How Do You Spell Romantic?, Part 1
About the Guest
God loves a cheerful giver AND a giving lover. Authors Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus give husbands eight surprising ways to be an exciting lover to their wives.
Linda DillowLINDA DILLOW is the author of the bestselling Calm My Anxious Heart, What's It Like To Be Married To Me? and co-author of Intimate Issues. As a missionary in Europe and Asia for seventeen years, she's trained Christian leaders in Russia, Hungary, Poland, and Asia, teaching women and helping them launch women's ministries. Linda is a bargain hunter and can smell a sale a mile away. She and her husband Jody have been married for 48 years and have four children and ten grandchildren.
God loves a cheerful giver AND a giving lover.
How Do You Spell Romantic?, Part 1
Linda: The sexual relationship in the marriage is certainly not the most important part of marriage. It's like the icing on the cake of the marriage.
And when that is really wonderful and exciting, it just adds such a spark to the marriage, whether the romance is just talking or if it involves a sexual relationship, it's important.
Bob: This is FamilyLife Today for Monday, February 2nd. Our host is the president of FamilyLife, Dennis Rainey, and I'm Bob Lepine. So how is the icing on your cake? We'll talk about the romantic relationship in your marriage on today's program. Stay tuned.
And welcome to FamilyLife Today, thanks for joining us on the Monday edition. We're going to talk about romance this week, which ties in with the Love Dare. We've been going for the last four weeks through the book, "The Love Dare," that was part of the movie, "Fireproof," which is now out on DVD, and we've got both the book and the movie here in our FamilyLife Resource Center and, in fact, we are going through this Love Dare in preparation for Valentine's weekend when we kick off our spring season of FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences and a great way to cap off the 40-day Love Dare is to attend one of those conferences so you can look online at FamilyLife.com for more information about when the conference is coming to a city near you. And I know Valentine's weekend, Dennis, you're going to be in the Dallas/Fort Worth area at the Gaylord Texan for the conference that's going on that weekend in that city.
But here is today's Love Dare assignment. It has to do with the right motivation for romance in your marriage. Ephesians 6 says, "Render service with a good attitude as to the Lord and not to men." So your assignment today is before you see your spouse again today, pray for your spouse by name and for his or her needs. Whether it comes easy for you or not, when you see your spouse say "I love you," and then express love to them in some tangible way. And when you're done, go to God in prayer again thanking Him for giving you the privilege of loving this special person unconditionally, the way that He loves both of you.
If you need more information again about the Love Dare, we've got copies of the book in our FamilyLife Resource Center, and today's assignment is online at FamilyLife.com.
Dennis: Bob, what would you think of a guy who was attempting to be romantic who called for a processional on behalf of his wife?
Bob: What do you mean "called for a processional?" Do you look in the yellow pages for a …
Dennis: He hired 60 warriors and soldiers to march in unison, fully armed, fully trained, had additional people dusting perfumes and different powders along the roadway as additional men carried her on a beautiful chair above their shoulders …
Dennis: You with me? That was luxuriously appointed in magnificent oaks and fabrics from faraway places.
Bob: You're talking Cecil B. Demille type romance.
Dennis: I'm talking this is a magnificent romancer.
Bob: Yeah, I'd say this guy either has a lot of time on his hands and too much money, or he is the King of Romance.
Dennis: Well, you got both of them – the wealthiest, wisest man who ever lived – Solomon – did that in Song of Solomon, chapter 3. And he created this magnificent processional, I think, as a part of wooing, romancing, valuing, adoring his wife. And, in the process, Bob, he put you and me completely under a pile.
Bob: This must have been before they were married, because certainly after they were married, he went right to the remote control.
Dennis: Well, actually, Bob, I think what this was, this was actually their wedding day.
Dennis: And I can tell you from reading the rest of the book, it wasn't all downhill from here.
Bob: He didn't let up, huh?
