We are members of The Christian Marriage Bloggers Association, and this month we have been challenged to write a post based on this beautiful photo by Kate Aldrich Photography of the One Flesh Marriage blog.
When I saw this photo the first thing I thought of was the purpose of an umbrella–it provides shelter from the rain and shade from the sun. But the word “umbrella” also has another meaning that is quite fitting in regards to romance in marriage.
Umbrella: a protecting force or influence.
We are currently in Tennessee watching four of our grandchildren while our son and his wife are away celebrating their 10th anniversary in sunny CA. We have modeled to our children for all of their 30+ years of life, the priority of romancing your spouse through all seasons, and to see our kids making it a priority in their own marriages is rewarding to say the least!
Couples who regularly use the umbrella of romance discover it becomes quite the protection from all kinds of trouble when it’s needed most.
Let’s take a close look as to why this is so…
An umbrella is made up of three distinct parts: the canopy, a folding metal frame, and the rod. Some open with the push of a button and others are opened manually. Regardless, a properly cared for umbrella can provide years of protection from all kinds of inclement weather.
First, The Canopy – the canopy is what makes each umbrella unique. It’s like the personality of your marriage and how it expresses itself romantically. Every couple defines romance differently, and that’s how it should be. There are no cookie cutter marriages–all are unique and it’s the same with romance. Some romance is vibrant and noticed from a distance, while others blend in with the surroundings hardly being noticed. But if the canopy is up it will do it’s job well, no matter the romantic act of choice.
Second, The Folding Metal Frame – this is what makes the umbrella work. The frame is our intentionality in making romance a priority. If we don’t plan it, it just won’t happen. Life takes over and romance is usually the first thing to go. Let me be quick to say though, that romance is not only date nights. It’s so much more…
Romance is the skill of communicating your commitment to, love for and enjoyment of your spouse in ways that convince him or her of the priority of your relationship.
“Romance is the learned response to the way your partner looks and feels, to the things your spouse says and does and to the emotional experiences you share. It is a keen desire to work towards the beloved’s happiness, no matter what effort is required.” – Wheat
That being said, be intentional in making the most of opportunities to express such romance. When you do, your romantic umbrella will be in good shape for years to come.
Finally, The Rod represents our marriage vows. This is what our marriages our built upon that gives our marriage strength and support. Without this part of the umbrella, there would be no umbrella. It helps to remember that when we go through times of subjective difficulty, the objective truth of our marriage vows are there to support us through the trouble.
So what is the condition of your romantic umbrella? We pray that this post and this photo will help you have a solid answer to this question. Guaranteed there will be stormy weather ahead, and those who have an umbrella will be best prepared to walk through the storm to a brighter tomorrow.
For ideas on practical romantic ideas check out our website’s sidebar for categories of all topics concerning romance in marriage. It is our desire to help marriages grow for a lifetime, not only for our enjoyment, but most importantly for God’s glory.
Just the reminder I needed to hear! I loved your definition of romance:
“Romance is the skill of communicating your commitment to, love for and enjoyment of your spouse in ways that convince him or her of the priority of your relationship.” Wonderful! I need to work on romancing my husband and open my eyes to the ways that he is communicating romance to me because it may be different than my way of communicating to him. Yet I need to be aware he is showing romance in his own unique way and stop having other expectations.
Lisa, Many couples go their entire marriage without realizing this. Sadly, many couples divorce as a result. This is why it’s imperative to recognize and define romance as it applies to your marriage.
Just getting the conversation started is often the most difficult.