Five practical pointers for pumping up passion in your marriage
The day has finally arrived: my first official post on my new Heaven Made Marriage website! You may or may not have noticed that the new site has a new tag line:
Unquenchable Passion – Unimaginable Intimacy – Unstoppable Love
Today I want to dig into the first part of that tag line: passion.
What is Passion?
Passion in marriage means a relationship filled with intense positive emotions: joy, gratitude, desire, satisfaction, serenity, awe, fire.
I’ll bet you know a couple who you would characterize as having a passionate marriage. When you are around them you can sense the positive vibes that emanate from their relationship. You can hear it in the way they speak about and to each other. You can see it in their demeanor toward each other and in the unobtrusive tender touches they exchange with each other. You can’t help but notice how they support each other in a sincere but natural way.
You know what I’m talking about. Don’t you want a marriage with that kind of passion? Well it won’t just happen!
The first thing to realize about passion in marriage is that it doesn’t work like flipping on a switch. Passion has to be cultivated and nurtured over the long term. Passion has to be woven into the fabric of your relationship on a daily basis.
The next thing to remember is that passion starts with you. Don’t wait around for your spouse to show you signs of passion before you start to work on cultivating it in yourself. Focus on what you can do. I would suggest that you not even worry about whether or how your spouse responds to the actions you take to build passion. Just do it.
Your effort to foster passion will be contagious and eventually will positively impact your spouse and your relationship, but make sure you aren’t doing it simply to get a certain response. That’s not love, that’s manipulation.
Fundamentally, growing passion in your marriage has to start with changing your thinking. Specifically, it means moving from an attitude where meeting your spouse’s needs is a duty or obligation, to the seeing it as a pleasure and a privilege. Learn to take genuine delight in lavishing love on your husband or wife in the ways that say “I love you” the loudest to him or her.
Ask God to help you change your thinking. He is all about passion in marriage. He understands passion. He sent Jesus in passionate pursuit of an intimate relationship with an eternal bride. He wants your marriage to mirror the kind of intense positive emotions he has for you. A prayer for more passion is one he is eager to answer.
Here are few areas to focus on as you journey toward a more passionate marriage.
- Prioritize – If your life is anything like mine, it is more than full. Regardless, if you want more passion, you will need to assess whether you are giving your spouse and marriage more than your leftovers after you’ve given all you’ve got to other areas of your life. Make some changes. Say no to some things. Give up some good things in order to have the best things.
- Pursue – Do you remember all you did to pursue your spouse when you were dating? That kind of pursuit shouldn’t end once you have “captured” each other. The thing is, you have to know what pursuit looks like to your spouse, regardless of how you define it. Chances are they aren’t the same.
- Play – Learn to have fun just for the sake of having fun. Do something unexpected and maybe even a little crazy. Break the routine – routine is a passion killer! See a funny movie. Have a game night. Have sex in a new location. Get creative.
- Praise – How often do your verbalize your appreciation of your spouse? It’s easy to take each other for granted, especially when we’ve been together for a long time. Make a habit out of paying a sincere compliment to your spouse every day. If you’re a husband, tell your wife how beautiful she is and be specific but not vulgar. Let her know you would still choose her. She is almost certain not to believe you, but do it anyway. If you’re a wife, tell your husband how much you appreciate him and all he does to care for you and your family. Let him know you desire him. Thank each other, even for doing routine tasks. Foster appreciation not just with your words, but in your heart.
- Pleasure – Sex and passion go hand in hand, so make sex a priority. My own studies show that sexual satisfaction tumbles dramatically when lovemaking drops to less than once per week. Sex alone won’t make a passionate marriage, but a passionate marriage makes for great sex! Finding delight and pleasure in each other’s arms will definitely help keep passions stirred.
The tag line says “unquenchable passion.” Cambridge dictionary defines unquenchable as “a feeling so strong that it cannot be satisfied.” Don’t settle for the level of passion you have today. There’s always more! Don’t let anything quench the fires of passion. Fan the flames daily!
What do you do to keep the passion alive and growing in your marriage? Offer your own passion pointers in a comment.