Don’t Be a Jerk

Think about the last time you and your spouse had sex. How have you treated each other since? Did you affirm, build up, and act in a loving way, or were you selfish and lazy?

God designed you to live with integrity, courage, honor, joy, and kindness. If you strive to live that way, you will be romantic. Think about it. You love the person you’re with. Be trustworthy. Be thoughtful. Be silly. Show the love.

God delights in you when you live this way with him and with our spouse. When you improve your relationship with God, your spousal relationship also improves, and vice versa. Work on one relationship is work on the other.

Think of foreplay as everything that has happened between you and your spouse from the last time you had sex. Strive to always be in a time of sex or romance. Sleeping in bed next to each other and reaching over to touch your spouse when you wake for a moment can be a gentle romantic element of living foreplay. All the little interactions that build love also build romance.

Even when tough times come, being conscious of our attitude can help grow our romantic relationship.  Our 30-year-old daughter told her a boyfriend, “You know; I am a really difficult girlfriend.”

He said, “No you’re not.”

“Yes I am,” she said. “You don’t know.”

He said, “I do know. I’m just going to find you charming.”

When I heard that story, I realized that I almost always find Debby charming, even when I’m mad at her, and she almost always respects me even when I act dopey. In the end, we all want to know we are loved and respected.

So how do you build your relationship with your spouse? Start by not being a jerk. A jerk is selfish; he or she wants his or her own way and doesn’t care about the desires of others. As children, we are naturally selfish. We mature into giving and loving people, but the inner jerk remains in all of us. We need to fight our entire lives against our inner jerk.

Romantic gestures, like sending flowers or giving a compliment, do not counteract day-to-day jerkiness. Think of your relationship like a bank account. Every jerk activity withdraws capital. Every kind, loving, Fruit of the Spirit activity deposits capital. To have a strong relationship, you need to be conscious of that ledger.