“We’re going to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the most people kissing passionately for five seconds at the same time,” said MomLife Today’s creator Tracey Eyster to an audience.
I was sitting in it.
A lot of questions ran through my head: “Am I at a Christian concert? Aren’t there hundreds of couples in this room? Won’t we be kissing in front of each other? Isn’t that like making out together?” Of course, most of these were asked in giddy joy as I marveled at the courage of my friend Tracey and her husband Bill who were emcee’ing the evening.
A few moments later, I wasn’t thinking about anything other than lip-locking with my man.
And it got better.
In the middle of the concert, Christian artist Michael O’Brien invited us to stand up and slow dance with our spouse. What? Really? OK! At first it was a tad awkward as I was peeking to see the other couples. (Sorry if you were one of them.) But I soon became mesmerized in a way that only romance can do. I was nestled into my husband’s neck and swaying in rhythm to his leading, as Michael crooned away from the stage.
It was a beautiful celebration of marriage.
And I guess that’s what surprised me so very much. Or perhaps woke me up. I realize that we live in a culture that doesn’t honor and celebrate marriage. If anything, marriage is under attack. In this Christian environment I felt like my marriage was cocooned. My marriage was celebrated.
Where was I when all this kissing and slow dancing took place? I was on the FamilyLife Love Like You Mean It Cruise. (You can get in on the fun for next year. )
For now, I’m wondering if I could pass on to you a little taste of what that kiss (no pun intended) did for me. You see, there was a lot of it on the cruise and I felt like Bob and I were drawn close just by the fact that we were kissing. And, in fact, we were. A little bit of research from my trusted friends Clifford and Joyce Penner, internationally recognized Christian sex therapists, suggests that kissing, slow dancing and eye contact are really important things to do if you want to become or remain emotionally intimate with your spouse. They explain why in their fifteen minute Formula for Intimacy. It’s the little things that count.
While I can’t reverse time and take you on the cruise, I can give you a little celebration of marriage instructions to do at home by sharing with you the Penner’s Formula for Intimacy. Here’s how to stay connected in fifteen minutes a day.
1.) Look into each other’s eyes and share one positive thought, feeling or affirmation of each other each day for five minutes each day. Simply making sustained eye contact will drive up the level of oxytocin in your brain.
Oxytocin is both a bonding agent and the hormone of trust. You’ll love hearing the positive thing your spouse has to say about you and you’ll also find good discipline in speaking affirmation to your husband.
2.) Share an inspirational reading or pray together for five minutes each day. This will help the two of you anchor your connection in God. And a chord of three strands is not easily broken.
3.) Hug for twenty seconds and kiss passionately (just like on the cruise) for 5-30 seconds a day without leading to sex. This causes dopamine to rise, which is the passion hormone. Remaining passionate about each other is important as it feeds your strength to be faithful.
For more great tips or to contact them about specific challenges you are facing in intimacy, you can always visit the Penner’s website . Until then, why not take Tracey’s challenge now: five seconds of passionate kissing with your husband the next time you see him.
Oh, one more thing, tell your husband it’s for the world record. Tracey was only joking about that, but it made it a whole lot more fun.
Dannah Gresh is a best-selling author and the creator of Secret Keeper Girl. Best-known for And the Bride Wore White and Lies Young Women Believe (co-written with Nancy Leigh DeMoss), Dannah is a gifted communicator whose ministry focus is coaching moms to be great connectors to their tween and teen children. She and her husband Bob are left to run a menagerie of animals on a hobby farm since her three young adult children have flown the coop. Her happiest times are when all the chicks are back in the nest.