One of the most common misconceptions I have seen/heard about marriage is this “If I marry the right person, the emotions will happen naturally and effortlessly throughout our marriage.” Have you heard that before? Another variation of it is “If my emotions change toward my spouse, I must have married the wrong person.” Nothing can be farther from the truth. Marriage is not a stroll in the park. It is work – real work! You must work at your relationship. Couples often worked hard pursuing each other when dating, but after years of marriage, they often stop working at their relationship.
“Therefore, shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife….”. To “hold fast” or “cleave” in Hebrew means to pursue with energy. It means to” run after it.” Intimacy is always the result of effort. Where you invest yourself, you’ll be passionate. Good marriages don’t just happen automatically-they are the byproduct of long-term, consistent effort. That you are working at your marriage is not a sign that you married the wrong person. No! Everyone who has a great marriage worked at it and still does till now.
Men especially need to pay attention to this law. Men mostly operate the “point system”. The feel that positive events, experiences, and actions should fuel relationships and emotions long term. So, a man buys a flower for his wife and in his mind, that’s a point scored. Help with the dishes, another point. Buy her a gift, maybe 2 points. That could easily be 5 points if the gift is a piece of nice jewelry…. like real gold . The problem is this: all points expire at midnight! You’d need to start a new day on a clean state. The points you scored today will rarely satisfy your wife tomorrow. You’ve got to work at it every day. Your wife wants to hear “I love you” every day. It doesn’t matter if you said it 20 times the previous day. She wants you to recharge her emotional tank on a regular basis. Buying an expensive gift once and expecting that that would cover for the next 3 months is delusionary. You must pursue, daily.
Women can apply this as well. Though men are not stuck on a point system, you’d still need to “pursue” your husband daily. What were the things you did that attracted you to him during the courtship years? Do you still do them? Are you still fun to be with like it used to be? I know some of you reading this are frustrated right now, and maybe you are even about to call it quits. You are saying to yourself “this is not the man I married”! He sure is. Don’t fall into the misconception that if there are no more emotions, or feeling, then you have fallen out of love, and there is no way back. That cannot be true. You need to remember when you both pursued each other, and the things you did at the very beginning that made you fall in love.
Let us offer some suggestions on how you can both practice this law and pursue each other:
How can the man pursue his wife daily?
- Enter and know her inner world: Daily conversations, physical and emotional presence, lending a hand, etc.
- Care for her heart: Reassure her of your love constantly (in words and in action), be playful, flirty and light-hearted at appropriate times
- Have her back in all things: Your wife needs to be secured in every aspect
- Take time to be with her: give her time and attention, plan playtime together, plan date nights uninterrupted by phones and work, be spontaneous.
- Give her your affection: Too much time should not pass in-between hugs, kisses, and “I love you”.
- Be romantic: Get her flowers. Write a note/poem or whatever she likes.
- Pray with her and for her. She needs you leading the family altar.
How can the woman pursue her husband daily?
- Make your home a safe place: Men value peace and tranquility
- Put a filter over your mouth: Let your words communicate respect and honour. This is a mega need for men.
- Pray with him and pray for him: Have prayer times together. Be his prayer warrior and lift him up in prayers.
- Initiate in the bedroom. Men and women are wired differently. He will appreciate it a lot if you’d initiate. Flirt with him.
Please, feel free to share other ideas that you believe will aid the pursuit of your spouse.