Romance is a feeling of excitement and mystery associated with love. In marriage, romance is the thoughtfulness to break up the normal everyday life to remind your spouse that you are thinking of them and love them. Every husband and wife needs romance in marriage. Some have more of a desire for physical romance, while others have a deep desire for emotional romance. Here is the thing, one is not more important than the other. BOTH physical romance and emotional romance are necessary for marriage.
In this episode of Marriage After God we discuss the differences of physical and emotional romance and give practical ways a husband and wife can break up every day to initiate romance in marriage.
Watch this episode:
Aaron Smith: Hey, we’re Aaron and Jennifer Smith, with Marriage After God.
Jennifer Smith: Helping you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.
Aaron Smith: Today, we’re going to talk about our need for romance, both physical and emotional. Thanks for joining us today. Make sure to hit the subscribe button so you subscribe to our channel. Also hit the little notification bell next to the subscribe button so you get notified whenever we upload a new video.
Jennifer Smith: We also love hearing from you guys, so be sure to leave a comment if anything we say spurs an idea or you have an opinion about what we’re talking about, please leave a comment.
Aaron Smith: First thing we’re going to talk about is, of course, the differences, which might be pretty obvious, but we just want to bring it up before we start.
Jennifer Smith: I just want to say that we’re not here to pick the battle for you of which one’s more important. We’re not talking about physical being more important than emotional or vice versus. We’re here to just talk about the differences, share our perspectives and our needs that we’ve had in our marriage, and how we’ve wrestled with this one a little bit. I know it’s not easy going to the table to talk about intimacy. It’s not easy to talk about our sexual needs or things that we feel like we’re lacking in marriage, because we don’t want to hurt the other person’s feelings, or sometimes we’re just motivated by anger that we just can’t even get to that conversation. So, our biggest goal with today’s episode is just to bring up the conversation, share what we’ve been through, and hopefully give you guys some encouraging tips and-
Aaron Smith: Biblical perspective, yeah.
Jennifer Smith: Biblical perspective on how to address this in marriage. Again, we’re not talking about which one’s more important here. We’re just talking about that both are so necessary for a marriage after God. Aaron, in our marriage, you tend to have more physical needs, and I need to have more emotional needs. I don’t know if that’s true for every marriage. I doubt it, because we know some people that it’s flip flopped for them, so every marriage is different. But, I thought we could start out by you sharing from your perspective, define what some physical romantic needs are, and then I could describe what some emotional romantic needs are.
Aaron Smith: Yeah. Before I describe the differences, I’d like to say that I think that it would be dangerous for us to think that I have physical needs only, and you have emotional needs only.
Jennifer Smith: True.
Aaron Smith: And that that’s just how we are. I think we need both, both of us.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, I would agree. I would agree.
Aaron Smith: Me getting physical needs met is an emotional thing, also. It’s a chemical thing in my body, it’s a biological thing that we need. It’s a spiritual thing that happens. And then on the other side, the emotional connection that we have, we need both. This isn’t to say like, well, so-and-so needs that, and the other person needs that, and then therefore they have to figure that out. I think we can forget that we need both, together.
Jennifer Smith: I would say just to encourage that thought, that knowing that we both need both is really good for the marriage, because then everything that we pursue and do within our marriage can involve both of those things. It’s not one or the other, it’s not a separated venture. It’s all encompassing and incorporated.
Aaron Smith: The physical, of course, is sex. But not just sex. It’s being touched, it’s being pursued and having that physical pleasure with my wife. That’s a physical need. Often, there’s one or the other spouse, I think it’s very rare that both spouses have the same sexual drive, but regardless of the drive, it’s a necessity, physical connection, intimacy, sex. Sexual connection is spiritual and physical and necessary.
Jennifer Smith: That actually starts before you even get to sex, right? That’s throughout your day, when you’re holding hands with each other or you walk by each other in the kitchen and somebody touches each other. It’s a constant [crosstalk 00:03:51].
Aaron Smith: Which goes to the emotional side of things, which is why I said that they’re both necessary, is what kind of relationship, which we’ve walked in this for a season, of just fulfilling the one person’s needs and the other part of it, the emotional part of it’s not there. It’s a very cold thing. It’s just sex without the emotion, it’s sex without the affection, sex without the connection, and that’s not what God desires for us as a marriage after God. He desires oneness, he desires one flesh, he desires us to be intimate and close and loving and cherishing.
