Nineteen years ago my husband chose to begin pursuing me with a prank phone call. It's not how a couple usually meets, but it's how we met. We were both college students at the Moody Bible Institute, living in one of the greatest cities in the world, Chicago, and here we sat in our dorm rooms! I didn't know him, and he really didn't know me. But I was in an English class with his roommate, which is how I got on the "call list" that evening. Much to their surprise *ahem, I did not fall for their prank, but I soon would fall in love with the man behind the prank phone call.
A prank phone call led to a double date, which led to a single date, which eventually led to a lot more dates, and then marriage. Today he is a pastor (no longer making prank phone calls :)) and I am his wife. God has graciously given us almost eighteen years of marriage, four beautiful children, and just over fifteen years of fruitful ministry.
As I think back to our dating and engagement days at Moody, I often laugh at the ways we pursued one another in love. Pursuing one another came easy. There were spontaneous calls, silly notes, impromptu walks, and no shortage of talking. He pursued me and I pursued him. This is true in the beginning of almost every relationship. But as a relationship progresses and time goes by, so does the temptation to stop pursuing your spouse.
Life sets in and changes. Kids come along. Things begin to become routine and mundane. There is an assumption that "he is mine," therefore, I don't need to try to catch him or keep him anymore. Nothing can be more destructive to a healthy and intimate relationship than one spouse failing to pursue the other. I want to be a wife who keeps pursuing my husband, not because I fear losing him, but because I still deeply desire him and love him. I don't want him to doubt that.
As I have thought about the art of pursuit in marriage and keeping your love alive once kids come along, I think there are two primary and simple ways that any wife needs to pursue her husband. I know there are a million and one things to do and to remember. I know there are children vying for your attention. But these are simple. We CAN love our spouse with kids in the house. Here is how:
1. Affirmation - Tell your husband you love him, tell him he looks nice, tell him he's a good dad, tell him you appreciate his hard work, tell him he's a hunk! Make affirming him a primary way you pursue him. It is a lie and a myth that men don't care about feelings or emotions. They want to know you still have feelings and emotions for them! Affirming your husband is a simple way to show him your love for him and to pursue him.
2. Affection - Your husband wants to know he is desired. It's not true that all he cares about is s*x. He certainly cares about it, but he also wants to be wanted. Be a wife who initiates physical contact. I am aware that there are many women who complain about their "duty". God didn't intend for s*x to be a duty. He intended for it to be beautiful. Don't just react to his affection, be proactive and pursue him. He will be delighted by your desire for him!
Our brand new book, For Better or For Kids offers hope to the couple who promised from the start to be a team, but is feeling worn out, over-extended, and neglected. Throughout the pages couples learn how to fan the flames of intimacy, build a God-centered marriage instead of a Child-centered or Me-centered marriage, explore practical ways to parent together as one team, avoid the dangers of spouse-neglect and self-neglect, effectively communicate in the chaos, and so much more. We wanted to tell you about our marriage and our family and just our real everyday life ---sometimes great, sometimes hard, sometimes hysterical--- because we want you to know you are not alone.
You can Grab Your Copy of For Better or For Kids here:
This sacred bond with intimate companionship and divine purpose is worth every ounce of energy required to hope for and work toward. Marriage will not always be what we expected or dreamed of, but marriage by God's design is good---very good!
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED
Because we are so thrilled to launch our book out into the world we are celebrating with a week of giveaways!! Today we are giving away a $100 Visa gift card for dinner and a movie---DATE NIGHT!--- to two winners!!!