All Posts by Debi Walter

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Mar 09

Squeezing Romance Out of a Busy Life

By Debi Walter | Romance

Squeezing Romance

Face it marriage is hard work. Add to it children, a full-time job with deadlines and demanding bosses/clients, homework, sickness and bills to pay, who has time to think about romance, much less plan something special? In fact you may not want to finish reading this post because you’re afraid I’m going to add one more thing to your growing to-do list.

I get it. It is hard to find the right balance in life. But that doesn’t mean we don’t try. Our pastor says often, “We make time to do the things we really want to do.” And I couldn’t agree more.

Case in point…

A busy mom was complaining about not having enough energy to finish her chores. She kept looking at the clock and couldn’t believe how slow the time was passing. Then, the phone rang. It was her best friend saying she had tickets to see the latest movie and had already secured a babysitter for the two of them, that is, if she wanted to come.

If? Are you kidding?

Suddenly, she had a burst of energy and the chores that had been like a root canal to do minutes before were now actually enjoyable. She had a reason to finish and finish quickly she did! She was going out with a friend. Being tired wasn’t an issue any longer because she was getting to do something she really wanted to do.

Romance is one of those things you enjoy once you do it, but it’s the planning it before hand that seems difficult. This is why Tom and I have devoted our lives to helping other couples keep the romantic fires burning. We have lots of ideas, many of them we’ve enjoyed ourselves and have the memories to prove it. And we know how it has made a lasting impact on the quality of our marriage.

So, how can we help the busy executive, the exhausted mom, the over-extended caregiver to an elderly parent, find time to romance their spouse?

Below is a list of ideas for you to print, cut into strips and place in a jar. Once a week (or more if you’re so inclined) draw a slip of paper out of the jar and purpose to do that one thing for your spouse. You can both do it or alternate weeks. The point is to start squeezing romance out of your busy life. We’ve discovered that the busier it is, the more enjoyable your times are when you’re alone. This list is to help you get started thinking more about romance in the midst of the chaos.

Why does it matter? Because one day your life will slow down, your children will grow up and move away, and your spouse will be the only one looking at you across the dinner table. My husband insisted all those years ago that we would still be as much or more in love with each other then as we were when we first started. And you know what? We are! We just celebrated our 36th wedding anniversary last month, and I am grateful for the romance he managed to squeeze out of life for the good of us.

  • Compliment your spouse in a specific way, while looking in their eyes.
  • Buy them a special treat the next time you’re in the store, and tell them you were thinking of them.
  • Find a link on You Tube to a favorite love song from your past and e-mail it to them during the day.
  • Hide a love note and say something to make them remember a special time you’ve shared.
  • Do one of their chores for a week.
  • Make dinner reservations and arrange a babysitter. Then, tell your spouse after it’s all set.
  • Plan a whole evening doing something you know your spouse enjoys–jigsaw puzzle, video game, board game, cook together.
  • Start a weekly or monthly alphabet date–where you pick a letter and center all you do and eat around that letter.
  • Go for an extended walk together holding hands. Check out 10 Ways To Hold Hands.
  • Go out for a banana split to share.
  • Play a game of Blind Man’s Bluff, with this sexy twist: Blindfold your spouse and feed them different foods.  Let them guess what it is by TASTE.  Then let them smell different things and try to guess what they are by SMELL.  Next play different sounds for them to guess by HEARING and finally let them guess what they’re touching – yeah, this one can be a lot of FUN!  You may feel cold when you begin, but we guarantee things will be warming up mighty nice by the time you make it to the touching phase.
  • Make a playlist of romantic music on your iPod or iPhone. Hook up headphones and put them on your spouse and have them lie in bed. Tell them to close their eyes while you give them a massage.
  • Your turn: _______________________________________________.

As you can see romance isn’t all about sex, but some of it can be. 🙂 Romance is about the daily choices we make to think of and pray for our spouse. It’s our way of putting their needs and wants at the top of our list of importance. It’s communicating to your spouse that no other person matters to you as much as they do, and your actions prove your words.

In what ways can you squeeze out romance this week? this month? this year? Won’t you try? 

Check out our Romantic St. Patrick’s Day ideas too: For Husbands-click here. For Wives-click here.


