Marriage Advice From A Christian Perspective

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Become a Student of Your Spouse

  • 2002 19 Sep
Become a Student of Your Spouse

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself." Philippians 2:3

I love what Allan Lloyd McGinnis says in his book The Romance Factor:

"Being an artist at romance does not require so much a sentimental or emotional nature as it requires a thoughtful nature. When we think of romance, we think of gestures or events that occur because someone makes a choice to love. A man brings his wife a single rose in the evening. A girl makes the love of her life a lemon pie with just the right degree of tartness. These don't always involve the goo of sweet emotion. They are the stuff that comes from resolution and determination."

I've got a challenge for you: Become a student of your spouse. Make a list of things that communicate love to your mate and write it in something permanent that can't be easily lost or forgotten.

Then do something unpredictable that demonstrates love to your mate, not to you. For example, if you normally bring your wife flowers, do something different, like writing a love letter. Or give her a real shock and actually take her on a "creative date"-remember those?

Barbara says that one of her favorite romantic times with me was when I surprised her with a trip to New England. I made all the arrangements-airline, car rental and even baby-sitting. Then, one week before leaving, I began to send her on a scavenger hunt. She had to put together a puzzle that, after several days, eventually formed the states of New England. I swept her away for a delightful time traveling the roads of New England, walking and talking and taking pictures together. Just like we did on our honeymoon.

You may need to start courting again. If romance is missing in your marriage, perhaps you need to begin looking at your mate's needs and think creatively about how to affirm him or her.

Excerpted from Moments Together for Couples by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. Used with permission. Copyright 1995 by Dennis and Barbara Rainey. All rights reserved.

About the author: Dennis Rainey is the executive director of FamilyLife, an organization founded in 1976 with the goal of effectively developing godly families, one home at a time. Parents of six children, Dennis and his wife, Barbara, have written numerous books, including best-sellers Moments Together for Couples and The Questions Book for Marriage Intimacy.