A Fresh Look At Love (Part 2)

Within Song of Solomon are eight ingredients of a Happy Marriage. We will look at those and see if we can apply them to our marriage.

  1. She is a romantic wife. Positive, idealistic, optimistic. Looks at her lover through rose colored glasses.

  2. She is full of lighthearted fun, companionship. Sometimes we are too intense, too business-like, over worked. We crowd out romance simply because we are too busy for it. In Song of Solomon, both parties could have had great responsibility. We know he did as he was a king, but they found time for carefree escape and a childlike ability to delight in little things.

  3. Verbal expression of love and admiration. Compliment your husband often.

  4. Complete acceptance of mate as he is. Don’t make him over. This is a fast way to take romance out of marriage.

  5. Habit of viewing your husband as your lover. Gives meaning to the other roles he must be.

  6. Couple had a healthy attitude toward sex. It was mutually enjoyed. She desired him as much as he desired her.

  7. Enjoyment of nature – out of doors. Enjoying God’s creation together. How about one beautiful day, play hooky and go on a picnic.

  8. They had young vibrant spirits – alive – alert and it wasn’t a question of age. An aging spirit, even if you are under 25, can make you tired and bored with everything. Can’t feel romantic about a woman who is feeling old and weary. God doesn’t want us to feel that way. In John 10:10 it says, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

I want to give you a challenge: Ask God to help you put some romance into your marriage!

Put some thought and effort into doing something romantic and creative yourself.

Be aware that you may be hurt or rejected. But you give that to the Lord also. Run the risk. Tears are OK.

I want for each of you to experience what I am experiencing right now. I have gone through the busy, hard time of raising children and now am left with my lover. We enjoy every minute we are together. He has always felt Friday nights were our date nights, and continues to do so. It seems every meal is special. In the summer we love to eat each meal outside on the deck, amidst the flowers. We just love reading by the fire, sharing our lives. He isn’t a great one for bringing flowers or gifts but he does sweet spontaneous things I just love. Yesterday he came into the kitchen from an errand and said, “Woman, get on your shoes, I am taking you out for a Frappachino.” Might not seem romantic to some but I loved it. Then today, as I am re-writing this lesson, he came in holding a big bunch of pussy willows saying, “These are for my darling.” Now he probably won’t bring me flowers on Valentine’s Day, but this spontaneous gift, knowing how I love those first pussy willows means more to me that two dozen roses ever could.

Many years ago Becky and I gave a talk on Romantic Marriage at Covenant Beach. Looking over those notes was fun as it was probably at least 15 years ago, and I am feeling the same way now as I did then, even perhaps more so.

Then I said, “I think I have a wonderful marriage. Many people looking at it might say, ‘Boy what a boring life. They don’t belong to any social clubs, they rarely go places, do anything interesting anyway, don’t have company very often and never what you might call a party’.” But to me it is not boring. Everyday is a new adventure and I wouldn’t trade my life or my husband for anything I could dream up.

I say, Amen to that today. Now at ages 71 and 73 we see many friends losing their spouses. That makes us treasure our life and our time together even more.

Perhaps 30 years ago I was asked to give a talk about marriage to a dorm group at PLU. Several years later one of the girls told me that because of my talk she had decided to marry her husband. She said she was worried that the ‘romance’ would leave and that she wouldn’t be so excited about him after awhile. She said when I told them that I got excited when I heard his truck come in the driveway, she decided that perhaps it would last. I have to laugh because we probably had been married 20 years then and it seemed a long time to her. Now we are married 51 years and I still get excited when his car pulls in and I hear the garage door go up, or when I see him across the room.

I base my teaching on Titus 2:3-5 which says in part, “train the young women to love their husbands…” I love that because it implies that it does not just come naturally but might need a little training.

But I think going a step further, I think wives sometimes need to “train” their husbands as to what they really want. They are not mind readers. What made their mothers happy, might not be the thing that makes you happy. Remember Valentines Day, and your Wedding Anniversary are a two way street. What are you going to do to show him you love him on Valentine’s Day, and on your “mutual” anniversary. It is so sad to see a pitiful wife, with a hangdog expression saying, “He didn’t remember…etc” Why don’t you remind him?

I shall close with Ruth Bell Graham’s “Train Our Love”

Train our love

that it may grow


til our hearts will overflow

unrestrained and readily.

Discipline it too

dear God;

strength of steel

throughout the whole.

Teach us patience,


tenderness, and


Deepen it

throughout the years,

age and mellow it


time that finds us

old without,


will find us

lovers still.

