If there’s one thing I know about us girls, it’s that we like romance! We love romance novels, romance comedies, romance tragedies, and romance, romance, romance. Most gals would much rather take in a romantic movie than an action film. And what woman doesn’t dream about her husband romancing her the way he did when they were dating? But guess what, that man of yours longs for romance too.
One night Steve and I were planning a romantic evening at home alone. We borrowed a movie from our friends, Gene and Sheri. A Vow to Remember promised to be a real tearjerker. The couple on the DVD case appeared lost in each other as their arms intertwined in a lovers’ embrace. The back cover boasted, “Capture your mind, your heart and your soul … Paints a compelling picture of forever love.”
The lights were dim, the candles were lit, and the mood was set. However, when Steve placed the movie in the DVD player, we were not greeted with strains of a melodious theme song or misty-eyed romance. Oh no. It was Arnold Schwarzenegger with machine gun at the ready! Our romantic evening was rudely interrupted by Terminator. Gene had placed the wrong movie in the case!
Perhaps romance in your marriage has a greater resemblance to Terminator than A Vow to Remember. If so, there’s hope! You can be the one to make the first move!
Jesus said, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you,” (Matthew 7:12). We call that the Golden Rule. Isn’t it interesting that a wedding ring is often called a band of gold? Whether a wedding ring is gold, platinum, silver, or bronze, the Golden Rule certainly applies in a marriage relationship.
One Small Win: The Golden Rule for romance could be: Express your love to your husband in the same way you want him to express his love to you. Sticky notes of love on his bathroom mirror, romantic texts in the middle of the day, and declarations of how proud you are of him are actually showing him ways to love you in return.
Here are a few simple ways to romance that man of yours:
• Put a chocolate kiss in his briefcase, lunch bag, or on the dashboard of his car, with a note that says, “I love you!”
• Write “I love you” on his bathroom mirror with soap or lipstick.
• Send him a romantic card to his workplace via snail mail.
• Kiss him passionately before he leaves in the morning and tell him you’re going to miss him. Kiss him passionately when he comes home in the evening and tell him you’re glad he’s home.
• Draw a bath, light candles, and invite him to join you. Lather him up with soap and draw a big heart on his chest. Lie in each other’s arms and soak in the love.
It’s like we were two ships passing in the night. Something was out of sync, and my husband and I just weren’t connecting in the everyday.
I think he thought everything was fine but I was frustrated by how little we communicated.
He got home after I put our son to bed which left only a few brief hours together before sleep. My husband was tired from working all day and teaching jiu-jitsu after work.
When he came home, he showered and sat on the couch to catch up on his favorite TV shows. I felt undervalued and overlooked. It seemed like I was only receiving the leftover scraps from his day.
When he was finally interested in connecting on a physical level my love tank was low, and I was half asleep. How could I be in the mood or right frame of mind?
Studying my spouse
As an engaged couple, we attended a marriage retreat in which we learned the value of studying your spouse. Something about studying my husband stuck with me.
My husband is a creature of habit. I started paying attention to see how I could interject myself into his daily routine.
Every night when he got home from jiu-jitsu he showered. One night I asked if I could join him in the shower. He was surprised by my new gesture and welcomed my company.
While under the spray of water, he told me about his day. In fact, he didn’t stop talking. I was floored!
So the next night when he got in the shower, I jumped in too. Once again he talked my ear off, then he asked me about my day.
After a week of this, I knew I was onto something. We were communicating and connecting on a deeper level. It was amazing!
Had I never joined him in the shower, he would have gone about his normal routine, and I would have felt deflated. Instead, our “shower talks,” became our new favorite time of day.
His schedule changed, and he no longer teaches after work, but our “shower talks” are still a part of our daily routine.
One Small Win: Through studying my husband, I discovered an opportunity to make more meaningful connections. I helped foster a safe place where we both could share freely, resulting in both our emotional and physical needs being met. We found a true connection in an unlikely place.
What About You?
