“Rejoice with the wife of thy youth” (Pro. 5:18).
The road to my 14×70 trailer was graveled and bumpy. I lived there as a single school teacher, but that wouldn’t be my status for long! I was engaged and soon to be married. Occasionally, my husband-to-be would come for a visit from college, where he was finishing his senior year. In a matter of moments, the gravel on that road would be clouded with the dust from his car, as he came flying in to spend an afternoon and evening with me. I kept my eyes on that driveway for the sight of his car, my heart thumping in anticipation of spending time with the man that God had brought to share in my life.
Every married woman can probably remember those early days and the thrill of dating and engagement. But as the months and years pass, so can the excitement, the joy, and the anticipation of spending time with the man you once knew was God’s gift to you. No matter how stale things may have become, the joy of those early days can be revived!
Love isn’t a feeling—it’s a choice. On our wedding day, we stood at the altar, said our vows, and then we promised, “I will!” and “I do!” We promised to love! We promised to do so on days that were full of blessings, as well as on days of hardship. But when the hard times come, we often give way to our feelings instead of our will.
Proverbs 5:18 commands husbands to, “Rejoice with the wife of thy youth.” We might be tempted to point our finger at him and cast the blame, but when I look into the mirror and see my sour expression, I have to ask, “Have I given him reason to rejoice with me today?” As wives, each of us needs to honestly ask if we are partly to blame if there isn’t as much romance or fun in our relationship as before.
God has shown me that there are some things I need to donate to our marriage to keep the romance alive, with love pounding in my heart for this husband of mine.
Be praying! I ask God to give me a greater love for him every day. Aging, sickness, and stress in the home or in a job can diminish the “feeling,” but God will fan the flame if I ask Him.
Be joyful! Proverbs 5:19 starts out with these words: “Let her be . . . loving . . . and pleasant!” When my fiancé arrived at my trailer on those engagement days, I was a happy gal! When he comes home today, will he see me waiting at the door with a happy heart, open arms, and a ready smile?
Be planning! I must plan times of romantic fun just for the two of us. I had to remember during busy parenting years that it started out with just the two of us, and that is how it will end up. It is essential that I keep my marriage my priority. Here are a few ideas of ways to do that:
- A fall picnic with a thermos of hot soup and a flannel blanket.
- A walk, hike, or bike ride on a trail.
- A drive to the country with a stop at a quaint store or restaurant.
- Dessert by candlelight in the bedroom after the kids are in bed.
- Exchange of a small Christmas gift in front of the tree each night on the twelve days before Christmas.
- An occasional weekend away at a couples’ retreat or a quiet getaway.
- With tenderness and touch. Never say goodbye without a kiss. You never know when it will be your last. Hold hands in the car, while walking, while sitting together at church.
- With loving words. “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.” When you speak, be his wife—not his mother.
- With physical love. The rest of Proverbs 5:19 says, “Let her breasts satisfy thee at all times.” Many times, the cause of distance in marriage is because of a distance in our flesh.
Watch what prayer, joy, planning, and intentionality can bring back to your marriage!
If your love for your husband isn’t stronger than the day you married him, ask yourself:
- Am I praying for a greater love for my spouse?
- What is my general temperament towards him?
- What can I plan to do together with him this week?
- Am I withholding myself from him physically?
This chapter was written by Denise Cunninham, wife of Pastor Dale Cunningham, Boones Creek Bible Church, Johnson City, TN. You can read Denise’s blog at https://refreshher.com/
This chapter was taken from The Extraordinary Wife. CLICK HERE to learn more about the book.