Feb 09

Dinner and A Movie–It’s Not What You Think.

By Debi Walter | Romance


Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and I’ve talked about it often being our favorite holiday of the year. Why? Because it’s a day set apart for romancing my favorite person in the world–my husband.

Do you think of romance as a privilege? Not as something on your ever-growing list of Things You Need To Improve?

Tom and I have recently gone through some events that have made us appreciate every minute we get to spend together. It is a privilege to have one person in this life with whom you can lavish your love. I’ve heard it said that many never know how much something meant to them until it was gone. May that not be true of our marriages. Life is too short–and we need to make the most of every opportunity to express our love in tangible ways.

Which brings me to this month’s post and my chance to spur you on with ideas that are fun, and not difficult to pull off.

Ask an assortment of couples what a date night looks like to them, and more often than not you’ll hear this phrase: Dinner and a Movie. Tom and I like to go to the movies, but we rarely do on date nights. Why? Simply because we like to talk and the people in the movie theater don’t like it when we do. 🙂

I would like to share with you a new twist on Dinner and a Movie.

Instead of going to the movies, watch the movie at home. Instead of eating dinner out, prepare a meal that goes along with the movie. It makes your meal an extension of the whole movie experience. We’ve done this a couple of times and they have ended up being some of our favorite dates.

Not sure how to pull this off? Well, not to worry–we’re not going to leave you stranded. Choose from the following list and have fun planning your next rendezvous–right in your own living room. It may become a regular event.

Six Dinner and a Movie Dates At Home

6. The Godfather and A Sicilian Dinner for Two: Tomato-Sausage Sauce, Antipasto Salad, Sicilian Cannoli

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 1.38.21 PM

5. When Harry Met Sally and Katz’s Deli Dinner for Two: Pastrami Sandwich, Coconut Cake with Chocolate Sauce on the side.

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4. The Notebook and Candlelit Crab Boil for Two: Crab Boil, Fingerling Potato Salad, Buttered Popcorn Ice Cream Sundae

3. Sixteen Candles and Updated Cafeteria Fare for Two: Grass-Fed Beef Meatloaf in a Bacon Blanket, Tater Tots with Truffles, Braised Carrots with Crisp Sage, Golden Cake with Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

2. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pain Au Chocolat: There were so many delicious recipes to choose from for breakfast, I made a link for you to pick from the list.

1. You’ve Got Mail – Sushi and a selection from Cafe’ Lalo‘s menu. This date provides ideas on where to buy the dishes so you don’t have to cook.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 2.17.00 PM

I hope this gets you thinking of ways to make a Dinner and a Movie date something special.

Bon Appetit!

Photos provided by


Jan 12

The Role Kindness Plays In Romance

By Debi Walter | Romance

I’ve noticed lately, especially when driving around Orlando, that kindness on the road is greatly lacking.

What happened to those who used to let you in when you were trying to merge onto a busy highway?

Or when you slow down to let another car merge into your lane, what has happened to the wave of the hand to say, “Thanks!”

I’ve noticed many times after parking my car at Costco and walking towards the entrance, I’m nearly hit by a rude driver not willing to stop and let me cross the road in front of them. Or when I’m the driver and have stopped to let someone cross in front of me, they take their time without regard to my time spent waiting.

What has happened to kindness behind the wheel–kindness in our culture–kindness in general?

Have we become so absorbed into our own schedules that our rudeness to strangers seems justified? And isn’t it most likely true, that these attitudes will have some influence on how we express kindness to our spouse?

When our kindnesses are cut off like this over and over, it tends to make us cynical and vengeful.

Many husbands who have had a rough day being ill-treated by others, come home only to take their frustrations out on their unsuspecting family. Likewise many wives who have been the recipient of stressful attitudes all day long are tempted to vent to the ones she loves most.

The Bible reminds us that we are to…

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32 ESV

When we are purposing to show kindness to our spouse, we are not thinking cold, uncaring thoughts towards them. Instead our thoughts go to ways we know will bless them.

What does all this talk of kindness have to do with romance? Everything!

