2.1 The Skill
Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 08:18AM
Caring for Marriage

Filling Your Love Bank

One of the differences between dating couples and people who have been married for a while is the amount of time they devote to enjoying each other. This is certainly not our intention going into marriage, but rather is the fallout of being part of a culture that expects you to go to work, feed your children and vacuum the floor. Yet we can change that. What is more, it is my experience that the change is not as difficult or time consuming as we allow ourselves to believe.

This week start by telling stories as a group about times you enjoyed together... go back in history, or as recently as this morning when you paused to hug before life grabbed you by the arm and threw you out the door. After a warm glow has descended on the people in the room, give them paper and pencil and set them to work. Make four lists... things that are mutually enjoyable to do together that take one minute, that take 5 minutes, that take an hour and that take half a day or more. If people have a blankness about them give them some ideas to start from.

Tell a joke

Long, lingering kiss

Sit on his lap

Play a favorite song or sing it

Dance in the living room

Watch a funny You Tube

Look at your photos

Hold hands

Look at the sky

Look at your sleeping children

Appreciate each other

Make love

Smile deeply

Tickle

Wrestle

Light a candle and sit together

Sneak some chocolate

Walk outside

Look at your garden

Find something growing

Neck massage

Pray

Read the Word

Read a funny book

Lay on the hammock

Leave a romantic message on each other's phone

Write a loving email to each other

Go out for ice cream

Make brownies together

Shower together

Play slap jack

Have a staring contest

Play charades

Draw a picture with one pencil and two hands

Then challenge them to plan when in the week they are going to do these things. Offer a prize for anyone who accomplishes 21 things in a week. As the marriage group progresses, take breaks for them to quickly do one of the sixty second things on their list. The more you do this, the more they will develop a habit. The Book Conjugial Love begins with the word, "Delight" and frankly, happiness is the carrot that drew most of us into this covenant to begin with. It is merely the relentless roar of more urgent things that stifles that original and essential goal.

Being in a room where married couples are enjoying each other, laughing and smiling is good for you. Too often we are in the presence of sit coms where marriage is devalued, or at parties where the men talk over here and the women gather over there. The simple magic that happens when we are in the sphere of marriage delight fills a void that many of us are hungry for. Show in no uncertain terms that enjoying your spouse is nourishing and easily available. 

 

Article originally appeared on Caring for Marriage Home (http://caringformarriage.org/).
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