5 Ways to Keep the Home Fires Burning

Sometimes marriage can become as stale as the box of Cheerios your ten-year-old left open on the pantry shelf. What once burned hot and bright may now be a cold, black dirty log in your fireplace.

Do you drool over those married couples that look as if they share a secret no one else knows? The secret is they know how to be intentional in their marriage. A good marriage takes work. A great marriage is like wallpapering your two-story den – it seems impossible. But, alas, it is not.

Here are 5 easy tips for turning up the heat in your marriage.

1. Plan a prayer date.

Choose scripture you would like to pray over your marriage and family, and write them on note cards. Select a quiet place to go for coffee or dessert. Read your verses, sharing family goals and concerns. Exchange prayer requests, and take turns praying over each other while holding hands.

The divorce rate within the church is around 50%, the same as everywhere else. But, “The couple that prays together stays together.” The divorce rate for couples who regularly pray with each other is LESS THAN 1%!

2. Make sure he knows he is more important than the kids.

With mothers of preschoolers, this is one of the more challenging items on the list. Our husbands get their feelings hurt when put on the back burner. And unfortunately, when there are preschoolers in the house, husbands WILL get put on the back burner. It’s inevitable.

There are times when kids require your attention, but other times they can be put on hold. When your child interrupts a conversation with your spouse, tell them, “This is Daddy time.” Both your child and your spouse will realize daddy is important and he comes first.You are also modeling a healthy marriage for your child.

3. Surprise him every once in a while.

The element of surprise is like squirting lighter fluid on a fire. It will heat things up in a hurry.

Here are a couple of ideas:
-Wear something besides ratty shorts and t-shirts to bed. Buy a new silky nightie and parade yourself in front of the TV. Stretch and yawn just out of his reach and tell him you are ready for bed.
-Tell him if he can catch you, he can have you, and watch how fast he moves.

4. Don’t speak in code.

Husbands and wives often speak a different language. My husband tells me I speak Wife.

When I say: You hot?
What I really mean is: I’m hot, would you mind getting up and turning on the ceiling fan?

Whey I say: You hungry?
What I really mean is: I’m getting hungry. Why don’t you suggest we go out to dinner?

When I say: You look nice.
What I really mean is: Did you notice my new outfit? I got this on sale, and I think it matches nicely with my pumps from last spring. Didn’t you notice that the shirt matches my eyes? And look, the jewelry all coordinates.

Now let’s look at our husband’s language.

When he says: I’m hot.
What he really means is: I’m hot.

When he says: I’m hungry.
What he really means is: I’m hungry.

When he says: You look nice.
What he really means is: Let’s get intimate.

Women are like onions. We have lots and lots of layers. To communicate in a way our husbands can understand, we need to be direct and to the point. We cannot speak in code and expect our men to understand. They do NOT know what we are thinking. We have to tell them.

5. Serve him by serving Him.

You can best serve your husband by serving your God. When we do things for our husband because we are trying to serve our husband, we often expect something in return.

When we do nice things for our husband because we are trying to serve and please God, we don’t expect things in return. I’m a better wife and mother when I’ve spent time with Christ. The more time I invest in my spiritual life, the stronger and richer my marriage becomes.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matt. 6:33 NIV

Don’t let your marriage fizzle. Start making preparations to stay warm this winter and keep those home fires burning.

Photo credit

9 Responses to 5 Ways to Keep the Home Fires Burning
  1. Dawn
    October 20, 2012 | 8:36 pm

    Oh this is great , Barbie! I love the codes you use. I so don’t relate. HAHAHAHA! Thank you for a great post!

    • Dawn
      October 20, 2012 | 8:37 pm

      OOPs I see this is written by Carol now, Sorry Carol! But all stands the same Thank you for a great post!

      • Carol Hatcher
        October 21, 2012 | 10:58 am

        No worries, Dawn. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Rosann
    October 21, 2012 | 9:58 am

    Carol, this is great and so timely. I just wrote on this very subject yesterday as part of my 31 Days series. Even good marriages go through dry spells. It’s important not to let things slip into a rut when the chaos of life gets overwhelming. Thanks for this!

    • Carol Hatcher
      October 21, 2012 | 10:59 am

      Thanks, Rosann. Sometimes life takes over and you wake up staring in the face of the one you married and think, “Oh. There you are.” 😉 Blessings!

  3. Laura
    October 24, 2012 | 12:31 pm

    Great advice!! “Women are like onions” – yep, we are. Direct and specific communication works much better than the subtle hints I tried in early marriage. 🙂

    • Carol
      October 25, 2012 | 8:15 am

      Laura, I think we all tried those early in marriage. Unfortunately, many are still trying it! I finally realized there was not magic genie that was going to make my husband understand exactly what I wanted without me saying it. It has saved lots of heartache. 🙂 Thank you!

  4. Charis
    October 25, 2012 | 3:00 pm

    great advice. we have a standing date night on wednesday night – babysitter or no babysitter. many times it is “date night” when the kids go to bed on wednesday night because we don’t have a sitter. it is so worth the time set aside to connect!

    • Carol
      October 26, 2012 | 1:19 pm

      What a great idea Charis! You are right. It IS so worth it to reconnect. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!