Thoughts on Elijah, Ahab, and Rest

A little background on Ahab from 1 Kings 16:29-30, “In the 38th year of Asa king of Judah, Ahab the son of Omri began to reign over Israel, and Ahab the son of Omri reigned over Israel in Samaria twenty two years. And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord more than all that were before him”. vs. 31…. “he took a wife named Jezebel…” vs.33 “And Ahab made an Asherah. Ahab did more to provoke the Lord, the God of Israel, to anger than all the kings of Israel who were before him”.

So we see in chapter 16 that Ahab was the most evil King Israel had had. And this is the King to whom Elijah has some dealings. We read what he told Ahab and what the Lord told him in 1 Kings 17:1-6.

Then when the brook dried up the Lord sent him to a widow in Zarephath. We read that story in verses 7-14. Very interesting stories in chapter 18 of Elijah doing powerful things for the Lord. I love the words in vs. 45,46 that say,…”And Ahab RODE and went to Jezreel and the hand of Lord was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins and RAN before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.” I love that Elijah ran faster than Ahab’s horse as he ran before Ahab. (The Life Application Bible says he ran 6 miles arriving in Jezreel before Ahab.)

Then it is interesting to see that after being so brave in standing against Ahab, and having felt the hand of the Lord  upon him, he caved in when Ahab’s wife, Jezebel, sent him a message and in verse 3 we read: “Then he was afraid and he arose and went for his life…”

Is this not true often in our own lives? We can be brave get through some hard things with the help of the Lord, and then crumble at a much small thing in our life. We see in 19:4 “But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree; and he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.”

Now I come to the point of what I want to say in this lesson- Elijah was depressed and wanted to die and what did the Lord do for him? He gave him SLEEP, FOOD & WATER. I think this can be a great simple lesson for us.

When we are depressed, perhaps even after doing a good thing for the Lord, and don’t know what to do and feel like dying, perhaps it is some simple things we should try first and see what happens. Such has sleeping, eating the right food, drinking water, and basically taking good care of our bodies, and our minds too will be restored. Here is what we read in chapter 19:5-8 “And he LAY DOWN and SLEPT under a broom tree; and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ATE and DRANK, and LAY DOWN again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him, and said ARISE and EAT, else the journey will be too great for you. And he arose, and ATE and DRANK and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Herob the mount of God.”

This is what I learned from these verses. Psychology and medicine all have a place in lifting a depression. But why not try the simple things first. Such as sleep, food, and water. I think of the old saying: “When in doubt, read the directions.”

How often do we forget the simple instructions of the Lord and go directly to man’s thinking? Lets slow down today and take care of the gift the Lord has given us.

A Fresh Look At Love (Part 1)

[Editor’s note: For those who knew my grandmother Rosemary, she was passionate about teaching on healthy marriage.  She was not shy about discussing sex, and encouraging both women and men to bring more joy and love into their marriage relationship.  This entry, “A Fresh Look At Love” is separated into two parts.]

There is an old song called “Love and Marriage” and part of the words say, “you can’t have one without the other.” But I am afraid there are many marriages where the love has died or is dying, and the partners have become more roommates than lovers. I don’t want that to happen to you and neither does the Lord. Today we will be looking at some things that might add a little spark to your marriage.

What is a romantic marriage?

Is yours romantic?

Do you wish it were?

Were you? Or are you? Disillusioned?

Romance is just one aspect of marriage, but it is the important oil that lubricates the rest.

Are you more in love with your husband that when you married him – or have you become roommates and just politely tolerate each other and sometimes not so politely.

We are going to read Revelations 2:3-5. This was written to the leader of the church of Ephesus telling of the church’s love of Christ growing cold. But the same words can be true of a marriage. And we will look at it in that light right now.

I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen, repent and do the works you did at first.”

To a wife – these words could be taken as thus: Oh, yes you are working so hard, and enduring patiently all the trials of trying to be a good wife, and a good mother and you try to smile and not grow weary. But oh, my is it hard. This is all good, but have you abandoned the love and joy and excitement you had when you first got married? Do you remember those days? The little things you used to do or say to your husband? Why don’t you think about how far you have fallen away from the joy of being in love. Why don’t you again do some of those sweet, loving things you did at first.

I am going to share a few thoughts with you to help you revive a dying marriage, or put some life in a stale one, or add some spice to an already good one.

  1. You need time alone. You need dates. You need weekends together, just the two of you. A friend told me she needed these times to remember why she married her husband. This is sooooo important to a marriage. Afford it! Make the effort! Even if it is one night and not the whole weekend it will seem like a long time once you are away.