Is your husband a creature of habit? What are his routines? I encourage you to study him and discover where you can interject yourself into his life. Finding unconventional ways to meet your husband in his daily habits will do wonders for your marriage.
Julie Landreth has a passion for healthy and thriving relationships – especially in marriage and friendship. She is a speaker and a “wife coach” who loves sharing with women her passion for prayer and ways to actively cultivate a thriving marriage.
She leads a growing number of women in San Jose, CA through her curriculum: Consistency and Persistency: The Art of Praying for your Husband. Having been married 12 years, she and her husband cultivated a marriage filled with intentional love, effective communication, sustainable fun, and a date night every Friday night for the last nine years. She also finds deliberate ways to spend quality time with her nine-year-old son who shares many of her artistic talents.
Shortly after getting married, in fact it was on our honeymoon, when I slipped into my flirty pajamas, jumped into bed next to my husband and exclaimed, “OK, I’m ready!” and he asked, “For what?”
I replied with the obvious response, “To pray together … you know, a couple that prays together, stays together? That is what my mom always says.” To which he replied, “I will NEVER pray with you, that just isn’t something I do. It’s personal and between me and God.”
To be fair, maybe my timing was a little off. But I absolutely deflated. My spirit was crushed. Not only did I feel deprived of the coveted marriage ideal that couples are supposed to pray together, it was worse than that. I felt totally duped by my new husband. After all, we prayed together during our courtship.
I was devastated. Something so clearly beneficial to our marriage was rejected. My parents prayed together! And I was certain I fell in love with someone who was going to pray with me. It didn’t seem right! I knew God and I knew He loved me. I knew this was the man He meant for me to marry. He moved mountains to bring us together.
I come from a long line of prayer warriors. I like to think my sweet grandma lived to 103 because she had prayers God still wanted her to be praying. Growing up, when situations arose, my parents always told me to “just pray about it.”
The fact my husband and I didn’t pray together other than to bless our meals unsettled me and rocked my faith. I didn’t want anyone to know because I was certain every other Christian couple prayed together. It was like a cardinal rule for a good Christian marriage.
I loved my husband and I wanted to stay together. But I didn’t like the situation. Honestly, the only thing I could do was “just pray about it.” Instead of “Run Forrest, Run!” It became, “Pray Julie, Pray!” Originally, my prayers were that my husband would pray with me because I knew better and you NEVER say never, especially to God.
I truly believed Matthew 21:22.
You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”
What I received by praying was far different than what I thought I wanted.
Through the process of praying without ceasing, God changed my heart and He changed my prayers. My heart turned from criticizing my husband, to seeking to understand my husband. My prideful prayers of me telling God how my husband needed to change eventually evolved into prayers of loving my husband for who he has been created to be.
Through the years, my prayers became more powerful. My husband witnessed first-hand how God faithfully answers even my smallest requests.
A few seasons back, I went through some personal challenges. I was really struggling, and I needed help. I asked my husband to pray for me and he did, without hesitation. He also prayed for me without my asking, just because he sensed I needed him to pray.
I cherish those moments when he pulled me close and prayed over me the most beautiful, loving prayers. Those times assured me how much God loves me and how my faithfulness and prayers honored Him and the man He gave me.
In the past, my husband and I have had this running joke that the first thing out of my husband’s mouth is “no.” This may have been what plagued him on our honeymoon, but I always say, “never say never” because he is definitely not the same man I am married to now.
He has since challenged himself to say “yes” more often. In fact, he took his “yes” a step further and ordered “promise cards” printed with the words: “because I said I would.” He hands these out at random times to people. This year for my birthday my husband gave me a promise card. It was the best gift a wife like me could ever receive. The words on the card said “I will pray with my wife. Because I said I would.”
Over twelve years ago my prayers stemmed from my own selfish motivation to change my husband, but God used them to change me. My consistent and persistent prayers changed the trajectory of our marriage for the better. I never know how or when God will answer my prayers.
