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What to do when the passion dies in your marriage

Marriage is an awesome thing. It’s God’s plan for most of us. And part of that plan is for us to have a passionate marriage. “Hmm…” I can hear some people saying.

Let me shock you. It’s not just you. It’s not just your marriage.

Passion dies eventually…in 100% of marriages. 100%!! According to author and marriage counsellor Dr David Clarke. But there is something you can do about that.

Today I’d like to share with you God’s plan for husbands and wives to have a truly passionate marriage.

What starts of, in most cases, as a passionate relationship between two people – passionate at all levels – can often end up in a kind of cold war with a massive emotional, spiritual and oft times physical Berlin wall running straight down the middle of that relationship. Husband on one side, wife on the other – and ne’er the twain shall meet.

Just stop and think about this. Marriage is the most natural thing in the world. Man and woman coming together as one, most commonly bringing children into the world – family – this basic unit of our society. And yet for many, let me say it as it is – for most – ending up as something that falls way short of what it could be.

It makes you want to cry. It’s a staggering, global pandemic that’s reeking havoc in the lives of way too many people. It’s a tragedy that’s unfolding in countless lives and relationships and families around the globe.

What goes wrong? Why does it happen?

Let’s wind the clock back – if you’re married, or if you’ve been married – on your marriage. Do you remember how it all began? Boy meets girl. A courtship.

The romance – being completely besotted with one another. Totally, madly, passionately in love – that’s why you married your wife or your husband in the first place.

You were passionate about one another – there was no one else for you. Let me ask you – these years on …is it still like that? Do you still feel that amazing passion? I just don’t meant the physical passion – I mean that total passion you felt for her or him way back then on that day you exchanged your vows.

I’ve recently been reading one of the best books I’ve ever read. I don’t say that lightly. It numbers in my top 5 books of all time. It’s written by a man who’s been counselling married couples for a couple of decades, an American called Dr David Clarke. The book is called Kiss Me Like You Mean It – Solomon’s Crazy In–Love How To Manual.

It’s wickedly funny. Incredibly insightful. And it unpacks God’s plan for a man and a woman to have a passionate marriage relationship. Have a listen to what Clarke says about passion in marriage:

You wonder: “Can we ever get our passion back? Can we ever again be crazy in love?” God has an answer for you. It is a big yes! You can’t help losing your passion. That happens to every married couple. What you can do is what Sandy and I did. You can get it back.

Did you pick it? After 21 years of counselling thousands of married couples – that’s all this guy does, marriage counselling – he concludes that every married couple loses the passion. In fact, in the second sentence of the 1st paragraph of the 1st chapter of the book he asks this question:

Why, in 100 percent of all marriages, does passion disappear just a handful of years after the wedding?

You see, it’s not just your marriage. It’s not just my marriage. It happens in 100% of all marriages. That’s a pretty definitive statistic.

Why? Because this world conspires to tear us apart – husband from wife, wife from husband. Work, responsibilities, paying the mortgage, putting food on the table, dealing with the pressures and stresses of life.

The man’s bad habits start annoying his wife – Why does he have to be like that?!!! Her bad habits – are driving him crazy too (just quietly). And with the kids demanding attention and the job taking more hours out of the day than it has a right to…there you have it, the passion is gone.

So – exactly what is passion?

Here’s what my dictionary tells me: a strong, barely controllable emotion of passionate love.

Anyone who’s been married will probably remember that feeling of passion from way back in the dim distant past. And unless you’ve only been married for a short time, it’s highly probably that that’s an emotion that seems to elude you these days.

But this same man who’s counselled thousands of couples over the last twenty something years has something else to say about passion. Listen to what he says again:

What you can do, is what Sandy (his wife) and I did. You can get it back.

God’s Plan For Your Marriage

Why? Because God’s plan for your marriage – for every marriage – is that man and woman, husband and wife be passionately, madly, crazily in love with one another. Not in theory. Not as some elusive ideal that no one can attain. But in actual reality.

Just stop and think about that in the context of your marriage. Imagine not just recapturing the initial passion in your marriage relationship, but discovering a passion that’s all the more rich and deep, for the many miles and many trials that you’ve travelled through together.

God has dedicated a whole book – a complete book of the Bible to the passionate love between a man and a woman – the Song of Songs, sometimes called the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament. He story of the love between King Solomon and the Shulamith woman. Listen to the passion they have for one another:
Like a lily among the thorns, So is my darling among the maidens writes Solomon (SS 2:2), and

My beloved is dazzling and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand” writes the Shulamith (SS 5:10) about her man.

True passion, writes David Clarke, is not a phase of marriage. It’s designed by God to be a permanent part of marriage.

That is an amazing challenge to many, I know. And that’s why we’re going to spend some time over these coming weeks in the company of Solomon and the Shulamith woman through the Bible’s exposition of passionate marriage. And in the company of David Clarke through his fantastic book – Kiss Me Like You

Mean It.

Because God wants to put the passion back in your marriage. It’s that simple.

Read more from Berni Dymet in his blog A Different Perspective.

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