Yeah, like you said, the physical act, sometimes it’s just, hey, let’s just get this over with. The more healthy way to approach it is, it is happening throughout the day. Sex and physical intimacy is happening throughout the day, as in me telling you that I love you, me touching you in the middle of the day and reminding you that I’m thinking about you. That’s what you’re talking about leading up to the intimacy time. It’s happening way before that.
Jennifer Smith: Yep. On the emotional side of things, it’s showing those romantic gestures, it’s connectedness and talking to each other and knowing where your hearts are at. When I think about emotional needs, it’s kind of like in order to get to sex, you have to get some other stuff out of the way. You have to be able to have your hearts free and clear of contention and strife and just hard things-
Aaron Smith: And being one together and on the same page.
Jennifer Smith: Again, it goes back to that oneness and being together. I do want to share something from our experience that I think I could add to this. When you’re talking about physical needs, there’s been times where you share with me, “I just want you to want me.” I wanted to share that because-
Aaron Smith: The conversation’s come up a couple times.
Jennifer Smith: It’s been a few times. It’s because I don’t pursue you in a physical way like I should, like we talked about, throughout the day. You shared with me how this idea of wanting me or me wanting you comes in many different forms, but one of them-
Aaron Smith: Not just fulfilling for me the task that I’m looking for.
Jennifer Smith: Right, it’s not just to get it over with, but it is to come up behind you and massage your shoulders or kiss you, or all the different physical affectionate ways that I can show you my love and my wanting you.
Aaron Smith: And also pursuing me sexually.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah. Initiating.
Aaron Smith: Yeah, initiating.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah.
Aaron Smith: It is a huge thing, and again, that’s the emotional side of things. I’m not in a relationship with my wife for the sake of just getting my needs met. It can feel that way if I’m just looking for a sexual gratification. Like, “Oh, just take care of me.” You know?
Jennifer Smith: Yeah.
Aaron Smith: That’s not reality, and that may be the case every once in a while, just because of time and life and all these people that are watching are experiencing the same thing, just the constraints of life. But, knowing that you desire me, knowing that you want to be with me and want to initiate with me, because you want me is the emotional spiritual connection that I desire. It’s not just the act.
Jennifer Smith: Right, right.
Aaron Smith: On the physical side.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, and on the flip side to this, I would say that we’ve had conversations about me explaining to you that I want you to know where I’m at first. I want you to ask me how my day was, like if I’m in the bath before bed, I want you to come in-
Aaron Smith: And talk to you.
Jennifer Smith: And talk to me-
Aaron Smith: Engage with you.
Jennifer Smith: And just engage with me, so that it’s not just-
Aaron Smith: Have adult conversation time.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, so that it’s not just jumping into bed and getting to it, but that there is that face-to-face time. We’ve had different kinds of conversations surrounding sexual intimacy and romance and the things that we need. I would say that that’s the most important thing that we want to encourage our listeners with today, is just to be willing to go into that conversation and share each other’s needs, share the different types of things that could be encouraging to your heart. Whether they’re emotional or physical, and make sure that you guys take that conversation and then use it to implement the things that are needed.
Aaron Smith: That would be the first place we would invite you guys to start with, is talking about this. We do this on almost every episode, this idea of communication. Say what is going on in your heart and talk about it.
Jennifer Smith: And don’t-
Aaron Smith: Not for the purpose of fighting and saying, “You never do this.”
Jennifer Smith: I was going to say, don’t wait until you’re so frustrated and fed up that it just comes out in an explosion of emotions. We are called to have self-control, and I think that if we can get to the point of the issue before our hearts get to that hard place, it’ll be much easier for us, and that practicing of constant communication is so, so valuable, especially situations like this, where we’re talking about intimate things.
Aaron Smith: Yeah. So, the first scripture I want to bring up is in 1 Corinthians. It’s 1 Corinthians, chapter seven. I’m going to read a few verses here, but I want to get at it. We could talk about his needs, her needs, and physical, emotional, and how do we balance that? But I think it’s important … I don’t think it’s important, I know it’s important to recognize that this isn’t just a suggestion. This isn’t just like a, well, figure it out on your own basis, and maybe sex isn’t important to you guys, and maybe … There’s something that we need to recognize, that there is an actual order, and there’s a responsibility, and there’s a calling in our marriage for this area. Let me just read this.