Romance starts and ends with showing kindness to our spouse. (click here to tweet this)

It can be as simple as fixing a favorite drink for them when they walk in the door after a rough day, or going all out to plan an unsuspected night out on the town.

Romance is all about knowing your spouse well enough to realize when they need some special attention.

I remember one time Tom had had a particularly difficult week at work. Kindness was not on his company’s agenda, and he felt beat up on several levels. Friday had finally arrived, and he was due home within the hour.

I got the idea to make him a special surprise–a banner hung in the garage that said, “Welcome To Your Weekend!” When he walked in the door I had his favorite snack waiting and sent him to our room to relax and unwind before dinner.

It was a simple kindness, but very romantic. And best of all? It didn’t cost much at all!

Have you bought the lie that romance is complicated and expensive? Or that it requires too much effort?

Well, I encourage you to think otherwise.

Tell me, what is one kindness you can show to your spouse today that will make them smile?

Give it a try and see if kindness doesn’t begin taking root in your home–and maybe, just maybe it’ll make it behind the wheel of your car as well. 🙂 Kindness has a way of spreading to those who need it most.

Check out this excellent post by my friend, Cindy Wright at Marriage Missions International, for ideas on how to show random acts of kindness towards your spouse.  Or this great list of 74 Simple Things You Can Do to Brighten Your Spouse’s Day here at Engaged Marriage.

Until next month…let’s practice romance…and be kind to each other!



Dec 08

How’s the (Romantic) Temperature In Your Home?

By Debi Walter | Romance

imagesIf marriage is like a house, then romance is the central air and heat.

Think about it. A marriage can make it without romance–many couples have proven this fact, just as you can live in a house without central air and heat. It may be do-able, but it certainly won’t be as enjoyable.

When things get difficult in your life–trouble with work, children, schooling, relationships–it’s nice to know your spouse is there to let you vent about the struggle. It’s even better if your spouse plans something special, romantic even, to help you get your mind off the trouble at hand.

Romance is NOT foreplay, but it can be.

Any husband or wife, who is using romance as a way to get what they want in the bedroom, is abusing this very special gift.

Romance is like a comfortable chair in your favorite room of the house. It feels right.

Romance has the ability to cool a heated situation or heat up your relationship when the air has chilled.

Romance is something you share with your spouse alone. No one else has the privilege of romancing you, and vice versa.

Do you see romance as more of a privilege or an obligation?

How you answer this question is key to how successful showing romance to your spouse will be.

It’s Christmas, the time of year our children anticipate the other eleven months of the year. It’s our job to make it special for them. But it’s also a great time to romance the one who will be there when your children are grown and gone.

Following are some easy ways to incorporate romance this Christmas season:

  1. Go for a walk after dark to see the Christmas lights in your neighborhood.
  2. Order dinner at your favorite restaurant for pick-up after the kids are in bed. Set the table with your favorite candles and play Christmas music softly in the background.
  3. Plan your own surprise of the 12 Days After Christmas, where your spouse gets to open one special box a day beginning December 26th. Fill it with coupons, candies or treats you know they’ll appreciate.
  4. Put lights up in your bedroom. This is the one time of year you can get away with having special romantic lighting in your room and no one will bat an eye, but maybe your spouse. 😉
  5. Make a personal Christmas tree in your bedroom. Decorate it with pictures and souvenirs from special places you’ve been together.
  6. Mail your spouse a romantic Christmas card and spend time expressing your love to them with carefully composed words.
  7. Have a photo book made of all the Christmases you’ve enjoyed together. Give it to them on Christmas Eve after the kids are in bed.
  8. Make it a tradition of opening your gifts to each other on Christmas Eve, so you can take your time and enjoy each gift without interruptions.
  9. Watch your favorite Christmas movie together.
  10. Give your spouse a foot massage–or treat them to an unexpected pedicure after a long day of shopping.

What’s the temperature in your marriage? Maybe a little romance is in order–give it a try and see if it doesn’t make things much more enjoyable. 🙂

Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Blessed New Year!


(photo source)

Nov 10

What’s Your RQ?

By Debi Walter | Romance


You may not be familiar with an RQ, and it’s for good reason–I made it up. 🙂 But testing of this kind has been around since the early 1900’s.

