Mark: Jill and I spent this past weekend with over 2500 moms at the North Central Regional Hearts at Home Conference.  While I go with her to serve and work the conference, I also get the opportunity to hear some wonderful speakers. At this conference, I really enjoyed Dr. Gary Chapman’s message.

Jill:  Mark and I sat backstage and listened to Dr. Chapman’s message. It was excellent. Afterwards, we decided that we wanted today’s Marriage Monday to be about something Dr. Chapman talked about: the tingles.

Mark: Dr. Chapman talked about when you’re dating and you get “the tingles” for this person. They intrigue you. You spend hours talking. You feel connected. They are all you think about.  Eventually you decide you want to spend your life with this person.

Jill: According to Dr. Chapman, once you get married, on average, the tingles disappear within two years. That’s normal. That’s what happens emotionally after you start living with someone and seeing all of them…including their strengths and their faults.

Mark: Dr. Chapman said there’s a great probability that as a married person, you will get “the tingles” for someone else along the way.  Getting “the tingles” for someone else isn’t wrong in and of itself.  It’s what you do with those feelings that makes all the difference in the world.

Jill: Getting the tingles for someone other than your spouse is temptation and it’s a tool used by Satan to steal and destroy your marriage. If you get the tingles for someone else, you need to do NOTHING and you need to do EVERYTHING.

Mark: You need to do NOTHING about the new person you have the tingles for. Put distance between you and the other person. Resist the lie the enemy whispers that says, “you’re not meant to be married to who you’re married to….this person is your soulmate.” RUN the other direction. The Bible says, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41) Recognize this is temptation and do NOTHING to feed the temptation. In the words of the Apostle Paul….RUNNNNNN!

Jill: You need to do EVERYTHING to water the grass in your own yard. Flirt with your spouse. Write your husband or wife a love letter. Make a list of their strengths and what drew you to them in the first place. If your marriage is in crisis, get help. Set up a counseling appointment. Talk to your pastor. Make plans to go to a one-week marriage intensive. Take action to get the help your marriage needs. Even if you feel you and your spouse have tried “everything,” there are other resources or other counselors out there…keep pursuing the right thing. (We are assuming that you are not in any physical danger in your marriage. If you are in physical danger, you need to protect yourself and your children if they are still at home.)

Mark: Even if “the tingles” have disappeared in your marriage, they can be re-ignited again. Don’t fall for the lie that you’ve “fallen out of love.”  Love is a choice. Choose to love and pursue the spouse you committed to join your life to “until death do you part.”

What about you? What strategies have you used to keep “the tingles” in your marriage?”                       `

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