to consider

Holiday Dates

November 18, 2014

in to consider

In all your planning for the holidays, simplify enough so you have time to romance your man.

What kind of date does he enjoy?
What kind of date do you enjoy?

You could plan a couple of dates (perhaps one that each of you would like) or ask your hubby if he would be willing to plan a date that you would like and you could plan one that will bless him. (Paul and I catch a movie on Christmas Eve. It’s a holiday tradition for us.)

Be intentional about keeping your marriage strong during the holidays. Connect. Share. Love.

You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must make it.  Charles Bixton

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Prayer Prompt  Ask God to help you and your husband make time for each other during the holidays. Ask for creative ideas.

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The XY Code: Do It for Me Great advice!

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Life Of Joy: Feeling More Like Christmas A family tradition that can make your holidays bright (and sane).

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Congratulations Casey for being the 61st poster.
You have won a free copy of Sheila Gregoire’s new e-book
31 Days to Great Sex.

 

 

And here (as I promised) is a guest post by Sheila,
author of The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex and 31 Days to Great Sex.

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Isn’t There Something More?

I have a love-hate relationship with love scenes in movies. I hate it when they get too explicit or raunchy, but I love the idea of passion and love and romance. All too quickly, though, that love can turn to loathing. They’re having so much fun on the screen. Why isn’t my life like that?

Take The Notebook. The couple makes love, even though she’s a virgin, and everything works absolutely perfectly. She has an orgasm her first time out, it doesn’t hurt at all, and she immediately wants to do it again.

Now, my problems with that scene go further than the unrealistic nature of it – I still feel rather uncomfortable that they aren’t married – but how many of us watch that and think, “why don’t I have that kind of passion in my marriage?”

We yearn for passion, to be swept away, to have sex that is so romantic and loving and yet makes our toes curl all at the same time.

For most of us, though, that doesn’t happen all that often. And we wonder, “isn’t there something more… ?”

Maybe it’s because when we first got married sex didn’t feel all that great. We were fumbling around (even if we weren’t virgins), and it seemed rushed. But we women didn’t say anything, and now ten years have past and we wonder if our window of opportunity is gone. Can you really say to your husband, “everything you’ve been doing for ten years just isn’t cutting it for me”?

Or perhaps it used to be passionate like that, but things got routine. So much so that now sometimes during sex we have this overwhelming urge to check Facebook on our iPhone while he goes through the motions. Or perhaps we’ve lost that excitement of something new – that fun feeling that you’re trying something for the first time, or that you’re still working on getting it right. You’ve done this so many times now that it seems, well, blah.

Isn’t there something more?

You betcha! Passion may be overdone in the movies, but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It just takes a renewed understanding of the three ingredients of a passionate love life:

 1.    Communication

You can’t have passion if you don’t have good communication – the kind of communication where you can say, “a little firmer”, or a “a little lighter”. Or where you can say, “I’d like to change it up a bit tonight!”

Those things are hard to say because it takes vulnerability to admit what you want. Our sexuality is so intensely personal that to say to your spouse “I’d really like this…” is to reveal a part of you that you keep hidden from everyone else. And even though that’s perfectly okay, and even perfectly good, to do in marriage, it still takes a lot of courage!

2.    Intimacy

The key ingredient to a passionate marriage can’t be found in a sex toy store. What  makes us truly orgasmic isn’t a magic vibrator but instead commitment. For instance, when I was doing my surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found that the women who were most likely to achieve orgasm during sex were those in committed marriage relationships. Other studies have shown the same thing. Commitment is a huge aphrodisiac, because sex ultimately is about so much more than just the body. It’s a deep “knowing”, as the Bible says. It’s a physical and a spiritual union. Couples who get that – who experience true intimacy when they’re making love – are also going to feel much more passion for each other.

Couples who concentrate only on the body, and not on the relationship or the person, are going to feel like sex is somehow shallow or dirty.

3.    Attention

Have you ever heard parents say, “I may not have a lot of time with my kids, but that’s okay, because quality time is better than quantity time!” I’ve always felt that’s a bit of a cop out, because trying to force a relationship into a few minutes each day doesn’t show someone that they’re a priority at all.

And the same thing is true with our sex lives. If we want to experience true passion, we need to leave time for passion. You can’t be on two separate screens all night and then climb into bed at midnight, and turn to each other and say, “y’wanna?”