It says in 1 Corinthians, chapter seven, “Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: ‘It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.’ But because the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer, but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.”
So, that was a lot of scripture, but the first part I want to talk about, he said it’s good for a man not have sexual relations with a woman. He’s talking about this idea outside of marriage. He’s saying it’s good to remain celibate and to remain pure. He says, but because of our natural inclinations, our natural passions, because of temptations and because of sexual immortality that’s in the world, he says we should have our own wives. It says that each wife should have her own husband.
Then it goes into actually the perspective as husbands and wives that we should have by the command of the lord, by the word of God, on our relationship with each other and our physical relationship with each other. He says that the woman’s body is not her own, but her husband’s. My wife doesn’t have authority over her own body. Meaning, nope, I will only let you touch me when I say you can, I will only have sex with you when I’m ready, I will only have …
Jennifer Smith: Using it as a weapon, almost, or controlling it.
Aaron Smith: When we talk about oneness, it’s the opposite of that. Its’ saying, actually, you have no say in my body. On the other side, I have no say in my body. That the authority of my body is my wife’s. The idea is that we’re one. This sounds like a hard scripture, because it is hard, because we’re learning this idea of oneness, and it’s a daily sanctification process. It’s a daily walk of learning what this looks like in marriage.
I say this with hopefully that you guys are walking with discernment in this and that you guys are both yielding your hearts to the holy spirit and to God, that you would say, okay, we don’t know how this looks, but we’re going to actually say, okay, lord, help us walk in this. Because this could be abused, and I know people have abused this. Of me saying, oh, your body’s not yours. It’s mine. I can do what I want with it.
But if I just take that stance, first of all, I’m forgetting that it also says my body’s not my own. I’m also forgetting that it tells me to walk in an understanding way, as it says in 1 Peter, with my wife. I also forget that it says to love my wife as Christ loves the church, giving himself up for her. I also forget that it says in the Bible to consider others as more important than yourselves, and to not only consider my own needs, but the needs of others.
I would literally throw out the rest of the Bible that it tells me to do, and I’m just trying to use this scripture to control my wife, is not how this is meaning. It’s not what this is meaning. But what it’s saying is that our perspective on each other is that, wow, my body’s my wife’s. My wife’s body is mine. And we are one, one flesh. How have we walked in this? This has been a journey for us, and we’re still on it.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, for those listening that know our story, it’s wrapped up in a lot of turmoil when it comes to sexual intimacy. We’ve struggled in that area, and even though we have had healing and have been able to enjoy sexual intimacy, still, mentally and emotionally, it can become a hard thing, especially in and out of seasons of pregnancy and postpartum and everything, so it has been hard. But, I think that knowing this verse and God bringing it up to our hearts in the midst of our needs, I think that we have done a really good job of reminding each other of what our needs are and where we’re at with each other, and to pursue each other.
Aaron Smith: The first thing is, is recognizing that this is not something that you get to choose your own way of doing it. That the Bible tells us to not withhold from our spouses. This happens on both sides.
Jennifer Smith: For different reasons.
Aaron Smith: It happens on many different levels, but it says. It says, “Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement and for a limited time.” So, there’s so many different reasons why we might deprive each other, and it’s always in agreement. Not-
Jennifer Smith: I was going to say, I think that part’s so important, to realize that it’s in agreement. That you’re still maintaining that oneness and that intimacy of, we are a single unit and our bodies are not our own.
Aaron Smith: So, the limited time thing, the idea is that together, we’ve decided like, hey, there’s going to be a season. Maybe it’s postpartum, which happens. There’s four months-
Jennifer Smith: Or other things-
Aaron Smith: Or three months-
Jennifer Smith: Other physical health issues.
Aaron Smith: Or there’s health issues. Or, there’s actual geographic separation. We’ve known couples that are in the military-
Jennifer Smith: We go through seasons of that.
Aaron Smith: Or firemen that are gone for a while, or there’s lots of different … Truckers. But, again, it all comes back to agreement. Both having the understanding of, hey, while I’m away, I’m going to keep myself pure, because it’s not my body, it’s my wife’s.
Jennifer Smith: And what else? Pray for each other.