Dennis: Solomon, he was a romanticist. If you want to get some tips on romance, go to the Song of Songs. It is the most romantic book probably that has ever been written. And, you know, we have with us in the studio today the only guest that we have ever had here on the broadcast where so many listeners wrote in and asked not only that they come back – Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus …
Dennis: … back on the broadcast, and as I welcome you back, ladies, you need to know that we had listeners actually write us and tell us that they wanted you back on the broadcast, but they didn't want Bob and me to be there.
Bob: So – we'll see you all, and have a great program, okay?
Dennis: We'll see you. Actually, that's …
Lorraine: That was my mother who wrote in.
Dennis: I wondered where that came from.
Bob: Why doesn't she like me?
Lorraine: She hasn't met you yet, Bob.
Linda: You're a man!
Bob: That's right.
Dennis: Well, as you remember, a couple of years ago, we had them on the broadcast, and it was about their book, "Intimate Issues," and the response was overwhelming. In fact, you guys have sold more than 50,000 copies. You are now holding seminars and retreats all around the country to women on this subject of romance and wives being better at this. It's been a wonderful response, right, ladies?
Linda: It's been an incredible response, Dennis, and we continue to be overwhelmed, but it's time for the church to talk about what God has talked about, and He's – as you said, in the Song of Solomon he's made it very clear that intimacy is something that we can talk about.
Dennis: Well, Lorraine and Linda live in Colorado Springs. Lorraine is the proud mom of two daughters, and she and her husband, Peter, lead Hearts at Home Ministries, which is a ministry encouraging marriage and family relationships. She speaks, writes.
Linda and her husband have served for many years overseas. Linda wrote a book a number of years ago that, if you've got one, it's an antique.
Bob: You need to know I've got a picture of my wife on our honeymoon reading Linda's book, "Creative Counterpart," because there wasn't a whole lot available back when we got married. That was one of the great books, and Mary Ann was ready to be a creative counterpart.
Dennis: If you've got one, it's a collector's item, but if you don't have "Creative Counterpart," you can get their latest book, "Intimate Issues," which is a great book for every woman.
And, Bob, I think some of our younger listeners right now need a little bit of maybe an encouragement to leave, because we're going to talk about romance today.
Bob: Moms and dads are going to need to encourage the younger listeners that parts of the broadcast we're going to be talking about husbands and wives and love and marriage and romance, and some of that may not be appropriate for our younger listeners.
Dennis: That's right – we have created a resource here at FamilyLife that, Bob, I think the married couples who listen to our broadcast really like this. It's called "Simply Romantic Nights."
Bob: It's actually an update of something that our listeners over the years have told us they really like. It's a kit for a year's worth of creative romance for your marriage. There is a little 88-page book in the box that gives you suggestions and thoughts about sparking romance in your marriage. There are a dozen different date ideas in here for a husband to execute over the course of a year with his wife and a dozen different date ideas for a wife to execute for her husband so that once a month each of you are doing something special and creative in a romantic evening together. And each of these dates is going to spark some intimate conversation, and some of these dates may actually go beyond conversation to the full expression of a husband and wife becoming one. Did I say that appropriately, do you think?
Dennis: I think you did. I guess I want to ask you, Linda, first of all, why is romance so important to married couples? Our listeners have heard me talk about this on a number of occasions, but you really believe it is important, don't you?
Linda: I am absolutely convinced it's important, and it's important for the wives and for the husbands. The sexual relationship in the marriage is certainly not the most important part of marriage. It's like the icing on the cake of the marriage, and when that is really wonderful and exciting, it just adds such a spark to the marriage. When it's not good, it becomes the most important thing, and all the focus goes there.
And so whether the romance is just talking or if it involves the sexual relationship, it's important, and people are busy today, they need creative ideas, and that's what this product does.
Dennis: I think they are busy, and I think today especially, as we focus on a man's responsibility, there are undoubtedly a number of men who listen to our broadcast who need ideas. They need fresh reminders that they are to carry this romantic banner in their relationship, and you ladies, in order to help men remember their responsibility, have created an acrostic "romantic," where you take each letter of the word "romantic," and you give men tips, instruction and education about how they can better lead and love their wives in this all-important area.