You’re most likely more familiar with an IQ, which stands for Intelligence Quotient.  Your IQ is determined by measuring your answers to questions asked from others in your age group. It is a helpful tool for educators and interesting for parents.

But have you ever considered where your marriage would stand compared with other couples with similar circumstances like yours such as: years married, age, number of children, where you live, etc.?

Wouldn’t it be helpful and interesting to know?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a standardized test we can take to measure such statistics.

Oh, there are romance quizzes, but most of those are geared to couples dating, not married.

Of course, there is The Five Love Languages Quiz, that helps you discover how you and your spouse speak and understand love spoken to each other.

If you haven’t taken this quiz, we would encourage you to start there. However, as an aside, be warned: There is danger in holding too tightly to your love language, and it isn’t biblical to do so.

For instance, the Bible doesn’t say to “Love your neighbor as yourself,” but only if they love you according to your love language. No!

The Bible is very clear that we are to lay down our lives, as Christ has layed down His life for us. We are not to consider our own interests, but should consider the interests of others as more important than our own, which includes our spouse.

That said, I believe there is a way to measure how we’re doing in the romance department to discover our RQ, so to speak.

It comes from the friends with whom we relate, it comes from the couples we know at church, it comes from the marriage bloggers we follow who share their own experiences, and it comes from asking older couples we respect how they cultivated romance through the changing seasons of marriage.

I recently asked an older friend how they managed to keep their romance alive, and her answer was simple, yet profound:

She said, “My husband isn’t the same man I married 60 years ago; he’s changed. And honey, I’m not the same woman he married either. We’ve both changed, and we’ve both had to learn to fall in love with who we are today. We’ve managed to fall in love with the same person over and over, season after season, and it’s been very good. That’s the secret to lasting love.”

Wow. I love that! And it makes me look at the struggles we’re facing today, in this season of marriage, a bit differently.

Maybe what’s needed is a touch of romance to woo my husband again, like I did when we were first married?

Maybe it’s him taking the time to sweep me off my feet, like he did when we first met?

Maybe it takes us both leaning into the marriage and instead of pulling away?

Our Romance Quotient is determined by how you measure up to others in similar circumstances. But RQ also determines those who are genius compared to the standard.

May we learn year after to year how to ramp up our RQ for the good of our marriage and for God’s glory. That’s what lasting marriages are made of, and it’s worth pursuing.

Based on what you’re doing today to romance your spouse, what do you think your RQ would be? Take some time and talk about it on your next date night. This might be the beginning of something good–real good!

While you’re at it–you might like to enter our Capturing Romance Photo Contest


We’re celebrating our 6th year of blogging at The Romantic Vineyard, and we love to give good gifts away to those who are pursuing romance in their marriage. The deadline for entering is Midnight on the 11th (that’s Tuesday), and there are three top prizes…so click over and send us your best shot.



Oct 13

10 Romantic Ways To Fall In Love With Your Love This Fall

By Debi Walter | Romance


Fall is in the air, and it’s my favorite season for many reasons: I love the color God puts on display, I love the cooler weather after a hot summer, and I love the longer evenings to enjoy candlelight dinners.

But the most important one is how it provides some of the best opportunities for romance in your marriage.

This is why I’m providing a list of “Ten Romantic Ways to Fall in Love With Your Love this Fall”.

If you’ve already done some of these–try it again. Or pick something that you’ve never done and have fun!

1.  Go Camping. If this is something you do often, it won’t take any special planning. But if you’ve never enjoyed a night under the stars together you’ll most likely have to invest some time and money making this one happen.

Sometimes the most romantic memories are created when you do something out of your normal routine.

Make your camp site as comfortable as possible and bring real plates and crystal for serving a special dinner around the campfire.

2. Go hiking. If you live in the mountains, this one will be easy. But if you live in an area where hiking isn’t as readily available, plan a weekend away.

Hiking provides time away from technology, which is something we all need from time to time. In order to really connect with your spouse, it requires a willingness to disconnect from the rest of the world.

3. Go biking. So many of the former railroad tracks have been converted to biking/walking trails. The project is called Rails To Trails and are located all across the country. Check out this convenient website to find a trail near you.