Aaron Smith: And you pray for each other. It says for prayer, for other reasons. So, it’s essentially saying, maybe you’re going to take a season of fasting for the purpose of prayer or distance or these things, but we’ve agreed upon it. And then it says, but come back together. There’s a safety and a protection in having a mutual understanding and a mutual agreement in how our physical intimacy is going to be played out in our marriage.
Jennifer Smith: What’s great about that is the agreement requires communication, so you’re talking to each other about it, and it’s not like one person is just-
Aaron Smith: Back to the communication.
Jennifer Smith: I know. It’s not just that one person has set up in their mind, oh, this just isn’t going to happen for this season or right now, and the other person has no idea. Right? I think that it’s really important that going back to that agreement, it requires communication.
Aaron Smith: Yeah, imagine how that would be if I just kind of stopped talking to you intimately and stopped touching you and asking how your day was, and I just stopped doing that and in my mind-
Jennifer Smith: All the sudden, my insecurities would rise up.
Aaron Smith: And I’m just assuming everything’s fine, and I’m not … I’m like, I don’t need to. She knows how I feel, which happens. And you’re just sitting over there like, what’s going on? Does he not love me anymore? And I’m not telling her, or I just kind of decided in my heart, I’m not going to emotionally connect with you.
Jennifer Smith: And the expectations, right? That everybody’s got expectations in marriage. We’re constantly wrestling with those. Those flare up, too, when something like that happens.
Aaron Smith: Yeah, like, wait a minute. Something’s going on. But, look on the flip side. Let’s say you in your heart, you’ve just decided, I’m just not in the mood for the next few days or week or month, and you just kind of avoid me sexually. And we’ve gone through seasons on both sides of this scenario of that happening, and it just tears us apart. We just … It tears apart our spiritual strength and connection, it tears apart our oneness, and our-
Jennifer Smith: Emotional stability in the home.
Aaron Smith: And like this says-
Jennifer Smith: We get-
Aaron Smith: It says, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. The other thing that happens when we do this, when we just kind of deprive each other?
Jennifer Smith: We get frustrated with each other.
Aaron Smith: We give Satan a foothold in our marriage and an ability to tempt us. Me with my temptations, not that this is an excuse, like my wife not fulfilling a sexual need of mine isn’t an excuse. It doesn’t give me any justification or right, but it absolutely puts me in danger of stronger temptation and falling into sin. That’s the whole point of this, of coming together and being one. Like we talked about last episode, is that we actually care about our ministry, as a married couple, for the kingdom of heaven. It’s not just what I need and what I want, and like, oh, I don’t like … No, we’re considering, hey, this is actually good for our marriage that we think this way, that we’re one in this way, because it protects us. It strengths us. There’s so many, just on the physical side of things, biological benefits from sex.
Jennifer Smith: For both people-
Aaron Smith: Better sleep, less stress, you’re healthier. So, God actually made sex a thing that makes us healthier the more we have it, so it’s a good thing. Then the emotional side of things, it makes us spiritually healthy and spiritually connected. She just knows throughout the day whether I even use a word, that she knows by my actions and the way I’m pursuing her and the special things I’m doing, that she knows she’s loved and cherished.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, that’s true. Which leads us to the next verse that we were going to bring up today, which is Ephesians 5:25 through 30.
Aaron Smith: So this is the famous marriage scripture, 5:25 through 30. It starts at 22, but we’re going to start at verse 25. It says, “Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” Now, listen to this verse. In verse 28, “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body.”
So as we just read in 1 Corinthians that you don’t have authority over your own body but it’s mine, and I don’t have authority over my body, it’s yours, again, going back to that oneness. We’re one flesh. We are together. And that we think that way. This is, again, saying to the husbands, but the idea is, so it says, “In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies,” because we’re one. It says, “For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it.” When I think of the word nourish and cherish, it’s this idea of a plant. You’re watering it, you’re feeding it, you’re protecting it, and then cherish, you’re taking care of it, it’s in the special place in the house, it’s got your attention and mind and your heart.
I think of that on the emotional side of things, because we talked a lot about the physical side of things, but the emotional side of things is just as important, because it’s a part of the physical. Cherishing you and nourishing you and you doing the same to me, because we cherish and nourish our own bodies, so why wouldn’t we do it to our spouse? We want to just talk about this emotional connection side. You’re definitely a much more emotionally connected person. You desire emotional connection, you desire that romance, the whimsical, the out of the ordinary, which is the idea of romance, anyways, taking something out of the ordinary and putting into the extraordinary, getting out of the mundane.
