Leaving and Cleaving (The spark of romance) Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall be joined to his wife: as though they had one body. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. GENESIS 2:24 Do you remember the first time that you were naked in front of your spouse? Everyone has had their own experience, but I think that in all of us, there was this initial feeling of insecurity. Hope you remember the first time you made love to your spouse, like anybody else, you must have been so insecure! You must have wondered what she/he thought of you. You wondered if he found you attractive. In the romance novels you always read of how the woman falls into the man’s arms and is swept away with passion. Forget being swept away with passion, the whole time you wondered if you were doing it right and what was going through his mind! Not very romantic at all is it? Well it was round about that time that I discovered that the things I had read in romance novels were just those…novels…story books. It is wonderful to look and marvel at the body of your spouse, it’s the most wonderful experience your mind, body and soul can have. Reality and fantasy do not mix and it takes a while to discover that romance is not something that just happens, but something you grow into together. Jane learned that passion was not just based on the flesh, but something that is developed in her soul too. As time goes on; you become more comfortable being naked around your spouse. Am sure you had a wonderful sex life and felt like the most blessed woman/man in the entire world. Yet something was lacking. Even though you knew the “breathless passion” was something only to be found in story books, you must have been sure that there was more romance to be found in a marriage. Jane did what any sensible woman would do. She prayed that her husband would come right! She prayed that he would learn to be more romantic. Well you know how the Lord is. When you pray and give Him an opportunity to bring change in your marriage, He usually starts with the person who thinks they need the least help. In this case…it was Jane. Was Jane in for a surprise! The Lord did not waste any time at all in showing her closed heart. He showed her how even though she had a loving and tender husband, that she chose rather to get her emotional and other soulish needs met in her work and in other people. It is always bonding to give each other quality time, than just jump into bed with your partner. When was the last time you looked at the body of your spouse while they lay stark naked? Give it a try it could be the missing link in your relationship. Instead of being satisfied with just lying in his arms, she had to get up and work and strive and do other things to meet that need. Only when she had pushed herself hard and worked as much as she could, did she feel she had accomplished. Not only had this brought a very big wall between them, but it also killed any chance of romance! Jane suddenly realized that it was impossible for her husband to romance her at all, while she was running around getting her needs met elsewhere. It was during this time that Jane truly came to learn about a heavenly marriage. So just like the first time they made love, she took a chance and removed the clothes and the covers from her heart. Jane opened her heart to her husband and began to share her needs, desires and cares. Then she did not run off and do work, but chose to lay in his arms and to allow his touch and his words to comfort her and meet her need. Perhaps you find it easy to talk with your spouse and share all your cares with them, but are you also ready to allow them to meet your needs? Or do you say what you need to say to your spouse and then go and have a drink, watch a move, get on chat with someone else, go out or get some more work done? The key is not just about sharing your heart, but waiting a little while to find rest and fulfillment with your spouse. This is not a complicated thing. How difficult was it to take off your clothes the first time? It was not hard at all! It just took a simple choice and the rest followed. Well being naked in spirit and in soul is the same choice. It means making a choice to stay with your spouse a little longer. To look into their eyes a little longer and to choose to put away the other things that has been meeting your needs up until now Good ending. Even though things started off bumpy for Jane and her husband, I am pleased to say that this story does have a happy ending. I discovered that the novels and story books left out a whole chapter on real romance and passion. With that one little choice, something began to happen in their marriage. Suddenly her husband found her more attractive than ever and suddenly she found her husband more attractive than ever. They could not wait to get alone in the evening and would often feign weariness so that they could chase the kids to bed and take an extra hour together. Their times of communication in the evenings became fun! Get on with it have fun, enjoy each other, keep your eyes fixed on each other, attractiveness grows instead of dying. Suddenly Jane wanted to make love more…to just be with her husband! Her husband was pleasantly surprised, but did not ask any questions, just enjoying the moment. As for her, she discovered that her husband was an incurable romantic after all. Jane had just never hung around long enough to see it. Keep the fires burning in your relationship by spicing it with laughter, romance and fun. So let me both challenge and encourage you today. Romance, passion and joy are God’s gifts to you in marriage. When you allow your marriage to be the one thing that entertains, encourages, motivates and blesses you, everything else will fall quickly into place. When you are secure in your marriage, you can handle any kind of pressure or stress. So I challenged you…get naked with your spouse. Not just physically, but bare your heart to them also and then just wait in their presence and allow them to meet the needs and desires you have. It is a big leap to a relationship that is more romantic…more passionate…more fun and exciting! Take time to love each other and love each other faithfully.