4. Plan a backyard bonfire. If you already have a fire pit, this one will be easy. But if you don’t, why not surprise your spouse by getting one and setting it up for a romantic evening under the stars.

Some of our best conversations have taken place in our own backyard watching the flickering flames of a bonfire.

5. Go horseback riding. Oftentimes we reserve these kinds of activities for vacation, but how fun to check out stables near your home and surprise your spouse with a day together in the saddle.

6. Have a pumpkin carving contest. Pick a design that celebrates your marriage in a special way. Here are some great examples of how to take your carving up a notch! 😉

7. Bonfire on the beach or at the lake. There’s something about watching the sunset over a body of water that soothes my soul. Add a bonfire as the stars start to appear and that’s over the top romantic!

In Florida we have fire rings at the beach you can reserve, free of charge.  They’re only available from October through April due to Turtle nesting season.

If you’re planning to visit central Florida, put this at the top of your list!

8. Tour a local vineyard. Vineyards are some of the most romantic places to spend an afternoon together. Add the cooler temperatures of the Fall along with the warm changes in color, and you’re both sure to remember this one as special!

9. Take a train ride to another town and explore the downtown area for an afternoon. In Orlando we have a new Sun Rail that takes you to neighboring towns at minimal cost.

10. Kayaking or Canoeing Picnic. Take a trip down the river and locate a secluded spot for a romantic picnic for two.


What are some great romantic fall dates you and your spouse have experienced?  Or are there any you’d suggest to add to the list?  Make sure you leave your ideas in the comments below!


Sep 15

The 4 Building Blocks of Intimacy

By Debi Walter | Communication , Romance


Tom and I have been married for 35 1/2 years, and we’re still building our marriage. It’s a process that should never stop. Just as I will never arrive to the place of perfection in this life, so too, my marriage will always be in need of growth and change. Not realizing this fact causes more marriages to crumble than anything else.

Does that surprise you?

Marriage is like a house. If left to itself it will deteriorate, but if careful attention is given to the needs that come up, the home will last a lifetime.

How do we continue to build our marriage house? It’s simple really, but it’s not easy.

It has been said that anything worth doing is worth doing well. Our marriage is no exception. We have determined four building blocks that when used throughout the years of your marriage, will make it strong and able to withstand any adverse weather conditions that come your way.

Building Block #1 – Spiritual Intimacy

We’ve all heard the saying, “The family that prays together stays together.”

Of course, it takes more than just prayer to build a strong marriage. Prayer is not an end in itself, but is a line of communication to the only One who can truly help our marriage be all it was meant to be.

Prayer is our acknowledgement of our need for God to help us in our weakness. It’s sharing with Him what’s troubling us. It’s humbling ourselves in His presence letting Him know that we realize that without Him we are helpless to change. And when you take the time to pray to God together, it allows your spouse to hear what’s on your heart in a way mere conversation never reveals.

Spiritual Intimacy is learning together more about who God is. It’s Bible reading. It’s growing your faith by being an active part of a local church.

By all means possible, make sure the building block of Spiritual Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

Building Block #2 – Intellectual Intimacy

We should never stop learning and growing. How do you work on this building block? Make it a practice to study current events and talk about what you’ve heard. Learn new things together. Take a class or visit local museums or galleries and read the signs explaining the exhibits. Stimulate your mind by exercising it. A great tool is Lumosity, an on-line daily quiz for your brain that will strengthen your brain in ways you may not realize you need.

By all means possible, make sure the building block of Intellectual Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

Building Block #3 – Emotional Intimacy

Usually one spouse is more emotional than the other and oftentimes it’s the wife, but this isn’t always the case. If you are the one who doesn’t cry much, it takes effort on your part to grow in your understanding of one who cries at the drop of a hat. It would be easy to disregard their emotions as unnecessary, but if you do, you’re missing an important aspect of intimacy.

I remember a time when Tom and I were talking with a friend about an emotionally charged topic. Our friend asked me a question and immediately my eyes began to fill with tears and I couldn’t talk. Tom, who knows and understands me well said, “Give her a minute and she’ll be able to tell you what she’s thinking.” In that moment I felt loved and cared for by Tom. He isn’t nearly as emotional as I am, but he doesn’t make light of the emotions I feel. He listens. He knows me, and most importantly he shows his care by letting me express myself emotionally.

