Kim and Jeff got married while in college. The two were so smitten with each other it didn't matter that neither had jobs or that they'd be living off beans and rice while finishing school.
"All you need is love" was their mantra as they juggled student loans and late-night study sessions. Love really did seem to be enough during that season.
After graduation, Jeff landed a great job, so it was no struggle when Kim became pregnant and decided to stay home to raise their family.
A decade later, Kim daydreams about those early romantic days of marriage. Having a nice house, a minivan to cart the kids to soccer and being financially stable seemed to pale in the shadow of their early days of romance. Kim longed to revive the romance in her marriage but had no idea where to start.
Does Kim's story sound familiar? Has romance in your marriage taken a back seat to carpools and careers? You're not alone. Finding time and energy for romance can seem daunting for moms who are up early caring for kids only to fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day.
Let's look at five steps you can take to revive romance in your marriage:
- Define what romance means to you.
In our early years of marriage, romance meant flowers from my love. But when I was a young mom with a ton of responsibilities, romance to me was when my husband would jump in and help with the kids so I could sneak off to shower and enjoy a few minutes alone.
Any mom whose been wiping boogers and bums all day long knows how difficult it is to take off that "momma hat" to put on your "sexy momma hat." A little time away from the chaos does wonders to put her in the mood––can I get a witness?
The Bible calls husbands to understand their wives, but they don't know what we need unless we tell them. Take some time to figure out what speaks romance to you, so you can coach your man.
- Realize sex matters.
It's easy to tell yourself, It doesn't really matter if we're not having sex, he understands how tired I am. But listen to the words of one man, "Not having the intimacy I had hoped for when we got married is like a treasure lost."
Understanding that God made your husband to connect with you in the marriage bed in the same way that you long to connect through conversation and gentle touch will help you realize your husband's deep need to be affirmed by you through sex.
When you make love to your man, it really does fill him with an overall satisfaction of life. Most men agree they'd gladly exchange a less than Pinterest-perfect home for a wife who's not too tired for sex. So, take some time to reprioritize how you spend your energy.
- Recall your love story.
Remember how you hoped your man would to show you attention when you first met? Recounting your own story is a great way to rekindle romance and remind yourself why you wanted to get married in the first place.
When you see couples still in love after being married for many years, don't be tempted to think, They're so lucky they're still in love. Rather, realize it's not luck at all. Real romance is hard work. It's fighting against exhausting yourself over the seemingly urgent things throughout the day to save the best piece of yourself to enjoy your man.
- Make the effort.
Winking at him from across a crowded room, kissing him long and hard when he arrives home from work and sending him flirtatious texts while he's at work are just a few ways to spark romance in your relationship. I'll let you in on a little secret. I send flirtatious texts to my husband on Sunday mornings while he is on stage getting ready to go up and preach his sermon! I love watching him smirk as he reads the text. It's our little secret––or at least it was until I just told y'all about it!
- Don't give up.
In life there are seasons. When you're raising little ones, you get little sleep, and your hormones are usually crazy, so making an effort to romance your husband may feel like one more thing on your "to do" list.
However, realize this season will soon pass. The kids will grow less dependent on you and making time for intimacy with your spouse will get easier. The time you devote to romance at every stage of marriage will knit your hearts together in an unshakable love and devotion that withstands the tests of time.
Rhonda Stoppe leads women of all ages to live lives of no regrets. She is the author of Moms Raising Sons to be Men and If My Husband Would Change, I'd Be Happy & Other Myths Wives Believe. Her latest book is Real-Life Romance (February 2018), and The Marriage Mentor will be releasing June 2018 from Harvest House Publishers. Rhonda lives in California with her husband, Steve. They have four adult children and nine grandchildren.
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