Have you seen couples holding hands in public and wondered what happened to the romance you and your spouse used to have?

The good news is romance isn’t hard to revive. With just a few changes in behavior (and a spiritual jump-start), you can rekindle the tenderness in marriage you’ve been missing for a while.

1. Grow together spiritually.

Many couples have regular sexual activity, but they don’t achieve true intimacy—they miss out on the soul, the person underneath the flesh. Christ is the bond that makes marriages strong and sturdy, so when He isn’t the center, everything else is off-kilter.

To grow together spiritually, aim to pray together daily, work regular Bible studies together, and share often with each other the things God is teaching you. A romantic marriage starts with God.

2. Keep yourself in check.

When conflicts arise, it’s easy to see problems in others. If you find yourself pointing the finger most of the time, remember Christ’s counsel to take the log out of your own eye before taking the speck out of your brother’s (or sister’s) (Matthew 7:5).

Check for bitterness or unforgiveness in your heart, and look for areas where you should take responsibility. By removing unnecessary blame, you eliminate obstacles in communication and allow room for growing in unity.

3. Pay attention.

Have you stopped looking for ways to make your spouse happy? Often, romance only requires attentiveness to what he or she enjoys. Listen to what they mention while browsing in a store or on the internet, and make a list of preferences, needs, and gift ideas. Take notice of what makes your spouse feel loved and repeat it often.

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4. Add an element of surprise.

Everyone loves sweet surprises. Yet after years of marriage, it’s easy to take a spouse for granted, making marriage mundane.

This week, send flowers for no reason. Email a love letter, or text loving messages with emojis. Write out dozens of sticky notes and hide them around the house. Do something that says, “Surprise! I still love you as much as I always have.”

5. Eliminate divorce as an option.

Marriage is a covenant made to last until death (Matthew 19:3-9). Obviously there are sometimes reasons to end a marriage, but those should never be taken lightly. Sadly, most marriages end over little more than feeling disconnected for a period of time.

Threatening divorce during a yelling match only plants seeds of fear and mistrust in your marriage. Instead, tell your spouse you will honor your vows and never leave. Although there may need to be changes in your marriage and even counseling, let your spouse know that you plan to keep your promises for a lifetime.

Just like everything else in life, romance takes extra effort if you want to keep it in good condition. Thankfully, however, a little work goes a long way. If you implement these five suggestions in your marriage, romance is sure to burn bright.

Copyright © by Sabrina McDonald. All rights reserved.