It’s Valentines! A day to celebrate love and romance; so here are 5 tips from me (Dr. Love) on how to grow your romance and keep it sustained for the long haul – it can and should get better with every year.
1. Have Fun
Sounds silly, but romantic relationships begin because 2 people have fun together. It is so easy with the stresses and pressures of life to begin thinking you don’t have time to have fun anymore. Dangerous! It’s Biblical to have fun: “A Cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) You have to enjoy one another; it will strengthen your relationship – your romance. Fun is not something you buy – fun is something you have.
Here are a few tips for couples to assure that you “have fun”:
- Slow down. If your schedule is super busy the 1st thing to do is go have fun.
- Schedule fun time. It’s called a date. Make sure you have “date night” on your schedule – it’s important. You have learned to schedule the important things in life – schedule fun!
- Surprise him/her. Get crazy and do the unexpected – age doesn’t matter when it comes to being a little spontaneous.
2. Be Committed
Commitment is the foundation for a healthy romantic relationship. Paul writes: “Don’t be selfish; don’t live to make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourself. Don’t think only about your own affairs, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing.” (Philippians 2:3-4 NLT) It’s impossible to live in commitment to one another unless you focus on one another’s needs. Make a commitment to understanding more than needing to be understood. Romance will come ALIVE!
Being committed means you are in this relationship together – even when you know the problems you are having are all “their fault” – it’s our problem!
Here are some tips for living out your commitment:
- Always make seeing one another a big deal. Don’t get use to it. Remember when you first met – you couldn’t wait to get together after being a part. Find some time to unwind. Greet one another with joy. Make sure your mind is where your body is – with one another.
- When you are talking with one another make it a rule that you will let the other person finish their sentences and thoughts. Listening is a sign of value.
3. Keep Making Memories
Memory making is a spiritual concept. In fact did you know that the Bibles says to remember 160 times?
Here is one statement from Duet. 4:9: “But watch out! Be very careful never to forget what you have seen the LORD do for you. Do not let these things escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. (NLT)
Make good memories, capture them and talk about them – relive them. I’ll never forget one very special memory my wife Kathy made for us. It was a very busy season in ministry and we both knew I would have very little time at home for a couple of weeks. She showed up at my office one evening during this very busy time with a picnic basket and blanket – the works – spread it out on my office floor and we had an indoor picnic.
Here are some tips to keep making good memories:
- Celebrate special days: valentines, anniversaries, and birthdays – you may want to create some special days!
- Frame and hang photos of special moments – keep changing them out to make sure you are making new memories.
4. Encourage One Another
“So give encouragement to each other, and keep strengthening one another…” (1 Thes. 5:11 NLT)
When you began your romance you had many unspoken expectations, ways that you thought this romance would meet your needs. But then you faced your first conflict. Conflict is a part of human relationships – it does not have to be the end. Learn to encourage one another especially through conflict. You are on the same team.
\Here are some tips for encouraging one another:
- Be lavish with words of praise.
- Consider your words when you are dealing with conflict – how can you deal with it in an encouraging way? You may need to write it out.
- Encourage each other in front of others. Don’t buy into the jokes about men or women that may be hurtful to your romance.
5. Make Christ The Key Ingredient
In the thesaurus, under the word yield you find words like surrender, relinquish, submit, give forth – interesting word is relax – when you yield to God you can relax – because God loves your relationship more than you can. God centered and you can relax – not me centered, not sex centered – God centered! “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and strength. Always remember these commands I give you today. Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and walk along the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up…” (Deut. 6:5-7 NIV)
This is the most powerful ingredient in your romance. This is where You start to grow your romance and keep it growing.