“Observe, record, tabulate, communicate. Use your five senses. Learn to see, learn to hear, learn to feel, learn to smell, and know that by practice alone you can become expert.” ~William Osler
God has created us with five main senses: sight, sound, touch, smell and taste.
We need to learn to incorporate, develop and use all five senses in our marriages.
“..you are precious and honoured in my sight.” —Isaiah 43:4
To be precious means to be of great value, something not to be wasted or treated carelessly.
To be honoured is to be treated with great respect and to be looked upon with admiration.
When last did you look at your spouse with great admiration and think how precious they were to you? Take time to actually look at your spouse. See how stressed they may be, or sad or lonely or pressurised and take time to go for a drive or a walk and look at each other. Ask what you can do to make their lives easier, to make them feel loved.
“Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 1:13
The Greek root word for sound in this concept is hugiaino, which means “health, safety or wholesomeness.” In the verse above it is used as a metaphor for accuracy and truth.
Is your marriage healthy and sound or is it teetering on the brink of collapse? Are you using words of kindness and encouragement when you communicate with your spouse?
We find faith and love in Jesus Christ.
Do you still have faith in your marriage vows, or are they just words long forgotten? Do you love your spouse with every fibre of your being and are you willing to sit with them and really listen to what is happening in their lives? Invite your spouse to sit with you and tell you what is going on in their lives and then really listen to the emotions behind the spoken words. Do this with an attitude of love.
“You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.” —Psalm 139:5
The Hebrew word for hem in this context is tsuwr and it means to enclose or secure or to guard a valuable object. We are valuable in God’s eyes and He guards us. God’s hand rests upon us and brings comfort and grace.
Charles Spurgeon, the well-known minister and author said:
“Behind us there is God recording our sins, or in grace blotting out the remembrance of them; and before us there is God foreknowing all our deeds, and providing for all our wants.”
Are we exercising the same grace in our marriages? Forgiving and blotting out the mistakes our partners have made? Are our hands resting upon our spouses in support and care?
Take time to hug your spouse, put some music on and dance slowly holding each other tight, love your spouse physically at night.
“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of a friend springs from their heartfelt advice.” Proverbs 27:9
Perfume and incense are pleasant to smell and are often used in aromatherapy because they have a calming effect. They make one feel good and are always desirable. Are you bringing joy to your spouse? Do you have a calming effect on them or is there tension and anger between you? Do you find pleasure in your marriage? Are you giving each other advice and guidance and sharing your wisdom with each other?
Spend some time thinking about what brings joy to your spouse and then plan something special that will incorporate that sense of joy. Run a bubble bath, light candles and incense and invite your spouse to join you in the bath. Spend time just breathing in the smells of the aromas surrounding you.
“Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him” —Psalm 34:8
The phrase ‘taste and see’ means ‘try and experience’. Tasting involves sampling and seeing involves perceiving or understanding. In this verse, we are invited to discover the goodness of the Lord personally. Taste is associated with pleasure and satisfaction. We experience tastes of God’s goodness and grace when we recognise His blessings of protection, provision and care.
To take refuge means to find shelter or protection from danger and distress. We are told ‘blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.’ Our marriages should be a place of safety, shelter and protection from the world and its destructive forces. In the busyness of life, we tend to forget that our marriages should be pleasurable and a place of sanctuary.
Take time to cook meals together, go to markets and taste and sample different foods, buy takeout and go and sit on the beach or on a bench in a garden and enjoy the meal together in the beauty of God’s creation.