In one of the episodes of the Three Stooges, Curly asks this lady – “Are you married or are you happy?” 

It is God’s will for every marriage to be a happy union, not a Civil War. “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this your reward in life” Ecclesiastes 9:9. “Rejoice in the wife of your youth” Proverbs 5:18. 

Unfortunately, what God intended to be a cruise ship has turned into a battle ship for many people. It is estimated that 40 – 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and 60 – 67 percent of second marriages fail, and 73 – 74 percent of third marriages fail. 

Increasingly more Americans are choosing to just live together and never get married. 

According to divorced couples, the number one reason that marriages fail is lack of communication or poor communication. Communication is more than words, we communicate with our actions as well. 

The Song of Solomon is all about love, communication and romance. We learn in it how to rekindle the flame in our marriages. 

1.  Communicate with talk – Listen to how Solomon and his wife speak to each other: “How beautiful you are, my darling. How beautiful you are! Your eyes are doves.” “How handsome you are, my beloved, and so pleasant!” 1:15-16. One of the greatest things you can do to enrich your marriage is to give lots of affirmation, words of affection and compliments to each other.

The other half of communication is listening – Give undivided attention to your spouse.

 2. Communicate with time – “My beloved responded and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along. For behold, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers have already appeared in the land; the time has arrived for pruning the vines, and the voice of the Turtledove has been heard in our land. The Fig Tree has ripened its figs, and the vines in blossom have given forth their fragrance. Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along!” 2:10-13. Spend time together doing what you enjoy. Help each other out in work around the house.

Have a weekly date night.

Have romantic getaways occasionally! “Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country, let us spend the night in the villages” 7:11.

3.  Communicate with touch – “His left arm is under my head, and his right arm embraces me” 2:6; 8:3. Regularly give tender physical affection to your spouse.

4.  Communicate with thoughtfulness – “I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me. Come, my beloved, let us go out into the country. Let us spend the night in the villages. Let us rise early and go to the vineyards; let us see whether the vine has budded and its blossoms have opened, and whether the pomegranates have bloomed. There I will give you my love. The mandrakes have given forth fragrance; and over our doors are all choice fruits, both new and old, which I have saved up for you, my beloved” 7:10-13. Surprising your spouse with unexpected gifts and acts of thoughtfulness is romantic and builds better marriages.

The Rev. Ridge Cullum is pastor of Beth Car Baptist Church in Halifax.