Systems may not sound “sexy” at first (all right—they don’t sound sexy at all!), but stick with us and we believe you’ll agree that systems ARE sexy!
There are systems for nearly everything in life. Whenever a specific outcome is desired, a system is in place to achieve it. From the production of cattle for beef to the production of a burger in McDonald’s, systems are in place. Systems are used in offices management, in personnel development, and in military deployment. Systems make the right things happen.
If we are intentional in our marriage and desire a certain outcome, it makes sense to develop a system that will yield the result, doesn’t it? “But wait a minute!” you exclaim. “If our love is true then those things should just flow out of our love for each other and not need some ‘cold’ and ‘sterile’ system to make it happen!” That would be nice in the theory, but it doesn’t fit the reality of most marriages, does it?
The truth is, our feelings follow our actions. If we create the systems for the right actions, the feelings will come into being. And at that point you will realize as we have that systems ARE sexy! Here are some simple ideas for a few systems you might consider. Perhaps they will be a catalyst in thinking up a few of your own!
Our first kiss was August 11th, 1977. One of us has trouble remembering the date and it isn’t Heidi. 🙂 But even though it’s calendared, the fact that it’s written down, recalled, and celebrated still stimulates romance. Remember: it’s not illegal in romance to write down important dates in your relationship. Include the year that special day came into being so that you can recall how many years you’ve been celebrating. If you use a smart phone or an electronic calendar this is even easier to do by setting them up as recurring appointments.
You can also schedule recurring tasks that need to be done around the house—especially the ones that are important to your spouse. Once it’s in the calendar and a weekly alarm goes off, you can take care of it without being asked. That kind of attentiveness over time shows love, caring, and faithfulness.
Systems can also involve other people. If there’s a behavior that you need to deal with, create an accountability system. Recruit a trusted friend, confident, or mentor to contact you on a set day(s) of the week about your behavior. Allow them to contact your spouse to check in on how you’re doing from their perspective. Knowing that you will have regular accountability can create the check in your spirit to change your behavior. It also gives your spouse confidence that you are intent on improving yourself—which in turn makes them feel valued.
You might also create a system to memorize Bible verses pertaining to that area of your life that you want to change. Learn one verse a week and see how the power of Scripture can transform your thoughts and behavior.
Keep a “Romance” folder on your computer or smartphone. If you use Evernote then create a folder with your spouse’s name. Start collecting gift ideas for you to give your spouse. Through the year they will express things of interest or that they wish they could have. Write it down, putting it into your folder.
Develop a list of your spouse’s favorite foods, beverages, and restaurants. Is there a certain type of flower she enjoys or movie he has been wanting to see? Write it down!
You may see something in your spouse that makes you drawn to them a bit more than normal. There will be traits that you notice that others might miss. Write them down in your romance folder. Later, formulate a note to your spouse using the things you recalled. That will communicate value because of your specific affirmation. It will also create an affection by them toward you because of your attentiveness to them.
What other systems can you use in your marriage? As you can see, systems ARE sexy and are important as you build your marriage!