Now, the first is "R." What does that stand for, Lorraine?
Lorraine: For the man it stands for "Romancer." We have a different R for the ladies, but the reason that we chose "Romancer" is that this is an intentional thing you have to do, especially in our busy society. Men need to figure out intentionally how to romance their wives.
There is an over-framing verse that we set for both the men and women, and it is 1 Corinthians 7, verse 3, and in the message it says this – "Marriage is a decision to serve the other whether in bed or out of bed." And what we did is, we took that verse, and we focused in for the women how they can serve their husbands in bed and for the men to focus on their wives, how they can serve their wives out of bed.
Bob: We really speak two different languages when it comes to romance, don't we?
Bob: And so for a man to begin the process of being a romantic, to use the acrostic that you all use, he has to start with the idea of romancing his wife, and he may think of that in sexual terms, but you're saying he needs to pull back from that and think of it in non-sexual terms.
Lorraine: And the goal of the romance for the husband is to coax forth his wife's femininity.
Bob: Now, how do I do that, as a husband?
Lorraine: Well, I'll give you an example from a recent conference that Linda and I had done. I came back from the conference travel-weary, and when I walked in the door, my husband gently took me by the hand, and he led me in the bathroom, the bathroom door was closed, and on the outside of the bathroom door was a sign that said, "Sparky's Retreat."
Now, I need to explain that my husband calls me "Sparky," I call him "Flint" because when we got married, our pastor said he felt like we would be spark on flint and spur each other on to good things. So those are our nicknames for each other – so "Sparky's Retreat." The door was shut. I opened the door and there on the counter was a bubbling fountain, one of those tabletop fountains, twinkle lights all over the room, candles lit all around the bathroom, a waiting bubble bath, music, and he said, "Honey, you slip into the bubble bath. I'm going to bring in some buffalo wings, and you just relax."
He gets a 10 – a 10!
Dennis: I was just thinking that I'm resigning as the host of the broadcast of FamilyLife Today because I'm a dud.
Bob: I want to know who thought this idea up for him, and obviously it was another woman.
Lorraine: But I have to tell you what that did for me, as a woman. I'm weary, and I slip into that bubble bath, all of a sudden, I relax, I'm ready to be a wife and a mother again.
Dennis: Mm-hm, and, you know, a lot of men are listening right now, and they're thinking, "Where did he think of that? How did he do that?"
Lorraine: Actually, it was in this great book called "Intimate Issues," that he read.
Dennis: He read your book?
Lorraine: That's it!
Dennis: So you'd given him a few tips along the way.
Bob: So you didn't mind if he followed your instructions? It's not that a man has to be creative on his own, it's that he has to care.
Lorraine: Yes, and the fact that he took the time and the energy to do that. To see that's what I needed when I got home. Not, when I walked in the door, "Here's 10 phone calls you need to return, here's the mail that's stacked up since you've been gone and, by the way, the kids had a fight."
Dennis: Linda, I'm going to ask you a very personal question at that point – how does Jody affirm you in your femininity as a woman? Because there's a lot of young men out there and, as far as that goes, a lot of older married men, as well, who could learn, I think, from listening to a woman whose husband has called that out from her.
Linda: My husband does things like Lorraine just talked about. He arranges opportunities for me to relax, for me to rest. For our anniversary this year, he bought, at great expense and after several hours of searching over the Internet, a massager for my back because of a car accident. And several times a week, he will just say "Honey, you lay down. I'm putting this machine on," and he just sits and talks to me, and the whole process just makes me feel soft and warm.
Bob: There is a second step, though, as you outline it again in the acrostic – you go from romancing your wife to offering to help and, Dennis, you've heard me tell this before, but we were in a Bible study together one time, Mary Ann and I were. We had been married probably 10 years, and they asked the question, "What's the most romantic thing your husband has done for you lately?" And I couldn't wait to see what Mary Ann was going to come up with.
