A Generous Grace

ideas on practical spirituality and loving each other

Category: Marriage (page 1 of 4)

52 Fun, Easy Ways to Flirt with Your Spouse

  1. Text something sweet, sexy, thankful, or playful: Thanks for all you do to get us all out the door in the morning. You still take my breath away.
  2. Check your spouse’s calendar, and then kidnap her from work for a quick lunch or an afternoon romantic matinee.
  3. Bring his favorite coffee shop treat home.
  4. Leave a steamy voicemail.
  5. Load the dishwasher for her. (Trust me. It works.)
  6. Invite him to take a shower with you.
  7. Get a little “handsy” in the kitchen.
  8. Lay your head on his chest or tuck beneath his arm while you watch your Netflix fave.
  9. Compliment her in front of a friend.
  10. Pick up her favorite snack at the grocery store.
  11. Grab her hand while riding in the car.
  12. Encourage him about something he did well at work.
  13. Wrestle.
  14. Borrow the kids’ Nerf weapons.
  15. Encourage your kids to thank her for something she’s done for them.
  16. Write him a love note.
  17. Make her a homemade card.
  18. Give him a massage.
  19. Write her a sappy (or funny) poem.
  20. Read her a love poem. (Ideas here.)
  21. Rub her feet.
  22. Make him a compilation CD of songs that express your heart and relationship.
  23. Give her a scalp massage.
  24. Take a bath together.
  25. Buy her flowers.
  26. Kiss at every stoplight.
  27. Ask to hold her hand.
  28. Play with your kids together.
  29. Light candles.
  30. Wear perfume and pretty underthings.
  31. Speak her love language (free “cheat sheet” here).
  32. Clean up your bedroom.
  33. Take care of that one thing that’s been weighing on him.
  34. Make up a goofy song about her on the fly.
  35. Overlook something he did that was stupid.
  36. Call her to tell her something about your day.
  37. Advocate for her.
  38. Plan a date in.
  39. Remember one of your favorite lovemaking memories, and whisper it in his ear.
  40. Go on a walk.
  41. Paint her toenails.
  42. Thank him for something unexpected.
  43. Listen to her. Ask good questions. (Ideas here.)
  44. Initiate fun sex.
  45. Tell her about a memory you love from when you were dating.
  46. Pick up a bag of her favorite candy.
  47. Play a little jazz while you cook together. Grab her hand and dance for a moment.
  48. Develop a code for talking when the kids are in the room about possible lovemaking.
  49. Come to bed naked.
  50. Go stargazing.
  51. Pick up a small gift that will delight and surprise.
  52. Pray together.

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering.

The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.

Henry Ward Beecher

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is for me.

Song of Solomon 7:10

Give us your ideas in the comment section! How do you flirt with your spouse?

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Christian, Married–and Attracted Elsewhere

Hey.

Thanks for being open with me.

Over your latte, I saw the concern in your eyes. I know this isn’t who you want to be; that you’re afraid of your own heart. But I know longing runs deep.

If only “I do” meant our eyes–or especially our spouse’s eyes, right?–never swiveled from our mate’s. But reality is, though marriage helps keep our attraction in one place, it doesn’t flip that switch for us.

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Shame–and Your Marriage: On the Fear that Keeps Us Hiding (and Clawing Your Way Out)

shame in your marriage
The power of shame continues to make my mind fizz. (Yours might, too: This post on shame in parenting has drawn more readers than any other post on this site, bar none.)

But now all those thoughts are bubbling over what shame might look like in a marriage; in our most intimate concentric circle of community. See, I know shame—this idea that I’m not worthy of connecting with someone—immediately leads me to cover up.

Take the typical fight with a spouse. First reaction is not typically, You’re so right. I’m snippy, and I have a profound case of PMS. It’s more along the lines of blame-shifting (Well, if you’d stop overreacting like some kind of hypersensitive Pomeranian). Denying (I didn’t say you were arrogant! I said you were cocky). Hiding (If I don’t say anything, it will look a lot like peace and taking the higher road).

The Masquerade

Joking aside—this predilection to hiding means the manifestations of shame are endless. For me, it led to a profound insecurity (you can read how that affected our relationship); to people-pleasing ad nauseam, to the extent of a near eating disorder.

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Guest post: Where’s the Holy Spirit When My Marriage is Hard?

It was late, and she was crying now. Her marriage had been hard–hard for a long time.

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On God and the Dreams of Women

Author’s note: I write this post to you with a sliver of trepidation and a big slice of humility, because it’s heavily nuanced and divided (even among Christians). And essentially, I loathe conflict. I’d rather write on topics no one disagrees with and that I only felt sheer confidence. Consider me just getting a conversation started. 

The Dark Question

I feel God was actually somewhat clear about our decision to leave Africa. But I need to confess: Some part of me felt raw, then calloused–specifically connected to my femininity.

