Today is Jeanette and my 43rd Wedding Anniversary. So I thought, no better time than now to write a piece on romance.
So let me cut to the chase. I have had to learn how to be a romantic husband. It hasn’t come all that naturally shall we say. I love my wife but showing it on a consistent basis has been challenging for me. 43 years on I am definitely better at it (feel free to ask Jeanette) but I’m certainly no Solomon or George Clooney if you know what I mean.
Romance is essential in a marriage. It’s the spark that is necessary to keep a couple connected and attracted to each other. I guess we can all remember the romantic ‘flush’ when we first met. The ensuing wedding and then the honeymoon. For most of us the honeymoon lasted a few years hopefully and then little by little the romance disappeared which sadly in many cases never to return again.
Jeanette and I saw a fair bit of this as pastors. We still do. Couples who get on just fine, seemingly, but there is no spark, no fascination, no allure, no passion, no surprise, not much fun…..in short no romance.
So let’s re-read a few lines from Solomon and try not to blush.
Kiss me and kiss me again,
for your love is sweeter than wine.
How pleasing is your fragrance;
your name is like the spreading fragrance of scented oils.
No wonder all the young women love you!
Take me with you; come, let’s run!
The king has brought me into his bedroom.
If you don’t know, O most beautiful woman,
follow the trail of my flock,
and graze your young goats by the shepherds’ tents.
You are as exciting, my darling,
as a mare among Pharaoh’s stallions.
How lovely are your cheeks;
your earrings set them afire!
How lovely is your neck,
enhanced by a string of jewels.
We will make for you earrings of gold
and beads of silver. [Song of Solomon 1]
To my male colleagues I want to say this. Many of you are like me, not naturally romantic. Add into that our work which is demanding and draining. Our emotional tanks are often running on empty. We are easily pre-occupied. But strange as it may sound if you choose to romance your wife you will discover new energy, new enthusiasm and even new strength. You will certainly have some more fun together.
While love (agápe) is fundamentally a commitment I make irrespective how I feel, romance is a feeling that can shine a whole new complexion on that commitment. It really is worth the effort. Commit to small romantic gestures 3 or 4 times a week, date nights, romantic get aways, surprises, and yes a little more affection…….perhaps a lot more.
And to the wife of my youth, Jeanette, (who will read this in Germany today but home on Sunday), I am the most blessed man on the planet. You are truly above rubies, who can compare? I love you!
Alan Vink is currently the Executive Director for LeadershipWorx. Prior to this role he has been the Executive Director of Willow Creek Association NZ (WillowNZ), a Baptist pastor (23 years), Bible College teacher, and church consultant.