Q: Like most couples around us our lives and schedules seem to run us and our marriage is on the back burner. Where do we start at renewing our love on a daily basis?
A: We love this question! You are so normal but we want you to be abnormal in renewing your love with your sweetheart! And much of the answer is in being both intentional and teachable.
At conferences we coach couples to take advantage of renewing connections during at least one, if not more, of four opportunities each day!
Your first opportunity is when one of you awakes in the morning before your spouse may have even opened their eyes. When I (Gary) stir awake I will often place my hand (as Barb likes to affirm, on top of the sheets) on Barb’s arm and pray for my bride of 40 years. Sometimes it is silent, other times just a whisper, but it is simply giving praise to the Creator for not only creating my lifelong sweetheart but for her life, positions of wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and friend, and her incredible impact in ministry. This is the first opportunity to connect each day and when we do so it starts our day with intentionality. I will praise you, O Lord, with all my heart… Psalm 9:1
The second opportunity is before leaving for work. We work together each day at our ministry, yet often I will head in early. After bringing Barb a cup of coffee in bed (a ritual for the last several years) and giving her time to get into the Word, we will connect before I leave for the office. By this time she is a bit more alert (smile) and it gives us an opportunity to not only have communicated with the Lord vertically but with each other horizontally. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests… Eph. 6:18
The third opportunity is at the end of the workday. Barb affectionately calls this time of 4-7pm the valley of the shadow of death for every woman. Kids are home from school, meals need to be prepared, housework, dogs fed, mail, emails, texts, and then I, her “handsome dog” (her words) will be pulling in at any moment. Barb has shared with great joy and laughter to audiences worldwide her concept of the valley of the shadow of death during this time of day to hoots, applause and nodding heads, regardless of culture. Yet we also know it is a great time to connect and renew your love—if even for a few moments before agreeing on a time to really connect. My parents modeled this in an incredible manner. My dad would pull in the driveway at 5:30 each evening after a 12 hour day. His four kids would greet him at the backdoor (mom’s rule), he would shake our hand or tousle our hair and then excuse his kids for the next hour while he and my mom would sit on two black and white coaches in the family room of our home. No kids allowed, unless there was a problem (which as I recall was usually with me) but just a time for a husband and a wife to connect and renew their love. They would download the day, look forward to what was on their plates and center on their marriage. During the next hour we did this prehistoric activity called a family dinner when mom and dad would connect with the four kids and we were once again the center of their worlds.
And then at night, all of us have a fourth opportunity: praying and renewing our love in connection before we rest for the night. This often means going to bed at the same time (which really means one of us dying to self on being a night owl) and having a time together of encouragement, reflection, of praying, of listening, holding each other and yes, maybe even sexual connection, but that is the topic of another post. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. 1 Thess. 5:11
There you go, friends. Four times a day to connect. That is what the Rosbergs do and although we love being your marriage coaches, it isn’t so important what we do other than model for you how to find your own pacing and rhythm. What is essential is finding which one or two of these work best for you. What do you think could happen to your marriage if the two of you committed to renewing the love of your life intentionally each day? We believe it could equip you to not only mark your marriage for Christ but further your great marriage experience! Go for it!