In honor of Valentine’s Day, I want to encourage your marriages. My husband and I attended a marriage retreat this past weekend and came back with some good reminders and thoughts to discuss and implement into our marriage and family. To me, a strengthened marriage is the best Valentine’s Day present for your Marriage, what do you think?
The theme of the marriage retreat was love, no big surprise here! In the English language, we have one word for love, LOVE. So, if I say I love the color purple or I love my husband, there is a definite difference but the word is the same. For the retreat, we discussed the 3 words for love in the Hebrew language, as used in the Bible.
- Hebrew word Racham- to have compassion, brotherly love, this is the kind of frienship love within a marriage
- Hebrew word Ahava – deliberate choice of affection and kindness, this is the promise love you made when you were first married
- Hebrew word Dod – spontaneous, impulsive love, this is the sexually charged love within a marriage
How to build your friendship within your marriage, or Racham love
My husband and I have been married for 12-1/2 years, together for 17 years. Our love began and continues with Racham Love. We are no experts and can improve like any other couple, however if you have friendship at the core of your marriage, you will have a long and happy marriage. The speaker gave us 3 great tips to build your friendship within your marriage, or the Racham love.
- Talk one-on-one with your spouse at least 10 minutes every day
- Have a date night once per week with your spouse
- Have an overnight trip with your spouse once every 3 months
My husband and I both work from home so you would think that we talk way more than 10 minutes a day and we do. However, taking time to talk one-on-one about more than taking care of the kids, our home remodeling project, or about the blog takes dedication and intention.
We have tried to have date night often but generally it only happens about once or twice a month. We have committed to date once a week now. Should be lots of fun! Juggling babysitting might not be so easy but it will be worth it. The speaker stressed that even if it is grabbing a cup of coffee at Starbucks to chat, it’s well worth it to connect with one another. It doesn’t have to be a big expensive night out to count as date night within a marriage.
We have never taken an overnight trip together, let alone every 3 months. I’ve accompanied my husband on business trips a few times but not a romantic escape. I think this would be a great blog series, don’t you?
How to remember the promises within your marriage, or Ahava love
If you are a woman, you may have promised the below to your groom.
I, _____, take you ______, to be my wedded husband. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.
If you are a man, you may have promised the below to your bride.
I _____, take you ______, to be my wedded wife. To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish ’till death do us part. And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.
We actually recited traditional vows and rewrote another set with our own adaptations. I wish I could find the notecard for this post. However, the thing about Ahava love is that we are to recall the promises we made when we were first married and committed to spend the rest of our lives with our groom or bride. Have you loved and supported your spouse for better or worse, for richer or poorer, etc?
How to strengthen your sexual relationship within your marriage, or Dod love
Dod love is all about sexually charged love. Men and woman approach Dod and sex differently. The key is to be committed to learning what your spouse likes, responds, and feels.
The speaker suggested that the men to ask their wife after they have sexual relations if she felt loved by it. I think I would be shocked to hear those words but very loved to know he was concerned. Men really show and express their love through sex, to reject them is to reject their love right in the face. It is hard for women to see this every time, myself included. It is all a process of learning how the other gender responds and shows their love.
The speaker asked the women ask their husband a question after sex sometime too. The question was, are we having enough sex? Hmm. Let me guess what almost every man will say! From the response of the crowd at the retreat, I wasn’t the only one thinking that! ha Seriously though, the speaker said that when they offer marriage counseling, they ask the couple how often they expect to have intimate relations. The number is way higher than typical marriages. To be on the same page is a huge deal in any marriage, especially as it pertains to sex and dod love.
Choose to Love Your Spouse
In the end, it is all about choosing to love your spouse, now and forever. Choose to spend time with your spouse, choose to protect your spouse, choose to embrace your spouse, no matter what.
Have you seen the movie, The Family Man starring Nicolas Cage? The Family Man is one of the most romantic movies for valentine’s day or any day of the year that really embraces marriage. It the movie, Nicolas Cage feels the burnout of marriage, kids, and a mortgage. He has the opportunity to see how his life would have been without all of that. In the end, he longs for the life he had with his wife, Kate. Earlier in the movie, he was promoted and asked his family to pick up and move across the country for his job. His kids and wife were very upset but Kate, his wife said no matter what she said “I choose US” and would support him. At the end of the movie, when he has gained all the achievements of his career he was lonely. He tried to get Kate’s attention and convince her to marry him, to have a family she has never known but he can’t forget. Below is a pretty touching clip where Nicolas Cage tells Kate, “I choose Us”. Check it out!
Questions for Discussion on how to strengthen your marriage
Consider going through these questions with your spouse to strengthen your marriage this Valentine’s Day.
- How do I make you feel significant? How do I make you feel loved and protected?
- List the top 3 threats to your relationship.
- What are 2 changes you can make to strengthen your marriage relationship?
- What would an observer say are your family’s top 3 priorities?
- What are your “family values,” what principles support these values?
- List the top 3 threats to our children’s spiritual welfare.
- What are 3 changes you can make to strengthen the spiritual environment of your family?
Attend a Marriage Retreat
We attended the Family Life Weekend To Remember Marriage Conference last year. It was an amazing learning and loving experience. FamilyLife’s Weekend to Remember conference is a chance to get away from the distractions of daily life. Cell phones are shut off. To-do lists are temporarily forgotten. It’s a time to slow down and reconnect. Each conference is a warm, engaging gathering that’s all about making progress, not placing blame. FamilyLife’s insightful speakers will help you work through your differences, improve communication and even rekindle your romance.
Click here to join the AkronOhioMoms group to get discounted tickets of $80 OFF anywhere in the USA. The next retreat close to Akron, Ohio is in Cleveland, Ohio on March18 – 20, 2011 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. Find the Marriage Retreat closest to you here.