Jennifer Smith: I was going to say, I just want to interrupt to just say that romance is so necessary for a marriage after God, because we can get so good at being focused on what our work is or what our job is or what the things are that are set before us that we’ve agreed are our priorities and that we need to be doing-
Aaron Smith: We’re just going.
Jennifer Smith: And we’re just going. And the schedule’s working, and the communication’s working, and everything’s going, but then you look at each other and you realize you haven’t looked at each other the way you did when you first started dating in a really long time. I think that’s really important.
Aaron Smith: Or haven’t looked at each other for a given amount of time at all. Like, hey, how are you doing? Hey, where’s your heart at? Hey, how can I bless you today? Hey, how can I treat you special today? You’re right. The romance is … That’s a word that we use in today’s society, but the idea is just, it’s doing something to break the normal, so that it doesn’t just feel like the everyday, we just keep going, and we’re going, and we’re going, and I forgot to look at you, and I forgot to snap you out of the ordinary and the normal to remind me. I was like, hey, actually, I’m thinking about you.
Jennifer Smith: What’s so great about that is the breaking up of the ordinary is that moments of thoughtfulness where I feel cherished, because I now that my husband’s mind is on me. I feel valued, and the same is true for you, like when I do small gestures throughout the day. Whether it’s physical affection or emotional connectedness, you know that I’m thinking about you, I’m considering you, I want you, I want to be near you, and I want to be with you.
Aaron Smith: Yeah. What are some ideas? We want to give you guys a little bit of practical stuff. We’re not going to give extravagant romantic gestures, because you can come up with those. There’s tons of those.
Jennifer Smith: That would actually be a great conversation for you guys to go home and talk about, is what are some ways that you can feed each other’s spirits and hearts through gestures? That’s a really great thing for you to do.
Aaron Smith: So, what are some ideas? What are everyday ideas?
Jennifer Smith: We just came up with a few, but simple things like lighting candles in the bedroom. I went to Hobby Lobby and I got these sconce things to go on the walls, because-
Aaron Smith: And they just screwed right into the wall [crosstalk 00:21:26].
Jennifer Smith: But it’s really nice, because it keeps it away from any of the kids, it’s not on end tables or anything, and there’s just two of them, but they’re kind of big, and they light up the room. It gives you that romantic feel. I think that’s a nice one.
Aaron Smith: You like it when you come in or you get out of the shower and the candle’s already going, and you’re like-
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, I’m like, oh.
Aaron Smith: Like oh, he’s doing something different tonight.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah. Again, thoughtfulness. Putting music, a playlist together, that is romantic for the two of you, that you would appreciate so that it’s not just silent. Plan a fun date night. If you know that you have a physical need of wanting to go to sex, plan a fun date night ahead of time, where you guys are just laughing and playing and having a good time of that connectedness.
Aaron Smith: Connecting emotionally, yeah.
Jennifer Smith: Face-to-face, sometimes we jump into bed and we both know we need sex, but we need to talk first, and I have some things that I need to get off my chest.
Aaron Smith: Yeah, and the lights are off, and you can’t see each other, and-
Jennifer Smith: And sometimes I just turn my phone on and be like, “Hey, can we just chat for a second?” So just make sure that you’re getting that face-to-face time. Taking a bath together. There’s been times when you come in and you just sit on the edge of the bath and-
Aaron Smith: And chat or play with your hair.
Jennifer Smith: You’ll wash my hair for me or turn it into a back massage. Doing different things like that can be really playful and include both physical and emotional connectedness.
Aaron Smith: I have an idea of just along the lines of physical but it’s more like a foreplay, massage. Like a foot massage, “Hey, I’d love to, can I give you a neck massage?”
Jennifer Smith: That’s good.
Aaron Smith: On the wife to the husband side or vice versus, you actually love massages. But just starting physically without it immediately going to the main event, you know?
Jennifer Smith: Yeah.
Aaron Smith: And taking the time to be like, “Hey, I want you to know I like to touch you, and I want to make you feel good, and I want to encourage you.” And while I’m massaging you, I can ask you, how’s life? How are you? Is there anything in your heart and mind? And just massaging you or you massaging me.