Well, when it got to her turn, she said, "The other night Bob was watching TV, and I was in doing the dishes, and without me saying anything, he got up and turned off the TV and came and started drying the dishes." And I looked at her and said, "No, honey, they asked about romantic things."
Linda: No, that qualifies as foreplay, Bob. That touched her heart.
Dennis: Whoa! Hold it! We just had some folks slam on their breaks driving in rush hour traffic …
Bob: Going home to dry dishes right away.
Dennis: They hit their signal, and they're making a U-turn right in the road. You said what, Linda?
Linda: I said drying dishes qualifies as foreplay. That touches the inner core of a woman's heart. That makes her feel loved.
Bob: What I came to realize in that experience is I was saying to Mary Ann – I wasn't just drying dishes, I was saying, "I know where you live, I know what life is like for you, and I'm here to be a companion in the midst of that." And so it did go beyond whether the dishes got dry or not. There I was, standing alongside saying, "I understand a little bit about your life and your world, and I want to enter into it with you."
Lorraine: And, you know, Bob, this goes back from the very creation of time. God created the male and female, and from the beginning, He created a woman to be relational. This companionship element is critical to her. She was taken from Adam's side, from the flesh, and created to be a helpmate. So, as a woman, everything I do I want that relationship, I want that companionability. So when you said you wash dishes, and you come alongside Mary Ann, that's being a companion, and she feels that oneness and is drawn to you.
Bob: So, in addition, Dennis, to romancing our wives, we need to offer to help. That's what the "O" is. Men need to step up and say, "How can I help?"
Dennis: That's right, and whether it's yard work, housework, the laundry, putting the kids to bed …
Bob: I knew you were going to say that one.
Linda: Mm-hm. I can remember so clearly when we had three children, the oldest was three, and I was a walking zombie. Jody sent me to the doctor to find out what was wrong with me, because I was so tired. The doctor said I was fine. So Jody took me out for coffee, and he said, "Okay, there is something going on here. I want you to tell me everything you feel responsible for."
And we made a list – 75 things on the list that I felt responsible for. He looked at it, and he said, "Well, no wonder you're tired." That night he committed to me – he said, "Honey, I know you make a list of every day of what you want to get done but, from now on, I'm coming home, and you tell me whatever you didn't get done, and I do it for you."
And he did that, whether it was clean the bathroom, mop the kitchen floor – whatever I didn't get done with those little, tiny children, he did for me. Do you know what that did to my heart? I felt like he'd gotten behind my eyes and saw my life.
Now, does he still do that? No. He didn't do it when the children were a little bit older, and I wasn't so tired. But when I needed that help, he offered to help, and that just made me love him so much.
Dennis: You know, what you're describing is the 1 Peter 3:7 man.
Dennis: "Husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way so that your prayers may not be hindered." And when you described him as getting behind your eyes, at that point Jody understood your needs. And, as we talk about romance, Bob, it's interesting – some men may have felt like we left the subject of romance, and we have now moved on to a "Honey-Do List" somewhere. But that's not the case. We are still all over the subject of romance, right?
Lorraine: That's right.
Linda: Bob and Dennis, when Jody did that for me, it made me want to get behind his eyes and see what his needs were and how I could love this man who was loving me so much.
Lorraine: That's one of the goals of the articles in the "Simply Romantic Nights" collection is to help a woman get behind her husband's eyes and see what he needs in bed and to help a husband get behind his wife's needs and see what she needs around her environment.
Bob: That's really what's in the projects that are in there, as well.
Bob: The ones that are from a man's perspective will help orient a man toward how he can appropriately get behind his wife's eyes and, for a wife, it sends her in the other direction.
Linda: Right, and I don't know if we talked about it, but each one is self-contained, 24 very creative ideas.
Dennis: Twelve for the men …
Linda: And 12 for the women.
Lorraine: And we see these 24 ideas as steppingstones to intimacy for that year. We build, really, an altar of memories every year to our marriage, and marriage is a long journey. And so for this year of time, these 24 ideas are going to provide beautiful memories and build an altar toward intimacy.