But as my faith has grown, so has my trust in God and “knowing” no longer matters. I only do what I am called, which is to obediently seek Him. Today I teach other women how to pray for their husbands as this has simply become an act of obedience in response to an ever-loving God.
Julie Landreth has a passion for healthy and thriving relationships–especially in marriage and friendship. She is a speaker and a “wife coach” who loves sharing with women her passion for prayer and ways to actively cultivate a thriving marriage. She leads a growing number of women in San Jose, CA through her curriculum: Consistency and Persistency: The Art of Praying for your Husband. Having been married 12 years, she and her husband have cultivated a marriage filled with intentional love, effective communication, sustainable fun, and a date night every Friday night for the last 9 years. She also finds deliberate ways to spend quality time with her 9-year-old son who shares many of her artistic talents. In addition, she is a freelance photographer and designer.
If you would like to hear more from Julie and receive 5 Days of Prayers to get you started praying for your husband, please visit her and sign up at http://eepurl.com/cmn9CX.
In this six-week Bible Study you will, possibly for the first time, truly understand how God wants you to be free. Free from clutter so you can be free to change your world. We have an online version as well as a traditional workbook with DVD option.
For today’s challenge, we are talking about how to love your man with actions. I hit the streets … OK, I asked my Facebook peeps to write the blog post for me. How do you love your man with actions?!?
Here are 41 Ways that you said you love your man with actions
Naomi Williams – Mine aren’t appropriate to post openly in the comments section.
Heather Harbeke Prouty – Change the sheets regularly! Nothing like having amazing smelling sheets when it’s time to go to bed!
Angela Springer Hood – I mailed him a thank you card full (front and back) with things I was thankful for that he does for our family.
Olivia Myers – Clear the driveway of a million feet of snow (slight exaggeration?) before he’s home. This avoids tire marks … something he despises!
Shirley Devuono Rempe – l making sure my kids are calm, the house is tidy (maybe not perfect but toys away, etc), and supper ready to eat when he gets home! Not always easy when i run a home day care, but I try daily to do it
Vicki Limes One thing I do is have someone take my phone number to him. It might say something like this “You’re HOT! Call me 214-555-5555!” (My real number of course) I usually ask an older teen or young adult because it also reinforces to them the value of flirting with your husband!
Nancy Whiting My husband gets up very early, so to make it easier for him, I have his work clothes put together in a ‘clothes package’ for him, and set on the table by the wood stove the night before so he doesn’t have to take the time to even have to think about it in the morning.
Laurie Batdorff Hays Asking what would help him most at home. He may not care about something you think he does! Cooking his favorite meal. Time and space to collect his thoughts after work so he can switch gears.
Melanie Barnard Witkovskie – I try to make his favorite meals and cook for him in general. I also try to make sure I don’t look like I just rolled out of bed when he gets home. Being a stay-at-home mom with a baby, it’s sometimes difficult, but I try to at least put on a little makeup and fix my hair! I want to look nice for him!
Dana DeVries – I text him love notes while he’s at work. I became interested in football and basketball to cheer his teams with him. I ask him how I can pray for him and follow up on those things. I make sure to look him in the eyes and smile when he comes home.
Traci Sheldon – I help him find reasons, resources and opportunities to do his hobbies. I also supported the remodeling of the “man cave” and did not complain about the cost or time it took to accomplish for him to have a space for himself.
Sue Hall Walsh – I put sticky notes in his work bag, lunch bag or car to let him know I’m thinking of him during the day. It gives me the chance to let him know how much I appreciate him. Something I often think of after he’s left the house for the day.
Lisa Evans Fulton – Last night my husband was snowblowing the driveway in the dark so I wouldn’t get stuck this morning, and he slipped and fell on his back. He insisted on finishing the job, so I passed some Advil out the window to him and then had a heating pad ready when he came inside and rubbed his sore spots. He insists on taking care of me .. .a few Advil and a heating pad hardly seemed like adequate thanks, but he was grateful.