It’s also equally important to not let your emotions rule your heart or the decisions you make. This is why it’s good when one spouse isn’t nearly as subjective in making decisions. It takes the feeling of one spouse and the wisdom of another to consider important decisions on all sides.

Just as the more objective spouse must learn to understand the more subjective spouse, it’s also important for the subjective spouse to listen and trust the more objective spouse. This creates a strong balance in your marriage that isn’t easily shaken.

By all means possible make sure the building block of Emotional Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

Building Block #4 – Sexual Intimacy

This is most likely the first block you thought of when you heard the word “intimacy.” 🙂 It is important, but I placed it last in the list for a reason.

You see if you’re working on the first three building blocks, this one will benefit and grow stronger.

However, it takes a willingness to communicate with your spouse honestly and without fear of being exposed. To be intimate physically with another requires a vulnerability many fear because of past abuse or disappointments. It may be you’re afraid of being rejected.

Before the fall recorded in Genesis, God made them male and female. They were naked and not ashamed. What a gift they had, but didn’t realize until it was gone.

Guilt and shame made them want to hide, and it is the same for us today. It takes patience, love, and care to help a spouse who is suffering under the weight of guilt and shame. It takes unselfish love that is willing to become a safe haven for the one with whom you’ve been joined as one flesh.

The physical intimacy God intends for a husband and wife to enjoy is unlike any other relationship you’ll have. No one else sees you in this way. No one else has access to the core of who you are. It is a privilege and a great responsibility to know only one person in this way.

There is much to learn in regards to sexual intimacy, and much information is available. However, I caution you to know your source, and make sure what you’re reading is Biblically sound.

I recommend the following blogs where I’m confident you’ll receive help and hope that you can trust. Hot, Holy and Humorous, The Marriage Bed, Marriage Missions International, and To Love, Honor and Vacuum.

By all means possible make sure the building block of Sexual Intimacy is strong in your marriage.

What building blocks are in need of attention in your marriage?

Plan a date night to discuss this article and what steps you can take to make your marriage stronger.

Aug 11

The Safety Net of Romance

By Debi Walter | Communication , Romance

Cultivating romance into your marriage on a regular basis helps you stay connected heart-to-heart when you don’t see eye-to-eye.

Every marriage goes through seasons of conflict, and it’s usually quite intense when it happens. Things can be going along really well and your spouse says something that doesn’t sit right in your mind.

So, you ask a question that leads to more tension because either the question isn’t heard clearly or it isn’t understood.

So, the answer isn’t at all what you wanted to hear, which leads to more tension and more conflict. It’s a downward spiral that’s hard to correct once it begins.

Smart couples choose to go to their separate corners when tensions mount in order to think and pray before continuing the conversation.

This is a good idea, especially if you’re prone to fits of anger. Giving yourself time and distance allows the Lord to help you think with wisdom, instead of reacting with foolishness.

What does this have to do with romance?


A couple who never takes the time to romance each other when things are going well, are going to have a harder time believing the best about their spouse when things are hard.

Romance acts like a safety net when you’re balancing on the high wire of conflict.

You know it’s a dangerous place to be, but the romance you’ve enjoyed together insures that you’ll make it through safely and together.

Romance gives you a tangible reminder of why the relationship is worth fighting for. It helps you remember the good times when the bad times are screaming at you.

I remember a time when Tom and I were going through a really difficult conflict that had no quick resolve. It went on for months, but our commitment to each other never wavered. We knew we were in this relationship together–for better or worse–and just because this was a “worse” part of our marriage, we weren’t going to give up.

The best was yet to come. It might surprise you that our lives continued on as normal; I was homeschooling our three children, Tom was leading a small care group in our home on a weekly basis, Tom had work commitments that required us both to attend with smiles on our faces, and all the while our hearts were hurting.

We did what we knew to do, which even included some romance here and there, because this was our norm. Sort of like a default setting on a computer.

It was while we were doing a normal romantic thing–slow dancing together at a work dinner–that God broke through our conflict and helped us resolve the issue once and for all.

