Several years ago, hubby and I went through a time when it was my heart's desire to make sure he was getting everything he needed in our marriage - getting everything he needed from me. I made it a goal to be certain I was striving to be who the Lord would have me to be as a wife, as a woman, as a mother. I still am working towards those goals, as we learn and move from glory to glory, but I am thankful to Christ that I'm not where I was then!
It was at that time that I came across some fantastic sites, a family of Christian websites and ministries dedicated to growing Godly marriages. One of those sites was Romance Between the Lines where you can find some fantastic articles and helps on Biblical marriage, as well as some fun things to keep the relationship alive and passionate. Another great site with some fun downloadable romance ideas, a sister site, is Romantic Christmas Ideas.
I received for the purpose of review two great romance plans for the days leading up to Christmas! I received both 25 Days to Romance Your Husband Til Christmas as well as 25 Dazzling Days to Romance Your Spouse Through Christmas downloadable and personalized plans. Now, when I say personalized, I do mean personalized! The site has you enter your name as well as your spouse's name, so that any print offs, coupons, notes, etc that are included are actually addressed to your spouse and "signed" by you! I hadn't realized that there would be so many fun printables, and I love that it saves me time in filling in the blanks or leaving tacky lines for me to write across. It looks very professional and like I spent some time creating it myself!
The Dazzling Days plan has printable messages on it and they are designed to go either inside Christmas ornaments to be opened one at a time, or possibly inside envelopes or something like that. The point is to create a display and build anticipation as your spouse opens them one day at a time. Some of the messages include things like a personal love letter from you, the gift of breakfast in bed, a back massage, a prayer to read together, and even some days where the recipient gets to pick a prize or tell the giver something that would make them feel the most special. This plan takes only a little set up time and easily reminds us each day that we are concentrating on, working on, focused on our relationship as husband and wife. The "gifts" given don't take a whole lot of effort, but speak every love language. It's a great tool and something you can easily incorporate in every busy season!
The Romance Your Husband plan (there is also a Romance Your Wife plan available) is a little different. This one has you set up a special place, in view of the entire family, where you make your spouse the center of attention at a determined time each day. This is their special time, for you to focus on them and communicate that they are still your choice, your love. While this plan certainly takes more effort each day and planning ahead of time, I really like it better. I felt more like I was doing something for my husband in implementing some of these things, felt more like the point was gotten across better. Some of the gift ideas in this plan include things like writing 5 things you love about him, a poem with a candy bar, a private dance together, a secret "word of the day" that initiates a kiss, and things like that.
I really love having both plans, because I feel like it gives me some flexibility to substitute out some from one plan into the other when a suggestion won't work for us. There are some ideas which are doubled in the plans but they are not the same. It just depends on how much time you'll have each day to devote to doing each task or giving each gift, and I think either or both of these would make a fantastic gift giving season for your spouse!
I love shopping on these sites for anything romantic I might give my husband. As a Christian site, they are very careful not to have inappropriate photographs anywhere. Even the more private marital aids sections are very classy; there are no people portrayed at all, no half-clad women, etc. Shopping here is a safe way to obtain the games and fun things for your marriage without risking the negative side effects of shopping for those things online, googling them (heaven forbid!), having your computer contract a virus from the many hazardous sites out there, or having children find them in the browsing history, etc.
This has been a busy season for us this year! I only was able to try a few of the fun suggestions here, but I plan on putting these into full-blown practice after the first of the year. I enjoy doing 40-day new habits type things for the new year, and I think I'll combine these two plans (minus doubles!) and do them right for the first 40 days of the new year. Nothing is too terribly Christmas-specific except the graphics, and I know my hubby will certainly appreciate it in conjunction with some of the other New Year things we are doing. This is a company to return to time and time again for marital needs, and I am excited to have the opportunity to do so again.
Merry Christmas to everyone, and don't forget to love on your hubby this season as well!