We would try to do this once or twice a year and now really try to tell couples how important it is. The preparation of getting 5 children ready to go in three different directions was hard. Later on, we hired someone to come to the house and that was much easier, although a little costlier, but well worth it. While in the midst of arrangements to go I always felt, “Is it worth it?” “Why am I doing this?” But once away, YES it was worth all the preparation. Getting away from the daily problems. Getting away from being a mommy and a daddy, concentrating on being lovers.

  1. You need to find times of romance within the busy hectic life at home. Yes it takes effort, but it is possible.

  2. Our children had regular bedtimes and we allowed some time for “just us” after they went to bed.

  3. What about playing old music that brings back memories and moods?

  4. How long has it been since you have done the following:

    Bathed together?

    Kissed in the shower?

    Held hands under the table?

    Held hands in public?

    Gave him a love pat when you walked by?

    Special time together at a dinner out?

    A special walk?

    Laughed together?

Make time for romance right now – in the midst of your busyness – or you’ll be 50 – children leaving – and you are left with a stranger instead of a lover.

Love Him Now

Tell Him Now

I love the poems by Ruth Bell Graham in her book Sitting by My Laughing Fire. I shall read you the one on page 215, “I Met You Years Ago”. [Editors Note: Poem not included in notes] This is so true of me and my sweetheart Richard. We met when we were 14 and 16. Began going steady when we were 15 and 17, and married when we were 19 and 21. He is my dear lover and I love him more each year. We both love the saying of Robert Browning, “Grow Old Along with Me, the Best is Yet to Be.” We believe that with all our hearts. Our life and our love only gets better each year.

I am also going to read another poem from this favorite book. Page 116 “You Look At Me” [Editors Note: Poem not included in notes]

It has been said, that men give love to get sex, and women give sex to get love. We could also change love to romance. Women seem to need it more than men.

If your husband isn’t satisfied sexually you might as well forget about romance. When that area is cared for, he can be trained to be romantic. But he has to know what you like and want in this area and each of us is different.

The Lord wants your marriage to be more romantic than anything the movies ever dreamed up.

Proverbs 5:18-20 “Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely hind, a graceful doe. Let her affection fill you at all times with delight, be infatuated always with her love.”

Ecc 9:9a “Enjoy life with the wife whom you love…”

Song of Solomon 5:16 “His speech is most sweet, and he is altogether desirable. This is my beloved and this is my friend.”

The Bible also tells us many ways not to kill love. These are two:

Eph 4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is head, into Christ.”

Pro 25:24 “It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a contentious woman.”

God’s planned for a better romance “after” marriage than you ever dreamed of. The world has it in reverse. An exciting courtship, then settle down to a dull marriage. Perhaps that is why so many live together and not marry, they are afraid of this.

In Bible times romance began “after” marriage. The marriage was arranged by the parents, leaning heavily on God’s choice.

Many of the woman in the Bible were described as beautiful. In Gen 21:16 we read about Rebekah, “she was very fair to look upon.”

And this about Esther in Esther 2:7 “The maiden was beautiful and lovely.” But even so she was given 12 months of ‘beauty treatments’ before being presented to the king. We read in Esther 2:12 “Now when the turn came for each maiden to go in to King Ahasuerus, after being twelve months under the regulations for the women, since this was the regular period of their beautifying, six months with oil and myrrh and six months with spices and ointments for women.” Wow, this was some kind of a beauty spa.

We aren’t able to do something like that, but we shouldn’t either, jump out of bed, facing the world and our husbands, without taking a little effort in caring for ourselves. It is hard for a man to feel romantic about a wife who is a slob. He’ll put up with us, understand being busy with children, etc., but can he feel romantic about it.

If you are like most women you don’t feel romantic all the time. Perhaps more so during certain cycles of the month. When you so – make the most of it.

If you are embarrassed to speak your feelings, write them. Give him little notes.

Read Song of Solomon in its entirety. Beautiful picture of a loving with abandon.

Instantly Obeying the Voice of the Spirit

How? By knowing and listening to the Lord’s voice. Can we know the voice of the Lord? Yes!!!

My rudder verse:

Isaiah 30:20,21

“And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher. And your ears shall hear a word behind you saying, “This is the way, walk in it” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”

John 10:27

“My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:4

“When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”

The Promise of Elijah in 1 Kings 19

“The Lord was not in the strong wind, nor in the earthquake, nor in the fire, but was in a still, small voice and Elijah did not hear it.”

Inner Beauty (Continued)

(Editors Note: The post titled “Inner Beauty” was posted before it was completed. I will blame pregnancy brain and I hope you enjoy the rest of Rosemary’s thoughts on Inner Beauty)

“The Beautiful woman whose life shows the fruit of the Spirit, exhibits some other practical qualities as well. They are the qualities that make her personality real and down to earth.