It started with tears that lead to repentance and then, total and complete forgiveness. Had we not taken the steps to do something romantic that we both enjoyed would we have ever found resolve to our conflict?

I’m sure we would have, but because we did, it may have happened sooner because we were willing to do what we knew to do, regardless of how we felt.

Was it easy? No. Would we wish this kind of conflict on anyone? Absolutely not!

But now this story is part of our testimony, and it has helped hundreds of couples understand that a good marriage isn’t without difficulty.

In fact, if you’re doing things right, it’s not to prevent trouble, but to prepare the ground so that your love is supported through it when it comes.

What trouble are you facing today that causes you to want to pull away?

How could doing something romantic and thoughtful for your spouse help you get through the worst part to a better tomorrow?

Pray and ask God to help you come up with a plan, and then watch what He does. If He can turn water into wine, then certainly He can turn our trouble into something good.

A testimony that will help us help others who may be struggling in the same way.

Now that’s a love worth celebrating!


(photo source)

Jun 09

The Rhythm Of Romance

By Debi Walter | Romance

What do you think of when you hear the word “Romance”?

Most likely you think of goosebumps and floating hearts while soft music plays as you dance together under a starlit sky.

Sure these things can be a part of the romance you experience as husband and wife, but it doesn’t occur most of the time, nor does it have to.

After 35 years of marriage, Tom and I have come to a place of enjoying romance on a daily basis, and you probably wouldn’t notice it if you were to spend an afternoon with us.

You see, romance is so much more than Hallmark could ever express. It is more than Hollywood could ever depict on the big screen.

It is made up of the thousand little choices we make each and every day. 

Romance is how we talk to each other. It’s saying please and thank you. It’s extending common courtesies to each other without expecting anything in return. It’s being nice and kind. But it’s more…

Romance is doing things for each other without having to be asked. It’s taking out the garbage without being reminded. It’s keeping up with whatever household task is important to your spouse. It’s found in the doing, not just the hearing. But it’s more…

Romance is about listening. I heard one man say that he can be talking to a group of guys in a crowded room, but when his wife touches his arm and says his name, he stops everything to listen to her voice above all the others. He has made her his highest priority, and she knows it. Can your spouse interrupt you and find your smile waiting? and not your frustration? or worse–your anger? But it’s more…

Romance is about the hundreds of daily choices you make. It’s preferring your spouse’s desires to your own. It’s choosing to believe the best about them and not expect the worst. It’s not always easy to put your spouse first–we are such selfish beings, but to those who find the way to do this–romance is alive and well in that relationship. But it’s more…

Romance is the sharing of the mundane days of life. There is no one on the earth who has shared the same experiences as me more than my husband. We have faced joy and trial, triumph and defeat. We have helped each other up and we have caught each other when we’ve fallen.  It is waking up each morning to bed head, and morning breath and seeing the gift they still are to you. But romance is much more…

Romance is the lifeblood of marriage. It is the activity of love that flows through your oneness. It may look completely different in your relationship, but as long as the two of you enjoy it–That. Is. Enough.

This is why comparing your marriage with someone else’s is never profitable. Each marriage expresses romance in a way that is unique to them alone. We have no right to judge, criticize or elevate one marriage over another.

Our responsibility is to learn the rhythm of romance in our own home.

Do you recognize it when you hear it? It may be playing loud and clear, but only those who are tuned in will hear.

Why don’t you sit for a few moments today and consider how romance plays out in your marriage? Pray and ask God to open your ears to hear it more clearly. He will help you–after all marriage was His idea in the first place, and so was romance.


May 12

5 Romantic Ideas For Each Of The 5 Love Languages

By Debi Walter | Romance

5 Romantic Ideas for the Five Love LanguagesIf you’re married and are a Christian, you’ve most likely heard of Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The Five Love Languages.

This is what gave me the idea to offer five romantic ideas for each of the five love languages. Determining the way you express and receive love can help your spouse in knowing how to best romance you and also help you know how to romance them.

If you haven’t done so already, you can find out your love language by taking this short free test. Then come back and choose something from the following list to romance your spouse this week.

