“Hey babe, remember that one time…?”
Conversations often start like this in our home. Richard and I frequently reminisce, swapping specific moments of our romance with full hearts.
Who doesn’t love romance?! When romantic moments are based on God’s design for love and marriage, few things are as exciting or precious to experience. After all, God created the whole concept of boy meets girl! I’m sure He sat back smiling with delight as Adam and Eve grew to know and cherish one another (Genesis 2:20-25).
So how can we, as modern women, enjoy romance in a God-honoring way? Here are a few things that Richard and I incorporated into our dating relationship that made those months all the more sweet and valuable.
Perhaps the most romantic thing that Richard did for me early on was to …not be overly romantic. You may think…Come again? But honestly, Richard wanted to guard my heart in the beginning in order to truly win my heart in the end. He made sure that our romance had a foundation that was more than just feelings. I felt incredibly honored and cherished that he gave me space for discernment at the start of our relationship.
Rich respected me physically and emotionally based on our low commitment level at that time. Later on, when we were girlfriend and boyfriend, we enjoyed adoring words and sweet embraces.
Even when we were engaged, we continued to keep our foundation built on Christ’s truth. Before we stood on that stage as man and wife, we fought for sexual purity by surrounding ourselves with accountability. That exciting anticipation was an incredibly romantic gift in the months leading up to marriage.
Handwritten. Colorful stationery. Creative nicknames on the envelopes. An unknown amount of cash spent on stamps. Even though we only lived 45 minutes apart, there was something irresistibly romantic about opening the mailbox to send or receive a love letter.
In the letters, we enjoyed thinking of creative ways to express our love. We encouraged each other’s spiritual heart. We exhorted the other to stay faithful and patient as we waited eagerly for the day we’d finally be one. Not only were the letters sweet and exciting, they also created a physical, timelined keepsake for us to enjoy forever.
When the world thinks of romance, I doubt that the word “prayer” comes to mind. But as Christians, a huge part of romantic love should be the actual spiritual heart of the other person. Richard and I found each other incredibly attractive as we each cultivated our relationship with Christ.
Sometimes we made a list of subjects and people, set the timer for 45 minutes, and just prayed (not snuggled!). Those times were incredibly worshipful and soul-bonding. It helped us become comfortable praying in front of each other. We got used to being vulnerable and open about personal prayer requests–an awesome way to prepare for marriage!
As counter-cultural as it may sound, inviting others to be present in our relationship ended up being hugely romantic. Rich and I grew to love each other more as we spent quality time with each other’s families. We got to hear endearing stories from each other’s childhood. We were each charmed by the other’s closeness with their family members.
We never regretted sharing the excitement of our romance with our community at large. Instead of looking for many opportunities to pull away from people, we hung out with friends who were able to know us better as a couple and offer valuable input. When it came time for our wedding, we felt like our friends could truly celebrate and support us.
Waiting For Our First Kiss
The big question: to kiss, or not to kiss? Rich and I decided very early on to save our first kiss for the wedding day. Waiting was an undeniable challenge. But was it worth it? Absolutely. Romance continued to burn hotter as we anticipated that physical, public seal of our covenant.
I’ll never forget that moment right before our first kiss. The pastor said, “Richard…” (eternally long pause) “you may kiss your bride.” All sound ceased. Our lips met in a soft, tender kiss. 350 wedding guests exploded in celebration–followed by laughter and hoots as Richard swept me into a long dip kiss.
Seriously, waiting to kiss was such a highlight of our romance. Never for one instant have we regretted that aspect of our story. It taught us to savor that intimate gesture with all the more appreciation. It’s been 9 months of marriage so far, and we still haven’t gotten over the joy of kissing.
- What does godly romantic love look like to you?
- What are some ways that you’ve seen other couples intentionally pursue Christ-honoring romance?