in Media, and have twice been Christy Award finalists. Her newest series, the Hanover Falls Novels, will release from Howard/Simon & Schuster. She and her husband, Ken Raney, have been married for 36 years. They have four children, two little grandsons, and enjoy small- town life in Kansas. Visit Deborah's website at http://www.deborahraney.com.

Tobi Layton is a fifth grade teacher and freelance writer in southeast Missouri. Tobi has been married for eight years to Ryan Layton, a high school biology teacher. Tobi and Ryan are involved with the high school and junior high youth groups at their church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The Laytons have two sons.

Tobi Layton is the daughter of Ken and Deborah Raney. The Raneys and the Laytons share an August 11 wedding anniversary.