I recently had a conversation with someone who has been married for decades – like us – yet romancing each other was not something they had practiced. Their marriage was strong; their love genuine. She struggles with blogs like ours because starting to date her spouse romantically feels awkward when it has never been a part of their relationship.
This has caused us to think long and hard about why we do what we do. Dates are not necessary for a strong, successful marriage. Dating is a fairly new concept in the scope of world history. Couples don’t have to romance each other in order for their love to last. We’ve seen it time and time again, so why do it?
Imagine a beautiful home a husband and wife have lived in for years – it’s comfortable and exactly how they want it to be for it suits their every need; there is a kitchen to provide nourishment; there is a bedroom for rest and relaxation; there are other bedrooms to provide a place for the children born to them to learn and grow in safety; there are bathrooms for the necessities of life. They have memories here of a life they’ve built together.
One day as the wife is cleaning in her predictable routine she happens upon a door she had never noticed. It had been there all along, but it blended into the walls from lack of use. She turned the knob with great trepidation, not sure what she would find. The door creaked as she pushed it open all the way. There were stairs descending down into the unknown space. All she could see was a lone light bulb with a pull string offering hope in the darkness. She stretched on her tip toes to reach it as the board beneath her gave way. Fear gripped her heart as she grabbed hold of the string before falling down the three steps to the cold floor.
She lay unconscious for only a few minutes, but when her eyes opened she thought she must still be dreaming! For the room upon which she had awkwardly stumbled was filled with treasures – unbelievable riches! The sparkle of the gold reflecting off the light bulb was like the sun shining on a clear day. She had found a rich treasure in her home she never knew was there.
This metaphor is how we see romance in marriage. It is a rich treasure waiting to be discovered. It is certainly not necessary for a marriage to succeed – our love is built on so much more than how we feel! It’s a choice we make everyday. But if the treasure is there – why not use it? Whether you are just opening the door to this glorious room and you feel awkward, not sure of what you’ll discover, or you have been in this room for years, and have even set up your bedroom amongst the treasure, the point is to discover! Many couples try to turn on the light, but when they stumble down the stairs – rather than pushing through the challenge, they close the door and decide what they have is enough.
Don’t settle in your relationship when there is rich treasure to be found. If this is new to you we offer these simple guidelines to get you started:
- Open The Door: Talk to your spouse about what romance is and isn’t – tell them how you see it and find out how they see it. This is very important and the first step in opening the door.
- Descend The Stairs: Ask them what things you could do to make them feel more loved.
- Turn On The Light: Plan a date together or plan a surprise from the many ideas found on our blog. This is the most purposeful part of change – you have to DO something in order for the light to come on. It may be awkward, you may even fall down – but you’ll never know what you’re missing if you stay in the dark.
- Gather The Treasure: As you begin discovering the joy there is to be found in romancing your spouse, it will feel as if you’ve come into vast treasure. Once invested it will provide great dividends for as long as you both shall live!
There are no limits to the joy and intimacy stored up for you – it is an endless room that will take a lifetime to explore. So whether you’ve just discovered the hidden door or you’ve worked your way halfway through the treasure – ENJOY! If you don’t, you’ll never know what you’ve missed!
“My beloved put his hand to the latch, and my heart was thrilled within me.” Song of Solomon 5:4