Why Romance is Important
FamilyLife Today® Radio Transcript
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Creating A More Romantic Marriage
Day 1 of 8
Guest: Dennis Rainey
From the series: Why Romance is Important
(Nat King Cole singing "L-O-V-E")
Bob: Believe it or not, this is FamilyLife Today. Our host is best-selling author and conference speaker, Dennis Rainey. I'm Bob Lepine. Stay with us as we talk about L-O-V-E today on FamilyLife Today.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today. Thanks for joining us on the broadcast.
Dennis: Do you think our listeners know who Nat King Cole is, Bob?
Bob: Oh, yeah, everybody knows who Nat King Cole is. I bought a two-record collection when I was in college, just because I thought, "He's got the smoothest voice, it's the most romantic music I've ever heard."
Dennis: Well, you know, we also have a lot of romantic adventures at our FamilyLife Marriage Conference, and I've got a letter here from a conferee couple who attended the Phoenix FamilyLife Marriage Conference – I think this was back in 1991. This is a classic, keeper letter from the archives of the thousands of attendees who have been to our conference.
Bob: Now, this is on hotel stationery, right?
Dennis: That's right – the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale. "Dear Dennis, when you suggested last night for us to be more creative in our romance, you never gave us the warning that it could be dangerous." Then in all capital letters, it reads, "RULE NUMBER 1 – ALWAYS BE PREPARED! AT LEAST WITH A SPARE KEY" – and now the rest of the story.
"After dinner and the sunset, we decided to take your advice and to add a little romance and be a little daring. Staying here at the hotel, we crept out onto our fourth-floor balcony for an incredibly romantic view, not to mention some privacy. Unbeknown to us, while we were 'communicating' and 'learning more about each other,' the maid was inside our bedroom, turning down our bedsheets for us. She did not know we were on the balcony. We did not know she was in the room. Maybe you can guess the rest. She locked the sliding glass door." It is signed, "Two lovers, romantic sky, and lots of privacy. Embarrassed from California."
Bob: So you have no idea how they ever got back in, huh?
Dennis: Your mind is only left to wonder – how did they get back in, there on the fourth floor of the hotel?
Bob: Well, that is a part of what we hope will be a romantic evening for couples at the FamilyLife Marriage Conference, but we hope that's not the end of romantic evenings for couples.
Dennis: Well, we really talk about FamilyLife Marriage Conference, taking Saturday and making it an adventure. That's not the kind of adventure we're talking about. We are talking about adding romance to your relationship, and I think at our conferences across the United States, that's what a lot of couples really seen infused back into their marriage relationship through all the teachings of scripture that build intimacy in their marriage relationship, they better understand how to relate to each other as husband and wife, and what I wanted to do, Bob, was I wanted to take the next few days, prior to Valentine's Day, and I wanted us to talk about the all-important subject of romance.
Bob: Now, you call it an all-important subject. You kind of get the feel that romance is something that's a part of the courtship process. After marriage, romance just doesn't seem like it has the same, you know –
Dennis: – sizzle.
Bob: Yeah, yeah.
Dennis: Yeah, that's right. Well, let me just read something from Song of Solomon, okay? Song of Solomon, chapter 1, verse 2 – "May he kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine; your oils have a pleasing fragrance; your name is like purified oil; therefore, the maidens love you. Draw me after you."
Now, here's the Shulamite woman who is attracted to Solomon. She is wanting her husband as the bride, and, you know, it's interesting that our God devoted an entire book of the 66 books that are in the inspired Word of God to this subject of romantic love, and one of the reasons why I wanted to talk about this is I think Christians are afraid of the subject, Bob. I think we're afraid to address this whole area of romantic love in marriage even though our God thought it all up in the first place.
Bob: Some people have suggested that Song of Solomon is a parable showing us God's love for Israel or Jesus' love for His church. You're saying that God put it in the Bible to talk about the romantic relationship between a husband and wife?
Dennis: I wonder about the people who say that – if they really read the verses, because they've got to do away with a lot of physical imagery that doesn't leave that much to the imagination. I mean, it's clear they're talking about the whole area of romantic and sexual love in a marriage relationship.
Bob: Is romance really important for a marriage? I mean, can't a marriage survive just fine for 30 or 40 years and not have a whole lot of sizzle and spark to it?
Dennis: Well, I think marriages can survive, I think that's a key word, but will they be what God intended? I say not. One of the things that happens in a marriage relationship is if we don't have romance, something that adds excitement and adventure, intrigue, thrill, I think we get caught up in the negative about our spouse, and when you begin to focus on the negative and the faults of the other person, that relationship begins to spiral downward. And one of the reasons why I think Valentine's is such an important time of the year, especially for the Christian marriages, is to remind us that we ought to be making this subject of romance a part of our everyday diet in our marriage relationship.
The Bible speaks about, over in Proverbs, chapter 5, verse 15 and then 18 through 19, that a man was to be captured by his wife's sexual powers. He was to be captivated by his wife. That's a powerful image to be literally captured by your spouse. The Bible is talking about this as far as thrill, excitement, adventure, an emotional excitement that I think sets a marriage apart from just a pure friendship. I mean, Barbara is my friend, but there is a side of our friendship that goes way beyond just two friends who are pals to two people who, yes, share a marriage bed together and who dream thoughts and share intimacies that are shared with nobody else on this planet, and that's what God intended, I believe, in the marriage relationship.
Bob: Well, now, you've got 50 percent of your audience listening to you, goin', "Preach it, Brother Rainey. Yes, amen."
Dennis: And what sex might they be?
Bob: Well, some of 'em are women who are saying, "Yes, talk to my husband and teach him how to be more romantic with me," and others are men saying, "Yes, talk to my wife." It's interesting that opposites attract in this area.
Dennis: Well, you know, therein lies a real problem in discussing this, because I'll just let our listeners in on some research we did out of our FamilyLife Marriage Conference. We researched over 800 of our conferees at three different FamilyLife Marriage Conferences last spring about how they viewed romance, and, I've got to tell you, men and women view it through a different set of eyes. A woman looks at romance through the eyes of intimacy, relationship, warmth. It's that connectedness of the soul and emotions, heart-to-heart. And the men looked at romance – well, how shall we say it? It was one word – sex. And you see what God is up to here, because he made us different. We are to depend upon each other, and in the process of being different, I think what God wants to do is cause both of us to love each other where we are.
You see what God is up to here, is I think God is wanting to knock the edges off of me, as a man, and our male listeners, learning how to love their wives in a way that communicates love so that she feels love – not how we feel about love or what communicates love to us as men but instead learning to put on the side of love that meets a wife at that relational point of need, and there are a lot of men today who I think are frustrated sexually in their marriage relationships, primarily – listen carefully – primarily because they still have not learned how to meet their wives' emotional needs so she can be released to meet her husband's needs.
Bob: Mm-hm. I've had Mary Ann from time to time say to me, "I just don't feel like we've had an opportunity to talk with one another over the last two or three days," and for a wife that is a sign of drift in the marriage relationship, isn't it?
Dennis: Yeah, and I've had that same conversation with Barbara as well. I think the reason God gave us romance is He gave us a mysterious emotional love that we were to experience together as a couple. Even Webster's definition of romance, which talks about excitement, love, adventure – all those words, I think, are