[This article contains a rather frank conversation about sexuality. Please read this only if you are mature enough to handle such things or if such topics offend you. Thank you!]
This Valentine’s Day, a lot of women are excited to go see the movie “Fifty Shades Darker”. But here’s the thing about Fifty Shades and other “romance” movies and novels like it: it’s a cheap substitute for true intimacy. It encourages you to lust and fantasise after something that is not your own – resulting in less work and mental energy being poured into what you already have.
A gratifying sexual relationship is not grounded in selfishness and lust. These are the things of immature love. Relationships usually begin with attitudes such as these, with both partners loving the other for what he/she can give them. Great relationships, however, continue to move to deeper and deeper levels of intimacy – something which cannot be achieved by inviting a third party in the form of porn, erotica, or romance novels into the relationship.
True intimacy takes time and effort. It requires openness and honesty. It demands commitment. It means we have to learn sacrifice, unselfishness, and mutual submission. It should be surrounded by prayer and love. And we can’t achieve these things while we are saturating our sexuality in fantasies and letting our minds run away from our spouses. Creating a lasting bond of sexual intimacy means that you can’t skip over all the messy, frustrating, and awkward parts. You can’t dream yourself away into your fantasies with another man – or even what you think to be a better version of your own man. Deep intimacy requires your mental presence, full commitment, and consistent effort.
I know, I haven’t done a great job of making true intimacy sound sexy, I’ve made it sound like hard work. That’s because it IS hard work – and the more work you put in, the deeper and more satisfying it becomes. Sex will get better as intimacy gets deeper and stronger – but that will only happen if you work on it.
When you have achieved real intimacy with your spouse and you are both working hard to keep the flames of desire in your own marriage burning bright, you won’t feel yourself pulled towards all the cheap imitations of poorly-constructed romance. You will no longer feel a need to fantasise because you will have transformed your own man and marriage into something more real and wonderful than novels or movies could ever provide.
Please, don’t settle for a cheap version of the real thing this Valentine’s Day. Put effort into the relationship you have. Talk about it. Set aside some time to really enjoy each other. Try a little something new.
Turn your reality into a fantasy.
“Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth! For your love is better than wine” (Song of Solomon 1:2).
“Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm, for love is strong as death, jealousy is fierce as the grave. Its flashes are flashes of fire, the very flame of the LORD. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, he would be utterly despised” (Song of Solomon 8:6, 7).
Here are 50 things you can do to make your marriage really fun, intimate, and sizzling hot. Pick one or two to action this week and make a commitment to improving on your marriage in some small way every week going forward. Just watch how much closer you and your husband grow together.
- Kiss him for (at least) a full minute every day this week.
- Talk about what you’d both like to try in the bedroom and commit to trying something new that you both feel comfortable with.
- Read through 1 Corinthians 13 and deeply reflect on how you can love your husband better.
- Write your husband a note promising sex and put it in his lunch box.
- Try a new sex position (try the Kamasutra app for cartoons and descriptions of different positions).
- Send a text message to let your husband know you are thinking of him.
- Wear a new sexy outfit to bed.
- Organise a staycation at a nice hotel.
- Say sorry for something you’ve never said sorry for, even if it was long ago.
- Write down all the things you love about your husband and give him the list.
- Spring clean your bedroom – throw out the rubbish, beautify it, and make it a place where you can be relaxed and enjoy each other’s company after a long day.
- Make your husband’s favourite meal this week.
- Read a marriage book together.
- Work out each other’s love languages and figure out at least one way you can show him love through his love language this week.
- Visit the place where you first dated (if possible) or recreate your first date in some way (the meal, what you were wearing, etc).
- Agree to go to an activity, watch a movie, or play a game you don’t particularly enjoy but your husband enjoys.
- Have sex in a different room of the house than your bedroom – Get creative!
- Do something for your husband he’s been asking you to do that you’ve been putting off (this could be sexual or nonsexual).
- Be intimate every day this week.
- Before he comes home, light candles, put his favourite music on, and slip on his favourite dress.
- As you are driving along one day, say, “Quick! Pull over!” faking a state of panic. When he does, give him a long, passionate kiss.
- Ask him what he feels you could improve on in your relationship, do your best to accept the criticism graciously (lol), and then work on improving it.
- Make your husband’s favourite sweet for no reason.
- Exercise together.
- Reveal something you’ve been struggling with and ask him to pray about it with you.
- Make every hello and goodbye enthusiastic – put everything aside, rise up to greet him, kiss him passionately, and (if applicable) have all the children run to meet him as well.
- Initiate sex.
- Go for a late night stroll. Hold hands as you walk and stop to kiss him at a particularly nice spot (or just whenever and surprise him).
- Throw away every single one of your romance novels. Every. Single. One. Then tell your husband what you did and that you want him to be your only fantasy.
- Write your husband a steamy note about how much you loved a time he really made you feel good.
- Buy a sexy costume online or from a party shop (I know this is the wrong time of year, but keep in mind that you can pick these up after Halloween really cheap!)
- Pretend you are going out, but stay in. Dress up like you would if you were going out, light candles, and set up a fancy dinner. This set up also conveniently makes for better escapes to the real main course *wink*.
- Flirt several times a day (especially in front of the kids, if you have them).
- Talk about your favourite sexual memories together.
- One night, before you go to bed together, set up your bedroom for intimacy. Make sure the room is mess-free, light candles (or dim the lights), scent the air, and put fresh towels by the bed.
- Buy (and try) a new flavour or scent of lubricant.
- Give your husband a massage – a proper one with oils and everything (that goes for longer than 5 minutes).
- Make a fancy picnic basket with cheese, crackers, sparkling grape juice, chocolate, and/or whatever other fancy things you enjoy; hire a babysitter (if applicable) and do all the research to find a beautiful picnic spot to spend the afternoon.
- Put down your phone and give him your full attention every time he tries to talk to you.
- Don’t bring your phone into the bedroom (or put it in airplane mode).
- Check out www.thedatingdivas.com and choose one fun date to plan this month.
- Bring him breakfast in bed.
- Buy some stay up stockings (the best bedroom accessory, in my opinion!).
- Get on top.
- Watch Fireproof together.
- Take the love dare.
- Pray for a greater intimacy between the two of you and wisdom to know what your part in that is – every. single. day.
- Put on some romantic music and dance around the house.
- Say “I love you” every single day.
- Always kiss goodnight.