Jennifer Smith: That’s really good. Another idea that we came up with was just making the bed and then putting a chocolate on each pillow. That’s just, again, you walk in the room and you’re like, oh, somebody was thinking of me-
Aaron Smith: Yeah, it’s whimsical. It’s like, wait.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah. It breaks up the ordinary, right?
Aaron Smith: Yeah.
Jennifer Smith: That’s our goal with all of these, it’s just simple ways of kind of surprising your spouse and making them know that you’re thinking of them, that you want them, and that you want to be with them.
Aaron Smith: One that you’ve used a lot in the past, and I really enjoy it because you know I love to be affirmed with words. She’ll stick little notes in my lunch or when I went to Africa, you put a note in almost every-
Jennifer Smith: Every pocket I could find in your backpack.
Aaron Smith: So every time I’d unroll a shirt, there was a new note of you just encouraging me and reminding me of some scripture and praying for me and telling me that you love me. I know that you enjoy that. There’s been times that I’ll write a note on the mirror while you’re in the shower, and you get out and while you’re drying your hair, you see the note. You feel special, and you’re like, oh my gosh, he came in here out of his way, wrote a little love note to me real quick. These are just things that remind your spouse that they’re on your mind and heart, and it cherishes them and nourishes them. It lets them know that they’re thought of, that they’re not just on the back burner, that they’re not just there to fulfill a need when you need it, but that you’re on the same team and that you care.
The idea is that I cherish and nourish you, just like I would cherish and nourish my own body. But that we do it together. All those emotional little things that you could do for your spouse are all a part of the whole intimacy and romance and the part of the physical and emotional connection that is really the glue that makes us stronger and stronger in our one flesh.
Jennifer Smith: Again, going back to, it protects your marriage. It protects your marriage unity, and where you guys are at, where your hearts are at, because intimacy requires vulnerability, and that opening up of you can have me and I can have you. I know you and you know me, and in order to have a really strong, intimate relationship, you have to be able to have that vulnerability happening regularly.
Aaron Smith: Just the last thing I want to point out in this adventure of as you sit down together and you decide, hey, we need to talk about this, what are some things that we could just to add romance and add emotional affection and add physical connection? Because they’re all important. The physical one’s a command. The emotional part is a necessity for the command. As you talk about that, recognize some things. When we would talk about things, you’d give me an idea of something romantic I could do, but then also, there would be times I would do it, and you would struggle with it, because you were like, oh, I told you. I don’t want to have to tell you what to do, I want you to just come up with it.
Jennifer Smith: Just read my mind.
Aaron Smith: So what I’m getting at is, being okay having to talk about it. Being okay of having to present to your spouse, here’s some ideas that would really make me feel special.
Jennifer Smith: And it doesn’t lessen the value when they do it. What it means is that they’re listening and they care so much that they’re actually going to implement the things that-
Aaron Smith: They’re going to try it, yeah.
Jennifer Smith: That help you.
Aaron Smith: So, receive it. Learn how to receive it, and to look at it and be like, wow. They’re going out of their way to try some things. Also to know that none of these things are inherently natural to us, even though sex should be natural, actually, it’s something that you have to work on. It’s something that you have to build and strengthen. Emotional connection, there’s stuff that we have to build and strengthen. We have to walk in the spirit and say, okay, lord. I want to be this for my spouse, so that we can be stronger, so that our ministry for you is protected and strengthened and that we can just be so close and so one.
That’s the goal. The goal is not just to get what I need and just get you what you need, because that’s what it can feel like. All that is is doing this, is just fighting each other. But walking together, communicating, being on the same page, saying we’re going to do these things because it’s good for both of us and that it’s a necessity and that it’s a command, and it’s something that the lord desires for us is what were going to pursue together. That’s what a marriage after God does, you know?
Jennifer Smith: That’s good. I do want to just really quickly, I know we’re at the end of the episode, but one thing that I think going into whether it’s physical or emotional romance, one of the hardest things is initiation. I think that we’ve struggled-
Aaron Smith: On both sides.
Jennifer Smith: We’ve had our fair share of this, yes, big time. Where I haven’t initiated in a while, and that trips you up, and then you don’t want to initiate, or whatever the thing is-
Aaron Smith: Or I’m silently sitting back waiting, like, oh, I wonder when she’s going to …
Jennifer Smith: Yeah. And so-
Aaron Smith: Sabotaging us.
