I’m so excited that Bethlie Young (wife of Evangelist David Young) agreed to do a guest post for The Little Years blog. I’m even more delighted that she chose to write on the subject of marriage. This is written mostly to us younger wives, both those with children and those without. I know you’ll enjoy this great read!
An introduction to Bethlie…
Bethlie Young is wife, lover, and best-friend to her husband David and mommy and educator to Abbie, Josh, Matt, Jake, and Charity. She and David were married in 1993, and she has served alongside of David in revival campaigns since the Fall of 1994. In addition to being a wife, mommy, and educator, she also speaks to, ministers to, and mentors ladies from all parts of the country and from all walks of life. She has had a major role in the music portion of their revival ministry and diligently endeavors to help her family live their life verse: “serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2).
Romance in Marriage
Kids, Candles, and Lingerie
When David and I were first married, I would hear older couples comment that, “You really need to work on your marriage.” Quite honestly, I thought, “What is there to work on?!” SERIOUSLY, we were on this perpetual honeymoon, full of smiles and sighs and kisses and “I love you’s” and…you get the picture.
Fast forward three years, two babies born 14 months apart, a full travel schedule (my husband is an evangelist who travels and preaches), nursing, diapers, nursing, all the laundry, nursing, diapers, kissing of boo-boo’s, nursing, diapers, cleaning, nursing, fixing of food, diapers, nursing…and oh, did I mention nursing? Diapers? I got out of bed exhausted and went to bed exhausted, and I started to have this tiny hope in my heart that my husband would be exhausted too. Oooooh, I figured out what we have to work on…
You may be wondering, “Does romance really need to be a priority? I mean, don’t all couples eventually, kind of, you know, get over that? Isn’t it okay that we’re friends? Now that we have these kiddos, it can be really hard to pull out the candles and lingerie…” Well, Biblically speaking, um, frankly, no. According to the Bible, our romantic involvement with our husbands is the only thing that sets our relationship apart from other relationships.
“According to the Bible, our romantic involvement with our husbands is the only thing that sets our relationship apart from other relationships.”
Consider Genesis 1:27-28, where God created man and woman. He brought them together…and told them to be fruitful and multiply. (My husband likes to point out here that God told them to be romantic before they did anything else. This makes me smile. And also realize how important to David our romance life is…but more on that later.)
Consider Genesis 2:24-25. Read it. Yes, it’s quite frank. We are one. We have no reason for shame.
Consider Proverbs 5:18-19. Again, it’s quite frank. And it is written to husbands, to caution them about keeping marriage pure. But it occurred to me one day while reading this passage, that it would be very difficult for David to be a “satisfied” and “ravished” man if I wasn’t being a “loving hind and pleasant roe.” (These are great King James words for playful…this also makes me smile.)
Consider I Corinthians 7:2-5, where we are cautioned to be mindful of each other’s needs…physical, romantic needs…in our marriage.
Consider Hebrews 13:4. Our marriage and romance is honorable. It is holy and pure and wonderful before our God. Wow.
Consider the whole book of Song of Solomon. I know. Scholars can go on and on about the “picture” of Christ and the church or of God and Israel. But read it just as it is. Solomon and Shulamith aren’t just “hanging out” like buds, going out for pizza and bowling, and then heading home for popcorn and a mad game of Dutch Blitz. The whole book is written to show their romantic love-life, and how they worked on it. (BTdubs…as my college kiddos say…there’s nothing wrong with pizza, bowling, or Dutch Blitz.)
“Notice that in all of the Bible, romance is only a marriage thing. And it is encouraged!”
Notice that in all of the Bible, romance is only a marriage thing. And it is encouraged! Notice also that romance is forbidden in any other relationship. Apparently, romance in marriage is something important to God…and important to the health of our marriage! I think romance is Biblically important to marriage for three basic reasons:
- It satisfies the mutual, God-given desires of the husband and wife. If you are a wife, you are very aware that your husband has needs. I have heard wives that are sarcastic and demeaning of their husband’s “constant” thinking about “that.” Be careful. Unhappy marriages can spring from eye-rolling, unwilling wives. Make it your goal to be waiting, willing, and warm for your man. Ironically, wives have desires too. And if we’re not careful, we allow our children’s affection (and the affection we give to them ALL DAY LONG) to take the place of your desire for your husband. I don’t mean this in an evil way. Seriously, after you have nursed and given hugs and received sloppy kisses and cuddled all day long, don’t you feel a bit “over-touched”? But those wonderful, warm moments of mommy-baby time is NOT the same as romantic moments with your husband.
- It keeps harmony in your home. Ever feel as if you and your husband are “at” each other? Ever feel a bit “off” and can’t quite put your finger on why? Ever have a day where your sweet babies get on your very last nerve? And in those days, isn’t sharing a long, meaningful kiss with your husband the last thing on your mind? But girlfriend, it’s probably exactly what you need. I’m not saying that romance is the answer to everything, but romance does help you feel loved, secure, and happy…and it puts a spring in your man’s step as he leaves for work in the morning! This is a win, win for everyone…even those kiddos!
- It is God’s plan for producing children. Yes, you already know that. But it needs to be said for a couple reasons. Romance in marriage is not solely for the purpose of having a baby. There will come a time when your baby days are over. Will you and your husband decide there’s no need for romance? There are couples that God has not blessed with babies. Does that mean they don’t need romance? Also, sometimes in the young mommy years we can allow “worry” about babies keep us from romance…or enjoying romance. And I mean “worry” in both ways: “What if I get pregnant? I’m so busy already!” or “What if I don’t get pregnant? I so desperately want a baby!” Life is of the Lord! He loves you; He loves your marriage; He loves children; He can make you a content…and romantic…wife no matter what.
“Is romance important? Even to God?”
Is romance important? Even to God? YES! It can be difficult to keep lighting those candles and getting out that lacy lingerie when you’re a mommy of littles and OH SO TIRED! Let me assure you, it is worth it. A happy marriage. A habit of time together. A firm foundation of love. A houseful of children secure in their parent’s love for each other. A sweet, fun, flirty relationship that doesn’t get old. Yes, it’s very worth it indeed.