Karey Lehrman Spidell – Keeping his favorite snacks stocked. Making sure the lunch stuff is stocked. And easy to grab!
Simone Dankenbring – My husband enjoys watching sports, especially the Blazers and Seahawks. I acknowledge and show how much I’m interested in something that he enjoys. I also keep him company and snuggle next to him during the games. When they win, I cheer along with him and when they lose, I always remind him that there’s “next time.”
SueAnn Kavanagh I set the timer on the coffee maker, so when he gets up the coffee is all made! I know it is a little thing, but it makes his heart smile every time I do it!
Susy Flory – Buying his favorite red licorice from the gourmet chocolate shop!
Lisa Johnson Blose – Sleep on the couch because he works so hard during the week I don have the heart to wake him when he’s snoring. (He also will do the same for me.) Love my man!
Bonnie Wild – Cleaning his trophy BBQ smoker so it’s ready for the next wonderful meal by the Bobby Flay wannabe (I say that lovingly).
Tonya Walter – Make his lunch every day. Even when the kids are off school.
Carole Landrith Hanna – Ironing his work shirts … without whining
Anna McCullough – Ditto Olivia’s post about clearing the snow from the driveway before it’s driven on! Also giving him time to decompress when he comes home from work.
Jeannette Shields I would eat a piece of fish for him … I hate fish but if he likes it, this is what I’d do, but definitely not all the time!!!
Robin Lord Dilallo – I stop what I’m doing, if I can, and help him with whatever is stressing him out at the moment. Wallet? Keys? Need to talk after a tough day?
Chris Moss – Today I had the emissions test done on my husband’s car and registered it at the MVD. Then I had it washed, buffed and hand-waxed.
Michelle Brown – I like to leave frequent voice mails for him to thank him for providing for our family and wishing him a great day! Once in awhile I will deliver a milkshake or smoothie to him in the middle of the work day.
Melissa D. Gillispie – My husband and I are a team. I cleaned the kitchen while he helped our daughter with her homework. He always has a clean bathroom.
Angie Bell – He likes when I go outside and shoot hoops with him. He loves basketball and he loves me. Double bonus.
Cathy Lo Davis – He loves freshly brewed ice tea, so I make sure to have the pitcher full when he comes from from work.
Tanya Aitken – I have his favorite drink in the freezer so it’s nice & cold (usually tea) waiting for him. I set a pair of his comfiest lounge clothes on the bed and when he walks in, I don’t say anything. He gets dressed and walks out with a smile, as I hold out his drink for him. He smiles and says, you did it again.
Heidi Bonner – Actually doing those small jobs he asks me to do.
Heather K Seay – Feed our animals (3 outside dogs and 1 cat). A chore he despises.
Jamie Jerome – I stock up on his favorite cut of meat in advance, when on sale, make beer bread in advance and freeze it, and make sure that his favorite brew is on hand. (Plus, it’s fun to be preggers and at the liquor store. People are hilarious.) This keeps us ready for a “stay home date” any night for 30 minutes or less. He also won’t go to bed until things are picked up and tidy and the dishes are done even if he is coming off an 18 hour shift. So on nights I know he won’t have energy left, I do it, no matter how exhausted I am from my day.
Sara Graham – I baked brownies filled with Reeces Peanut Butter cups and Reeces Pieces. I also made fancy sandwiches for his lunches and had coffee ready in a travel mug. Also I cleaned up some of the things around the house that drive him crazy
Jo Leneb – Make sure there is always something in the fridge for lunches and snacks.
Renee Simpson Holden – Taking out the trash, instead of asking him to do it.
Pam Wood Humphrey – Polish his shoes.
Amber Schumacher – Picking up dog poo before he gets home! Making his coffee and setting the timer so he wakes up to fresh brewing coffee. Making his lunch for the next day (something out of the norm).
Christie Terry McKay – Buying his favorite snacks and candy and giving him time to decompress every day when he comes home from work.
Emily Wilkerson Wilson – Take out the trash so he can sleep 10 more minutes.
