“Marriages can become plodding, cyclical routines filled with boredom and obligation. No one expects that a marriage will retain the giddy glow of excitement that comes with the novelty of new love. But it is equally wrong to assume that passion must wane simply because of familiarity.”
“Sloth is a romance killer. Even the word chills the air. By sloth I simply mean laziness with respect to marital intimacy. The most common fruits of this heart condition are passivity and unresponsiveness. We begin to let our appearance go. We grow comfortable with bedroom boredom. We tolerate a lack of sexual desire and settle for one partner doing all the initiating.”
“The secret is learning how and what to sow in the garden of a woman’s heart. When you sow the seeds of respect, kind words, acts of tenderness, and thoughtfulness, you reap a reward from your wife in abundance… On the other hand, if you fail to cultivate this relationship, or if you sow seeds of criticism, neglect, or rage, sex becomes little more than a cold, physical act in which your wife feels used and unloved.”
“Romance and resentment cannot exist in the same heart. Resentment will extinguish the embers of romance. That’s why forgiveness is such as essential discipline in marriage. Forgiveness says, ‘By forgiving you, I give up all my rights to punish you for how you’ve hurt me. I no longer hold it against you, expecting you to pay for your transgressions.’ When you forgive you spouse, you choose to relinquish your rights to hold it against her.”
“While men may need to be reminded of the importance of frequent nonsexual touching, many wives have learned that if a woman is not pursuing her husband sexually, just about every other movement toward her husband may go unnoticed.”
“Many people, even godly men and women, live in marriages that are dead because there is no affection. And women endure it because their husbands are good in other ways, or they don’t feel worthy enough to ask for affection. But this is not the way God designed the marital relationship. … If you are in a marriage that lacks it, pray for the Holy Spirit’s transformation.”
“When marriage is filled with more withdrawals than deposits, it’s easy to forget why you married in the first place … The same love that drew us to our mates so that we wanted to spend our lives with them is still there. It may be covered over with the trauma of irritations and the loss of romance, but it’s there nevertheless.”
“When a woman thinks of security, her primary thought is not about a house, a savings account, or tuition for the kids. For her, emotional security matters most: feeling emotionally connected and close to you, and knowing that you are there for her no matter what.”
"When Scripture speaks of ‘cleaving,’ the idea in the Hebrew is to cling, hold, or keep close. Two are joined together face to face, becoming one flesh ... Cleaving, however, is more than sexual. Cleaving also means spiritual and emotional closeness. This is a salient passage for husbands—full of insight. Your wife will feel loved when your move toward her and let her know you want to be close with a look, a touch, or a smile."<
“We learned that sacrifice is the language of romance, and selfishness is the language of isolation and rejection. Commitment inspires one to sacrifice, and sacrifice makes commitment a rare jewel to be cherished.”
Esteem them for acknowledging the need to invest in their marriage by improving their non‐sexual intimacy and romance
Esteem them for battling against the normal slide toward isolation in marriage
Encourage them with Scriptures of hope and help
Let them know they are not alone. We all need to invest more time and energy into this area of marriage!
Encourage them with examples from your own experience and with practical tips that have worked for your marriage
Encourage them to pray every day together, even if it’s just for a moment or two… “first love” can lead to mutual love
Encourage them to not give up or lose hope, and to not even consider divorce as an option
Encourage them to watch out for argument triggers that have a way of killing any hope for tenderness (James 1:19)
Encourage them to consider a short TV fast, maybe even 48 hours, to re‐establish meaningful connection (Ephesians 5:16)
Encourage them to put their thoughts down on paper if it helps diffuse the strong emotions involved
Encourage them not to settle for the isolation, but to do the hard work to move back toward one another
Remind them that God has a plan for oneness in their marriage and that He provides the power to make it happen
Encourage them to make a list of the positive things about their spouse and to find time to verbalize those (Philippians 4:6‐8)
Encourage them to be the one to break the stalemate and move closer, to take the risk!
Remind them that love is action, not feelings (1 Corinthians 13:4‐7)
Make a “wish list” of 3 things you desire in your relationship with your spouse.
Take turns sharing your “I wish” statements with your partner and describe how
you would feel if your wish came true.
Talk to your spouse about what affection was like in your family growing up (verbal and non-verbal).
Think about how your father and mother may have shown affection differently.
Discuss ways your family could express more affection for one another.
On a scale of 1-10, rate how much affection you feel you have in your marriage right now. Talk about what you would like it to be if you and your spouse could agree on how to gently and patiently bring about change.
Consider discussing your sexual past with your spouse in a way that is open and honest.
Think of something (hobby, sport, recreational activity) you would like to pursue together.
Talk about one of your favorite dates. What was it about that date that made it so memorable? Is this something you could do again?