“Whither is thy beloved gone?”
Song of Solomon 6:1
There is occasion in every marriage for dullness to set in and a lack of appreciation to waft through the hearts of husbands and wives. Managing the responsibilities of married life becomes a business. Juggling jobs, kids, bills, and discipline leaves no room for intimate feelings and spontaneous moment.
This state of marriage became apparent to me when I was single. As I watched some of the godly ladies I admired, I wondered why I couldn’t tell that they enjoyed their husband’s company. Their interaction with their husbands lacked warmth and noticeable pleasure, and I detected no gleam in their husband’s eyes either. I made a mental note to keep my hubby’s eyes sparkling someday.
Then I got married myself, and the eyes of understanding were opened. Home responsibilities and ministries consumed my thoughts and energy. Often, when Kurt walked through the house, I would think, “I hope he doesn’t need something, I’m busy right now.” When busyness wasn’t distracting me, I occasionally fell into the “I can’t enjoy him until I fix him” trap. Our differences hardened my heart. We were quickly entering a loveless, lifeless coexistence. One day I looked in the mirror and realized I was becoming one of those “I say I love God with all my heart, but I don’t love my husband” women that I used to pity. I was trying to enjoy intimacy with God on my own while leaving it to Kurt to someday pursue intimacy with me. But as I prayed, the Lord changed my withdrawn countenance and urged me right back to Kurt to seek the Lord together in the mystery of oneness He desires in marriage. The Lord gently revealed to me that there is unmatched fulfillment in seeking the Lord together in an intimate relationship with my husband.
I didn’t realize then what a key role the wife plays in keeping her marriage growing. As I read the Song of Solomon, I noticed this bride put aside busyness and differences and zealously pursued intimacy with her husband. It doesn’t indicate that her husband had time to check the 101 Ways to Romance Your Wife manual before he got home each night. But the bride’s attentions melted him, and her beautiful countenance inspired him. He became romantic in response to her. Song of Solomon 4:9 says, “Thou hast ravished my heart.” There is great fulfillment in being ravishing! When I am in hot pursuit of romance, there is a different energy in our house. A few weeks ago, when Kurt left for work one morning, he held me in my favorite super-tight bear hug and whispered against my neck, “You are so beautiful. I don’t want to leave you today.” He left me smiley and giddy! There was a time I thought our marriage would never be like that.
If your relationship has grown too serious and cold, try initiating a soft, warm, flirty affection toward you husband. Use you creative energy to keep yourself interested in him and to keep him interested in you. Shock him with an uninhibited, mysterious, exciting new you. An “I’m up to something you’re going to like” grin will keep him thinking of you all day. Dream with him, laugh at things he thinks will make you furious, listen with interest (but don’t pester him for details), and be playful even if you don’t have all the cleaning done. Don’t kid yourself into thinking it’s all for him. You’re going to love the change it will make your heart too.
Maybe it has been a long time since your husband has held an affectionate place in your heart, and you’re wondering, “Where has my beloved gone?” Pursue him. Romance him. When he responds to you, you will fall in love all over again. God can awaken the feelings of love within you so you can say to your husband, “You are my Beloved.”
Written by Angie VanDePol. This article was published in the Spring 2007 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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