Lindsey Cuartilon – This is good stuff! All I can come up with is that I don’t run away and leave him with all these kids! Lol.
So, there you have it — 41 ways to love your man with actions. Tell us in the comments below how your love your man with actions.
WIN! Day 3
Answer the Question of the Day on Kathi’s Facebook page for your chance to win a copy of 101 Ways to Tell Your Husband You Love Him!
Question of the Day: What is one thing you can do for your man this week that tells him how much you love him?
One of our favorite getaway spots is a little bed-and-breakfast in the mountains. When you ask my husband why he likes it so much, you very well might hear about the cheese and cracker plate with fruit that is always waiting for us when we arrive. My thought has always been, Great, we just spent the equivalent of a month’s worth of groceries on a cheese and cracker plate.
Why we love a good bed-and-breakfast
What is it about the bed-and-breakfast experience that makes us want to fork over upwards of $200 a night to sleep on somebody else’s sheets and eat clotted eggs in the morning?
The room is cleaned every day. Now I know some of you actually do this but it doesn’t matter. It’s so much better and it just feels cleaner when somebody else does it for you.
The bed is made. Now I know I’m spoiled, because my husband makes the bed every day. But, how great is it when you’re gone even for just half an hour, you come back and the bed is done up. The pillows are fluffed and there’s a little mint sitting there waiting to be indulged in. There is no better feeling on the planet.
Back home and back to reality
Sadly, most of us can’t afford to camp out in the local bed-and-breakfast on a regular basis. So it’s probably time to bring some of that bed-and-breakfast experience home.
Here are a few simple tips from designer and author Kathryn Bechen to help you get that restful and relaxed feeling in your own bedroom:
Maid brigade. Next are the dust rag and vacuum. Turn on some music and make it fun!
Sensuous sheets. Purchase some colorful new sheets in a pattern you love with a thread count of at least 300.
Divine duvet. Invest in a pretty new duvet cover or bedspread. It will freshen up the room instantly.
Pillow pizzazz. Some new pillows and pillowcases that coordinate with your sheets and duvet will add softness to your bed.
Flower finesse. Buy some fresh flowers and put them in a favorite vase.
Candle cozy. A few flickering candles will add instant romance to your new B&B bedroom.
Music magic. Now for some light jazz or classical music to set the tone for the evening.
TV tune-out. Unless you and your mate purposely choose to watch a funny or romantic movie together, turn the TV off.
Tray of delights. Bring in a drink and cheese tray with some fresh fruit, dim the lights, and you’re on your way to a lovely and romantic stay in your very own Bed & Breakfast Inn bedroom. Enjoy!
Chocolate Dipped Fruit
1 pkg. milk chocolate morsels (11½ ounces/2 cups)
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
Strawberries, grapes, bananas, apples, kiwi, or pineapple
Melt milk chocolate morsels and shortening over hot (not boiling) water; stir until smooth. Remove from heat, but keep over hot water. (If chocolate thickens, return to heat; stir until smooth.) Dip pieces of fruit into chocolate; gently shake off excess. Place on foil-lined cookie sheets. Chill 10-15 minutes until chocolate is set. Peel off foil. Fruit may be kept at room temperature up to 1 hour. If chocolate becomes sticky, return to refrigerator. Makes 1 cup melted chocolate. In microwave, melt on high 1 minute; stir. Repeat.
A few other creative tips:
My husband loves a special kind of root beer that we used to not be able to keep stocked in the house (teenagers!). I would hide it under the veggies in the crisper – no chance of the kids looking there.
If your husband gets home before you do, plan ahead by hiding a treat in the fridge for him. Call during the day to let him know it’s waiting for him.
Giveaways Week 3!
If you haven’t yet, go to my Facebook page to like and follow my Kathi Lipp page, and then answer the question of the day for your chance to win a “My Husband is a Hottie” t-shirt. Check out the page each day for a new question and get in on the conversation about loving your husband!