Jennifer Smith: I’m just bringing that up not to further this conversation anymore, because I feel like we’ve given you guys a lot to go home and talk about, but I do want to say, don’t let fear or anger or frustration or bitterness or any sort of emotion keep you from initiating, and also, don’t wait for the other person to initiate. Be bold, be courageous, be someone who is willing to love your spouse no matter what, even if it takes them six months to get to the point where they’re initiating, be what you want.
Aaron Smith: Well, I guarantee, and I can’t really guarantee, but imagine if every day, I was intentional and I pursued you emotionally and I was just filling that up in you. It would be nearly impossible for you to not want to reciprocate.
Jennifer Smith: It’s true.
Aaron Smith: It’s just natural. You’re like, this is … What’s going on?
Jennifer Smith: Yeah.
Aaron Smith: And this leads me to a tip and a strategy on this idea of initiation. I’ve tried to walk in this, and I know you’ve tried to walk in this, I’m not perfect at it. It’s something that it’s a talent that I’m trying to build. When it tells us to consider others as more important or to consider the needs of others, there’s oftentimes that the moment I get the thought of, well, she hasn’t pursued me in a while, and why won’t she just come and be with me? When I started to think about what she needs to change in towards me, I use that as a trigger to remind me that it’s probably something I need to change in, too, because we’re one. So, what I’ll do, and I’ve tried to … You’ve noticed.
Jennifer Smith: I’ve noticed.
Aaron Smith: The moment I think, man, I wish she would just pursue me, it’s been a while-
Jennifer Smith: You start doing-
Aaron Smith: I pursue her.
Jennifer Smith: You start stepping up in those specific areas.
Aaron Smith: I take the responsibility and I say, okay, instead of trying to go change her and serve me, I use it as a prompting to serve her. I say, well, I bet you I haven’t been pursuing her emotionally, so I go out of my way. I set the candles, I draw her a bath, I put some music on, I put some essential oils on. I say, hey, I got the kids, go take an hour. And she recognizes it. And I’ll remind her in the moment, hey, I’m not trying to get this to lead anywhere, because I don’t want to have expectations and requirements on when I do something special for you, you owe me. That’s not what I’m trying to do for her. I just use the moment that I’m thinking that you haven’t given me what I deserve to remind me that I should give you what you deserve.
Jennifer Smith: And what does that do for your heart?
Aaron Smith: Well, it changes my heart, because it reminds me to be more Christ-like, because Christ came to serve, not to be served.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah, and it blocks those negative emotions of bitterness and frustration.
Aaron Smith: Yeah. And you know what it does? It usually ends up in my benefit.
Jennifer Smith: Yeah.
Aaron Smith: Not that I-
Jennifer Smith: It stops the crazy cycle.
Aaron Smith: I don’t do it with that mentality. I tell myself, whether she gives me what I want or not, I’m going to do this for her. It’s called leading by example. If I desire her to do it for me, I should do it for her. And so, the moment I think, oh, she doesn’t, or why doesn’t she, I wish she would, I do it. I say, okay, I’m going to pursue her romantically. I’m going to … Then you’ve taken my example and then you do it. You think to yourself, oh, I need this, and then you start pursuing me in that way.
So, I hope you can use that as a tip in your own marriage. The moment you think those negative thoughts towards your spouse, why they’re not giving you what you deserve or what you need or what they’re supposed to give you through the word of God-
Jennifer Smith: Flip it around.
Aaron Smith: Flip it around in yourself and say, okay, I’m going to lead by example on this. I’m going to go and do for her what I would desire to do for me. What’s the golden rule?
Jennifer Smith: That’s good. That’s really good.
Aaron Smith: Do unto others as you would have them do to you, so just apply the golden rule in the area of romance and intimacy, physical and emotional connection. And I promise you, it’ll benefit you. If anything, it’ll make your heart right before God, and it’ll make you closer to him, and he’ll bless you, because he loves us being obedient to his word.
Jennifer Smith: Thank you so much for joining us on this episode. We hope that it encourages you guys to consider your romance, to consider your physical and emotional needs, and talk about it with one another. We love you guys, and we hope that you’re encouraged this week.
Aaron Smith: Yes. See you next week. Did you enjoy today’s show? Find many more encouraging stories and resources at marriageaftergod.com, and let us help you cultivate an extraordinary marriage.