See if what you plan isn’t more meaningful to your spouse. And see if what they do for you is something that stands out in your heart and mind a special.


  1. Write your spouse a love letter. If you’re not sure how to do this–check out this awesome resource.
  2. Make a list of 10 things you appreciate about your spouse. Write each one on a separate post-it note and hide them around the house so they’ll find them over time. Hiding place ideas: underwear drawer, inside the coffee filters, around their toothbrush, on the shower wall, on their car dash, inside their briefcase, in-between slices of bread in the wrapper, on the washing machine control panel, in the mailbox.
  3. Commend something your spouse has done recently on your Facebook page. Be sure to tag them in the post.
  4. Search You Tube and find a song that says what you want to say to encourage your spouse. E-mail them the link telling them, “This song says it all – I love you!”
  5. Talk to them softly while making love, communicating what you love most about how they love you.


  1. Tell your spouse you’re going to take over one of their dreaded chores because you love them. You can do this for a certain period of time, or forever. Either way is sure to speak volumes to your spouse.
  2. Be quick to do whatever your spouse asks you to do for them. If it’s take a package to the post office for them, put that task at the top of your to-do list for the day.
  3. Ask your spouse, “What is the most meaningful thing I do for you?”, and then be faithful to always do it, as much as it’s in your ability to do so. If it’s being punctual to appointments, work on being on time. If it’s having the car cleaned inside and out, do all you can to keep it clean and shiny. If it’s having the laundry done on a certain day, work hard to stay on top of it. You may be surprised at what it is, or you may already know without asking.
  4. Keep a short list of repairs needed around the house. If you don’t know how to do something, ask someone who does to teach you how.
  5. If your spouse normally makes the bed, make it for them. Or cook them their favorite meal. Find something unexpected you can do that will make them smile. 🙂


  1. Make the most of unusual holidays and buy a small gift for your spouse. Have it wrapped and placed where they’ll find it on their own. Here is a list of such holidays according to the months of the year. You may be surprised to see how many there are.
  2. Make a mental note of little things your spouse mentions that they like. It might be daisies are their favorite flower, or they love a certain perfume or scarf. It could be a favorite candy bar, to a movie they want to see. Whatever it is, if it’s within your budget, surprise them by getting it for them. They will be blessed not only that you bought them the gift, but that you paid attention to what they said.
  3. Subscribe them to a favorite magazine or one that represents something they love, like gardening, cooking, golf or car-racing.
  4. Make a certain day of the week their special day. It could be that every Monday you give them a small token of your love. The anticipation of the gift will be as special as actually getting it. They don’t have to be expensive things either, just thoughtful. This is usually what those with the “receiving gifts” love language actually want…is to know that you thought enough of them to pick something out just for them, just because.
  5. Whenever you give a small gift, take the time to wrap it nicely. Often times the presentation is as important as the gift itself. And remember, just because this doesn’t mean much to you (it receiving gifts isn’t your love language), it is probably very important to your spouse.


  1. Make Date Nights a weekly event. Even if you can’t afford a babysitter, plan a night at home that is yours alone.
  2. When your spouse asks to talk to you about something, put your smart phone or iPad down and make eye-contact with them while they speak.
  3. Use the questions from Connect Like You Did When Your First Met on a regular basis to enrich your conversation about things you might not think to discuss.
  4. Go to bed at the same time, even if at times you have to get up after they’ve fallen asleep. It’s meaningful for them to know that you’ve purposed to spend that time right before sleep together.
  5. Go for walks together after dinner. Even if the kids join you, the time spent will mean a lot.


  1. Hold your spouse’s hand whenever you’re out together walking, whether in the mall, at the beach, or around the block.
  2. Kiss your spouse often. Make it a point to greet them at the door with a hug and a kiss.  Do the same when they’re leaving for the day.
  3. Sometimes holding your spouse without saying a word means the most to those with this love language.
  4. Cuddle together in bed.
  5. Give them regular neck, back, foot or full body massages. Buy various lotions and oils to make this even more of a treat.

These ideas are simply to get you started on your journey of expressing your love in a way that will be the most meaningful to your spouse.

If your spouse is like me, they may have more than one love language, which only broadens the possibilities. The most important thing is to have fun!