Just because you said “I do” does not mean you’re done. To some, marriage is the climax of a relationship; it is the mountaintop of their pursuit of one another. Once married, some couples stop their courting of each other. Most often this attitude lends itself to a downhill affect of “what happens now?” I believe one of the major keys to a fulfilling relationship is deciding that getting married is the beginning of relational exploration. (Marriage without continuous exploration is destined to evaporation.) There must be an ongoing chase. The hunt does not stop. Courtship may end with marriage but courting should not stop because of it. Below are my thoughts on how to keep the feel of “courting” in marriage.
Let’s speak of it:
1. Keep the Hunter hunting.
Most people understand this: the male species is a predatory species. Man is a hunter. God, in His wisdom, gifted man with a “chase” mentality for natural and spiritual purposes. Naturally – to provide his family’s needs. Spiritually – to seek after God. But what does this “chase” mentality mean to the husband-wife relationship? Since man is a hunter, he must be allowed to hunt. The pride and the joy of being a man is chasing after and catching the “prey”. Ancient civilization had rituals and held festivities in celebration of a good, productive hunt. The hunting season not only brought food to the clan but pride to the clansmen. The nature, though, is that the hunter will begin to look for another game to hunt once the “prey” has been captured. Boredom and dissatisfaction will come to a man who no longer hunts. This is the same in marriage. It is important that a man does not feel like the hunt is finished after he is married. He must not feel that a season of hunting is over and done because, if this happens, he will begin a new season of hunting which creates a new season of struggle for the marriage. Here are two points that may help the husband keep the hunt in the marriage:
a. Give up control. It is no longer hunting when the wife is made to do things that she does not want to do. The joy of courtship and the reward of marriage was that she said “yes” on her own. Giving the wife the freedom to be herself, in the confines of marital commitment of course, is one of the best ways to know that the hunt is still on. The joy of the pursuit is knowing that what the wife is doing is a result of what the husband has done. When she acquiesces to his “lures” and “baits” rather than demands and threats, the hunt continues on. And feelings of “new love” follows.
b. Give some space. Crowding the wife brings fear and intimidation. Allowing the wife to flourish in her own space – whether physical, creative, financial, spiritual, etc – will make her continuously worth chasing. Finding new and better ways to attract and “corner” the ever evolving and developing wife will make the hunt so much more exciting and the “catch” so much more rewarding. The husband’s confidence in his hunting ability will give room for this.
2. Continue the Chase.
In a healthy premarital relationship, the woman gives chase for the man. She makes him pursue her. In fact the courting process is, more often than not, initiated by the hunter – the man. To the worldly man, getting the girl in bed is his ultimate prize. To the godly man, marrying the girl is his reward for his hunt. The problem arises when the girl/woman stops the chase and makes the man feel that his hunt is over. This, of course, is a mistake. The wise wife must cunningly devise a “cat and mouse” affect in her marriage. She must continue his chase. The wisdom lies in keeping her man in the balance: keeping him longing without getting him frustrated. The wife who gives her husband chase will not be in want of his attention. She must not demand attention, she must be skilled in being the focus of his attention. Here are two simple ways on how to continue the chase:
a. Tempered Sexuality. Biologically, man must be worked up. The wife must heighten her husband’s sexual desires. Since man is sexual by nature, she must give him sexual chase (while being mindful not to give him sexual frustration.) Sex is the wife’s tool for her emotional satisfaction because it is her man’s craving. If she is wise, the hunter – her husband, will satisfy her emotionally and then physically when she gives the proper chase. In turn, he will always be chasing her. This chase will help marriage longevity.
b. Catchable Elusiveness. Men can get frustrated and look for an easier hunt if the “prey” is too difficult to capture. The wisdom of the wife is to keep her husband at bay only to have him catch her when he feels like all is lost. The balance between elusiveness and ease of capture is where the fun continues in the marriage. To keep him hunting, the wife must provide a realistic chance of capture. (And reward him handsomely for his hunt.)
Courting in marriage is a “catch and release” proposition. It is a daily game of “catch me cause you can” but only after a good game of “playground tag”. The beauty of marriage is that husbands and wives are continuously challenged to make their relationship interesting. Marriage is not the zenith of a man’s and woman’s relationship; rather it is a wonderful, adventurous life-long pursuit of growth, betterment and fulfillment. If the husband and wife keep the hunt, then their marriage is destined for a happily, daily after.
Are you keeping the hunt? What do you and your spouse do consistently to keep the courting atmosphere fresh in your marriage?