Real passion needs time – time to open up, time to communicate, time to work on your friendship, even time to talk about what you’d like to do. And it can’t be rushed.

If you watch these love scenes in movies and sigh and wonder, “Why can’t we be like that? Isn’t there something more?”, then maybe it’s time to make this a priority in your life. God wants us to have an abundant life, and that includes an abundant sex life. He wants us to feel rapturous, and completely intimate, and completely relaxed. But it doesn’t happen overnight. It certainly won’t happen if you sit back and think, “I wish we could be more like that.” You can be! If you decide to prioritize it.

And if you want some help, I’ve written an ebook called 31 Days to Great Sex, a series of fun challenges that will help you work on your communication, develop intimacy, learn to flirt again, and, yes, even make your toes curl! But the best benefit, I think, is that when you work on it together, you actually set aside some time, everyday for a month, to prioritize this side of your relationship. And when you do that, you may just find that passion not only returns. It beats the socks off anything you see on a movie screen! And it’s only $5.

To win a copy of 31 Days to Great Sex, leave a comment. But don’t be afraid to purchase it now; if you win, and you’ve already bought it, Sheila will send you a copy of her paperback, The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex (a more expensive book). OK, ok, so we already did that. Thanks all, for your many comments and ideas! Congrats to Casey for winning. The rest of us can buy a copy as a Christmas gift or use it as a New Year challenge (my hubbie is liking this idea).

You can find Sheila at SheilaGregoire.com and To Love, Honor and Vacuum.

logoSheila Wray Gregoire, Inspirational Speaker
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Ferguson Values: Making the Dream Team a Reality Dreaming is an important part of keeping your marriage healthy.

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Happy Wives Club: 3 Reasons Your Marriage Should Include a Daily Ritual Happy marriages have this in common.

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Marriage Retreat

August 11, 2012

in to consider

Sheila’s post, Choosing Joy (To Love, Honor and Vacuum), came at an interesting time for me. I had just watched a movie that I had been asked to review (DVD version to be released in a couple of days, you’ll start seeing it around) ~ Marriage Retreat.

So let me explain how these two events collide.

Sheila’s post (which is a very good read, BTW) talks about a gal who “decided that she was going to get rid of everything in her life that caused her pain, and fill her life instead with as many things as possible that brought her joy.” Sheila then goes on to talk about her own journey toward joy, including some thoughts about what she watches on TV and in movies. It’s a thoughtful and introspective piece about choices with some perspectives about how media can shape our lives.

I think that there is great wisdom in choosing carefully what we expose ourselves to. I also think it is important to support and encourage Christian movie makers, writers, artists, etc. because they are working to create art that fits within more conservative values.

So, now, about that movie …

Marriage Retreat is a light-hearted comedy (I really want a copy of the prayer that Fahey initially prays over the couples, it’s a hoot). I thought that the actors did a fine job and the movie flowed well. In a couple of places it was a bit unbelievable (I so would not go to a retreat in the boonies if I was 9 months pregnant!), but then most movies bend things a bit to make the plot work and it is a comedy, after all. I liked that the movie hit on a few of the more common marriage problems ~ financial struggles, selfishness, fears, etc. and the heart of it all was in pointing couples to God as their solution and source of help.

Movies like Fireproof, Courageous, The Grace Card, and Marriage Retreat (aff links) are great for family movie night, an evening with friends, or a little couple time. They offer safe entertainment and will challenge you to think about your values (a win/win). Many such movies have supporting material (studies, books, etc.) that can be used to kick off a small group or study. (For the record, the study for Marriage Retreat has major spoilers, so don’t read it until after you’ve seen the movie.)

The other thing that I like to do with movies is ask folks what stood out to them or spoke to them in some way. Here’s mine, a quote from the movie. Go, team player!

I don’t want you to lose. I don’t care if I win, but I don’t want you to lose. You win, I win.  from the movie Marriage Retreat

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More movie suggestions from generous wives everywhere ~ Movie Night Movies (Please feel free to leave your favorite movie picks too.)

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Lori (of Marriage Gems) offers some “must haves” to develop in your marriage ~ Is true and lasting love possible?

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What a Great Idea! ~ Friday Prayer: Watch Over Us Visit Elevate Your Marriage for a weekly prayer (this would be great as a prayer starter for couples who are struggling to pray together).

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