  1. She has a fragrance of humor: She might now have been born with a great sense of humor, but she trains her mind to look at her life’s happenings in good humor.
  2. She has the fragrance of friendship: “A cheerful heart does good like medicine, but a broken spirit makes one sick”. (Proverbs 17:22) The friendly woman greats you with a warm smile whether she knows you or not. She recognizes the tremendous therapeutic value of a smile to her husband and to her children.
  3. She has the fragrance of organization: She does not have this fanatic thing about cleanliness and being neat and tidy always. She does not drive anyone up a wall over a speck of dirt, but she is neat. Her house, according to the present rate of speed of their family, has a semblance of order. She is sure God does not want her to live in an unorganized mess of a house.
  4. She has the fragrance of hospitality: She opens her home to others even when her couch is rather threadbare, the walls need paint, and she doesn’t have enough dishes or chairs. She shares her dinner table, without apologies, and can be gracious even if its only “hamburger night”. If you drop in on her unexpectedly, you take her (and her house) as is, and instantly she puts you at ease.
  5. She has the fragrance of wonder: Nothing is too small or insignificant to catch her attention. She is interested in everything. She teaches her children the sense of wonder by pointing out the little brown bug on the ground, the sleeping kitty and the orange sunset. She smiles and talks with her eyes, her face lights up over the wonder of little things. She is a joy to see.
  6. She has the fragrance of honesty: She does not lie- even about little things. If she is busy and does not want to answer her phone, she does not say to her children “Tell them Mommie is not home.” She says “Tell them Mommie is busy and will call them back later”. She teaches them honesty in the best of ways- by example.
  7. She has the fragrance of learning: She is not afraid to develop new skills. She tries to do something creative at least once a day- even if its only adding a dash of paprika and parsley to her mashed potatoes. She reads a wide range of books. She takes instruction from a Bible study course to a needlepoint classes. She I enthusiastically dedicated to increasing her learning powers and her willingness to tackle new projects is gorgeous.
  8. She has the fragrance of balanced priorities: The beautiful woman is one who has asked God about the goals and priorities of her life, and He has opened several new doors. First, she found she is a person- a woman- she is somebody.
  9. She has the fragrance of appreciation: She knows that in life the essence of appreciation is like butter on the toast: it makes it go down much easier. The has sincere thankfulness running through her veins. Just think… HE MADE US! The woman who understands the truth of who she is and why she’s loved is completely surrounded by fragrance. It is an unmistakable fragrance, swirling around her in a fine, penetrating mist. It is the real, the God-given fragrance of beauty!  This is what every Christ-centered women can and should be.

How to be a Beautiful Woman

(based on a tape by Rev. Jerry Cook)

“Beauty may be only skin deep but ugly is clear through.”

We as people and as a country externalize beauty. We are so caught up in outward appearance. That is not to say it isn’t important. But…. The bible does not say that we should run around looking like a bunch of uglies. And it does not say that Holiness is next to Ugliness, or Plainness is a virtue. But the bible does recognize the true source of beauty, being something much greater than an external adjustment.

These are some thoughts from 1 Peter 3:1-6 “Likewise you wives, be submissive to your husbands, so that some, though they do not obey the word, may be won without a word by the behaviors of their wives, when they see your reverent and chaste behavior. Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of robes, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very previous. So once the holy women who hoping in God used to adorn themselves and were submissive to their husband, as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him Lord. And you are now her children if you do right and let nothing terrify you.”

  1. A beautiful women knows how to be subject to her own husband and how to keep her mouth shut. She also is not subject to any one else’s husband and not in subjection to all men in general.
  2. A beautiful woman has a pure life style. “When they see your reverent and chaste behavior.” She has the kind of life that is transparent- you can look solidly at it and it doesn’t blink. A life that you can surprise and it is not embarrassed. Purity in life is just a consistently wholesome life.
  3. A beautiful women is one whose adorning is not just hair decorations (not that this is wrong). But the real issue is the hidden person of the heart with meek and quiet spirit. Meekness in a feminine sense means consideration. We notice people who are considerate, who sense a persons need and moves toward it. A person with a restful spirit. One with whom you are able to relax. A quality of beauty that ministers rest. Some homes are that way and others so full of tension you can cut it with a knife.

If you do not have the inner qualities we have talked about, no matter how you remake your face, or how much weight you lose, or how expensive your clothes are, or how proper you walk, you are not beautiful. Even if you don’t have the external, but have the internal there will be a beauty about you that cant be missed. That only comes from Jesus Christ.

We all can be beautiful women with Inner Beauty, if we allow ourselves to be all God would have us be, with His help, and the Holy Spirit within us.