My heart was still squarely in Uganda, living out its technicolor dream. But collectively as a family, it was necessary for us to move back. And after all the years of setting dreams aside for the dream that is loving a family, I wondered why I seemed to hold in my hand the short straw.

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Know Thy [Stressed] Self, Part II: The Stressed Version of Your Marriage

Missed Part I? Grab it here.

One of the unexpected delights of our final couple of months in Africa was the arrival of a college friend who’s known my husband and I since the beginning. She watched us meet, cautiously date, giddily become engaged. She played the piano when the two of us spring chickens said “I do” forever. Later, I stood with her as she spoke her own vows beneath a spreading tree. And when she visited us in Africa and we stayed up entirely too late, she gave us this gift: I told my husband, “I love that she reminds us how good we are together. That you and I together are a really good thing.”

I wrote before that this time of leaving Africa, of setting a foot on two highly divergent continents, has delivered unavoidable stress to our relationship. Both of us are strained, so it makes sense that our most intimate relationships would bear that weight. So it was kind of God to remind us that despite the ways we occasionally feel like the losers in a three-legged-race right now—“us” is still a really good thing.

Part I of this post outlined some essential reasons we need to identify when we’re stressed. If you’re convinced, let’s get down to it. What are the signs your marriage is under stress?

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What’s Hidden inside Your Love Story?

Let us hope that we are all preceded in this world by a love story.

–Sweet Land (PG, 2005)

I tease my husband (the poor introvert!). Because whenever I write about him—he, who washes his hands of anything to do with internet attention—readers eat. It. Up.

What's Hidden in Your Love Story

But honestly, we’re all suckers for a good love story. Even if the characters are, say, a couple of anthropomorphic animated trolls with psychedelic hair. Yes, even guys, from Marvel comics to Jason Bourne.

We don’t just dig the attraction, gee-whiz-you-happen-to-be-exactly-the-Prince-Charming-I-was-keening-for stuff.  We watch (or read, or listen to the top 40) for two hours straight, or a whole TV season (or six), our spirits pressing the two together through everything life or a team of writers can throw at them.

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Ideas to Be Your Spouse’s Wingman

If you’re thinking of Goose and Mav, you’re getting my idea. How can we be our spouse’s “intimate ally”*? Get this: The word God used to describe Eve in the Bible (ezer) translated as helper—is most often used in the Bible as either as a term for a military ally…or for God Himself, helping us. Here are a few practical ideas—for husbands and wives–to act as your mate’s shield, advocate, and protector. (Like this? Be sure to check out 50 Ways to Inspire Your Wife and 50 Ways to Inspire Your Husband.)

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The Next Great Love Story

I was eighteen, it was February, and we were all headed on a road trip that weekend to a mutual friend’s house. I’ve wondered what God thought of that day, if perhaps He was rubbing His hands together with glee. The stage was set, everything immaculately timed.

In my memory, the young man was wearing a white T-shirt and khaki shorts. His hair was longer then, curly. Upon request, he prayed for our safe travel before we left. We all left for Oklahoma City and I climbed in behind the passenger’s seat of his car. I confess the thought may have flitted through my mind that his car was a little girly. That was before I knew he paid for it and maintained it himself, and before I’d ride around in it for the next five years, happy as a clam to be in his passenger’s seat.

That day, February 5, 1999, was the day I met the love of my life. If God would’ve tapped me on the shoulder—Hey, that guy over there? Yeah. That one. You two are going to have four kids, live in Africa. He’s the kind of best friend and man you couldn’t even imagine yourself having.

Like I said. I wonder if God just sat back and soaked in the love story He’d cooked up.

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Guest post: 9 Ways to Pray for Your Marriage in Tough Times

It’s been one of the most pressing seasons for our marriage.

We’ve been navigating a crux of major life decisions—only one of which included the continent we’d be living on. And our marriage that has been characterized by fairly fluid teamwork can at times be pulled taut by our diverging passions, longings, and reasoning.

“Stressed” doesn’t begin to cover it.

The most pleasantly surprising discovery of such a thin, exhausting stretch of marriage:  Despite all we were juggling–by God’s grace, we have remained (as Dan Allender calls it) intimate allies.

Ever wonder how to pray for your marriage in the thin, challenging times? This post is for you.

On many of the Wednesdays of 2017, I’ll be helping my friend Barbara Rainey, on everthinehome.com, explore what she calls “prayer lessons”: ideas to pray for ourselves, our most critical relationships, our communities. This week’s post, “9 Ways to Pray for Your Marriage,” gives some uber-practical ways to move in prayer toward what’s always a good decision: being more married, more one flesh. …Even, perhaps especially, in the tough times.

I hope it encourages you today, wherever this finds you.

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