Bob: You know, we've only gotten to "RO" on the broadcast today. There's a whole "MANTIC" left.
That we didn't get to.
Dennis: That's why we pay Bob the …
Bob: Well, I'm just saying we've still got a ways to go as we work our way through this week. I want to encourage our listeners, though, to go to our website, FamilyLifeToday.com, and get information about the "Simply Romantic Nights" collection that our team has put together. This is a creative tool that we've designed to help a husband and a wife express their love for one another in some very special, fun, romantic, creative ways over the next 12 months.
There is a date card for guys to use each month, a date card for the ladies to use each month, and we spell out for you what your date can look like. And, of course, you want to improvise or do your own thing, that's fine, but this gives you a starting place so that you can have a fun night out together as a couple.
The collection, again, is called "Simply Romantic Nights." The information about it is on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com. There is also information there about the book that Linda and Lorraine have written for women called "Intimate Issues." This is a very helpful book for women on the subject of romance and passion and the marriage relationship, and I know you have talked to thousands of women over the years who have benefited from the way you tackled the questions in this book – 21 questions and answers – the questions women ask most often about the issues of romance and intimacy in marriage.
Again, the book, "Intimate Issues," and the "Simply Romantic Nights" collection are available in our FamilyLife Resource Center at FamilyLifeToday.com. There is also information available there about the FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Marriage Conferences that are kicking off not this weekend but the following weekend. We're going to kick them off Valentine's weekend and, of course, they continue through the spring, but if you'd like to have a special Valentine's weekend together, we're going to be at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania; we're going to have a conference taking place in Washington, D.C. that weekend; one at the Gaylord Texan Resort in the Dallas/Fort Worth area; one at a resort in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and I think there are three or four other conferences Valentine's weekend. Again, all the details are on our website at FamilyLifeToday.com. And if that weekend doesn't work, there are other conferences coming up throughout the spring.
Plan to attend a fun, romantic weekend getaway for couples this spring. The FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Marriage Conference where you can learn to love like you mean it. All the details are on the Web at FamilyLifeToday.com or call 1-800-358-6329 for more information. That's 1-800-F-as-in-family, L-as-in-life, and then the word TODAY, and when you call, someone on the team can answer any questions you have about the conference or they can make arrangements to have the resources we've talked about today sent to you.
You know, one of the most helpful books that has been written over the last several years on the subject of marriage is a book by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs called "Love and Respect." Many of our listeners are familiar with that book. They may have seen it in bookstores, and we had an opportunity a while back to sit down with Dr. Eggerichs and to talk with him about the importance of love and respect in a marriage relationship.
We have that conversation recorded on a couple of audio CDs, and we thought that during the month of February that would be a great resource to make available to listeners who help support the ministry of FamilyLife Today with a donation of any amount. We are listener-supported, which means that your financial gifts to this ministry are what keep us on the air in this city and in cities all across the country, and we appreciate your generous financial support.
If you are making a donation to FamilyLife Today online, and you would like to receive the "Love and Respect" CDs with Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, all you have to do is type the word "respect" into the keycode box, and we'll make sure that the CDs get sent to you. Or you can call 1-800-FLTODAY, make your donation over the phone and, again, just ask for the "Love and Respect" CDs, and we'll make sure they get sent to you.
We do appreciate your financial partnership with us here at FamilyLife Today, and it is great to hear from you.
Well, tomorrow we're going to continue our conversation with Linda Dillow and Lorraine Pintus as we talk about romance and passion and intimacy in marriage, and I hope you can join us back as we move from talking about "RO" to talking about what makes a "MANTIC." [chuckles] That was pretty bad.
I want to thank our engineer today, Keith Lynch, and our entire broadcast production team who are all in the studio just moaning at that bad pun that I made. On behalf of our host, Dennis Rainey, I'm Bob Lepine. We'll see you back next time for another edition of FamilyLife Today.
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