If being passionate was on one end of a continuum and being emotionally reserved was on the other, you would find me living at both extremes. However, a true continuum of passion would most likely have passion at one end, and apathy at the other.
But that’s not the way I vacillate and vibe! I’m not an apathetic person by any means but rather a very passionate person in most ways, even though I can be emotionally reserved.
Adding to the confusion, passion can be demonstrated in both good and bad ways, as well as being “good” in more than one way.
Consider the following negative ways passion can be shown:
- We can get so passionate about our own views that we lose our cool when our mates disagree with us.
- Sometimes our passion for godly and good pursuits in life can overshadow and distract from our marriages.
- A hunger for passion in our marriage can tempt us to indulge an attraction to someone outside of our marriages.
- We can let our anger flare so passionately every time our spouses sin that it fuels resentment against them.
[bctt tweet=”Ironically, we must wrangle and discipline our passion, in order to be the passionate spouses our mates deserve and need. Find out how at MM today! #passionprinciples” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Allow me to offer 7 ideas that can improve the good side of passion in your marriage and mine …
7 Ways to Become a More Passionate Spouse
1. Initiate Affectionate Touch
I’m picky about affection. Sometimes I’m not in the mood to even receive a hug from my guy, while other times I’m “too hot” to snuggle. #hotflashes
Mostly, I stick with patterns that were impressed on me when I was a child raised in a not-so-affectionate family. 😦
So whenever I’m the one to initiate a hug or kiss with my hubby, it surprises him and often makes his day.
I need to do more of this!
How about you?
2. Let Affection Linger Longer
Jim Burns, the author of Creating an Intimate Marriage, suggests giving your spouse a 15-second kiss every day. Of course, you should make sure not to use this as pressure for sex. But if it naturally leads to sex, then you’ve seen the power affection can wield in drawing you to your mate.
Oxytocin—the “feel good” hormone—is released when our mates lovingly touch us. So it makes sense to let affection linger so that this hormone can flow longer and more potently.
Want to join me in trying to double the time we typically hold our spouse’s hand, touch their arm or shoulder, scratch their back, or any expression of affection this next week?
Who knows? Maybe it will fuel positive passions for our mates—helping us to become more passionate spouses!
3. Practice Better Listening
One way that you and I can control our negative passions in marriage is to never let our passionate opinions override our passion for our mates’ perspectives.
Listening also increases our passion for the spouses we’re learning more about, as well as helping them to feel our love more deeply.
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” —Prov. 20:5 (NIV)
[bctt tweet=”This loving passion can only be shown to our mates when we open our ears and hearts, while closing our mouths. #openopenclose #3rdpassionprinciple” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
4. When You Do Speak—Speak Affectionately
Listen to the way King Solomon spoke about his beloved …
“How beautiful your sandaled feet, O prince’s daughter! Your graceful legs are like jewels, the work of an artist’s hands.” —Song of Solomon 7:1 (NIV)
Or her words of affirmation about him …
“My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand.” —Song of Solomon 5:10 (NIV)
Pretty sweet, steamy, and passionate stuff!
With every steamy and affectionate word we share about and to our mates, the more passionate our hearts and marriages become and grow!
5. Become a Passionate Learner of Your Spouse
Once you’ve listened to your mate, keep a running list of the details you’re learning about him/her. John Gottman refers to this running list as a “love map.”
You learn as much as you can about what your spouse is passionate about and enjoys so you can navigate easily to his/her heart.
One small example is: My hubby is a huge lover of tart Jellybeans. So I make sure to surprise him with a bag every now and then. #thewaytoamansheart
6. Mentally Prepare for Lovemaking
Most men don’t need to worry about this one! If a wife tells her man she’s in the mood, he’s typically ready to hop in the sack before she finishes her sentence! 😉
Conversely, most wives must gear up for lovemaking, especially when she has had kids clinging to and climbing on her all day long. Can you say, “over-stimulated”?
Find ways to fuel your passions before lovemaking. Make sure to shower, shave your legs, dress in your favorite outfit, wear your favorite perfume, etc. on these days.
And don’t overdo it on a day when “doing it” might be on your and/or your hubby’s radar.
If lovemaking is a challenge for you, there are lots of ways to make love that don’t have to do with intercourse. Check out a guest post from Chris Taylor and my Rekindling Sex Series—“Maintaining Intimacy When Sex isn’t Possible”—for some great ideas.
7. Fire Up Your Passion for God
Ironically, becoming more passionate about God is actually the best place to start to fire up your passion for your mate.
That’s because God is the One who created sex, wired us to enjoy it, and loves it when we love it!
God made sex to act like “glue” to bond our hearts to our mates like nothing else can!
This idea is reflected in Genesis 2:24, which talks about becoming one as mates. It’s also reflected in 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, regarding straying sexually—stating it is a sin against our own bodies.
Most of all, when you’re pursuing God, He can heal the hurts that have dampened and even extinguished your passion in marriage.
[bctt tweet=”Without my passion for God, I know my passion for my mate would be in peril! Discover 6 other ways to ignite passion for your mate! This one and others might surprise you!” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
“For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.” —Isaiah 54:5 (NIV)
I learned a long time ago to take the burden off my husband’s weak shoulders and put it on God’s powerful back.
Now, I look first to my “Husband” to love me, before looking to my husband for love. When I do that, God’s love flows through me to my spouse in ways that I could never produce on my own—turning it into a passion-palooza!
Here’s a printable prayer for passion in marriage. Click on the image and after it loads to a new tab, click on the upper right corner to download at the …
Click on this link to read more posts in this series, “The Spouse I Want to Be.” If you come back by next week, you’ll find out how to become a “Compassionate Spouse” in your marriage. I’m certain you won’t want to miss it!
What is another idea you have for developing passion in marriage?
Which of these seven ways do you want to work on the most?
I’m honored to have been chosen as the featured post for the Grace and Truth Linkup at Aimee Imbeau’s blog. Click the image to head there!
Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Tea and Word Tuesday, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, Recharge Wednesday, Porch Stories Linkup, Welcome Heart, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Encouraging Word Wednesday, Sitting Among Friends, Destination Inspiration, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Moments of Hope, Grace and Truth, Faith and Friends, Faith on Fire Friday, Fresh Market Friday, and DanceWithJesusFriday
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