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Keeping the Romance Sizzling in Your Marriage (Part 1 of 2)

Original Air Date 07/07/2011

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Best-selling authors Bill and Pam Farrel offer advice for building marital romance and sexual intimacy from their book Red Hot Monogamy: Making Your Marriage Sizzle. (Part 1 of 2)

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Episode Transcript

Opening: 

John Fuller: Welcome to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller and here’s a thought from our broadcast guest, Bill Farrel, about intimacy in marriage.

Excerpt:

Bill Farrel: I think it’s an area of a lot of tension, because for women, there’s a warm-up period and you like advance notice and - and you want it to be part of the whole relationship. But you know, for most guys, all it really takes is for you to walk by.

End of Excerpt

John: Well, that’s just one of the many differences between men and women, and today we’ll hear some practical advice on how to make those differences work together. Our host is author and Focus president, Jim Daly and if you can tell from that clip, our conversation is going to be about marital intimacy, so with that warning, if you have young children nearby, you might have them occupied elsewhere for this discussion.

Jim, I think though, despite that little warning, we’re gonna have a lot of sensitivity and I expect, some laughs as well, as we cover this topic today.

Jim Daly: Well, it’s important John. This area of intimacy in marriage is critical. So many couples are suffering because we don’t talk about it, because we don’t address it. And I think uh, our guests, Bill and Pam Farrel, are going to do a terrific job in helping all of us with intimacy within our marriages. So, Bill and Pam, welcome back to Focus on the Family. 

Body: 

Pam Farrel: Thanks. It’s a delight to be here. 

Jim: Good to have you with us. Now this title is hilario- Red-Hot Monogamy. 

Pam: Yeah and actually, it got its title from our 25th wedding anniversary. Our friend, Anita Renfroe um, you know Women of Faith, the “Momsense” YouTube phenomenon that she is. 

John: She is quite funny. 

Pam: She is hilarious. And she was out. She’s - her and John are great friends and they were out for our 25th wedding anniversary. She was doing the music. And so, she got up in front of the crowd at this dinner party that we had for a couple hundred and she said, “Hey, y’all! We’re here to celebrate Pam and Bill’s righteous red-hot monogamy.” 

And my - our whole table knew that we had just signed a book contract with Harvest House to write a book about sex for couples. But it didn’t have a title yet. And so, they looked at us. They’re like, “That’s a great title.” And so, when Anita got off the stage, she said, “Girlfriend, if you want, you can use that,” so we did. 

Bill: Well, and we loved that title, because there’s so many messages in our world that the best sexual experiences are outside of marriage. But all the studies say that the best experiences are actually in long-term relationships. And so, we live in this world that’s giving us a mixed message. And we just love the - to be able to say, “Hey, the best stuff is in committed relationship.” 

Jim: And all the research... 

Bill: It’s not outside of it. 

Jim: ...shows that. 

Bill: All the research. 

Jim: That’s very true. There’s over, I think, 200 practical suggestions, Bill and Pam that you make in the book, but it really does start outside the bedroom. So, why don’t we start there, as well? 

Pam: Yeah. We like to say that Red-Hot Monogamy is full of hands-on homework, pun completely intended - homework that you want to do. At the end of every chapter we try to make it applicable and practical and fun. 

Jim: Do we as couples, we fail at that, don’t we? We see that very compartmentalized, particularly men, but we - we do. 

Bill: Well... 

Jim: We just kinda work toward that goal, rather than seeing the whole day as maybe adding to that delight. 

Bill: Well, and Jim, I think you know, in fairness to people, it’s quite a challenge, because I - I’ve been a pastor my whole adult life, been doing weddings forever. I have never had a couple come to me and say, “Hey, Bill, we’ve been talking and what we’ve decided we’d really like in life is we’d like to get a big mortgage. We want to get some kids running around that make us really busy. We want to get involved in our community, so we’re kind of overwhelmed. Um, and so, because we want to be overwhelmed with responsibility together, we - we want to get married.” Like, I’ve never heard that up front. 

And yet, that often is what life turns into, is you start a family, you get very busy in the community, and you pick up lots and lots of responsibility. The reason why people get married is they like the way they interrupt each other’s lives. And so, it’s a challenge to keep it alive. It’s a challenge to keep it going. So, it’s not just that we’re failing out there. It’s a challenge. And if we learn that every aspect of our life will help our intimacy, we will do much better with the big picture. 

Jim: It’s interesting. You kinda go against the grain in the book. You talked about a date night, but you talk about going ahead and bringing the - the household items... 

Bill: Right. 

Jim: ...to the discussion. That seems antithetical to what many have suggested. You come with flowers and with candlelight and you talk nothing but romantic language. You’re saying, eh, you need some time to really get through the business of the household. 

Bill: Well, we talk about doing the romantic thing also, but you know how it goes. You know, early in the relationship, you can do anything, that, “Ah! He cares about me.” “She’s awesome. She’s beautiful.” And it works. But as time goes on, what you begin to realize is, that money gets in the way of your discussion. Planning gets in the way of the discussion. Calendar, commitments get in the way of the discussion. 

John: Children. 

Bill: Disagreements over children get in the way. And - and so, you bring the flowers and it reminds her that we haven’t talked about whatever the issue is. 

Pam: Like we like to think of red hot monogamy um, like the diamond ring that many people have for their wedding ring. I mean, a diamond has many facets to it and in the same way intimacy has many facets to it. There is social intimacy and financial intimacy and recreational intimacy and vocational and parental and emotional and spiritual intimacy. Those are many facets. 

And so, the book actually has chapters on each one of those things, because if you’re fightin’ over money, there’s not gonna be a lot of red hot monogamy goin’ on. And if you’re not on the same page with your kids in your parenting, chances are hm, those fires are gonna be cooled. And so, to fan the flame, to add that spark and that sizzle, we want to look at all sides of intimacy. 

Jim: Well, and finances typically are the number one reason couples break up. I mean, it’s fascinating. But you’re saying go ahead and delve into it: deal with the issue. Get yourself a budget; get that out of the way and now we can work on other things. 

Bill: Well - well, and it’s not just getting a budget, Jim. Like - like that’s uh, the - kind of the illusion we have, is if we can get a budget and both agree on the budget, we’re gonna be good. The reason why money is such an issue is we express ourselves with money. That the thing we love about each other is usually different. Like Pam was a very spontaneous, very expressive individual, who loves to inspire people. Well, when we talk about money, that all comes into the discussion. She wants to talk about how can we use our money to inspire people? How can we create spontaneous opportunities to - to run after opportunities? Where I tend to approach life differently. I - I want a system that helps people. That’s kinda how I approach all of life. I - I love bein’ a pastor, because I was able to set up a system that would help people. I like writing books, because it sets up systems that helps people. So, when we talk about money, I want to bring a system that’s gonna help people. Well, when you take a highly spontaneous inspirer together with somebody who’s looking for a system, it’s challenging. But if we can come up with a financial plan that - that gives both of us freedom to express who we are, suddenly now, we feel like we’ve been victorious together. 

Jim: Well, let’s talk the early years of marriage; let’s just go right down the - the life cycle, early years of marriage, red-hot monogamy. How does a young couple, no kids in the home, what should they be doing to uh, make sure that they protect their relationship? 

Pam: Well, I think one of the most important things is to have enough time for red-hot romance. And that - it’s an acrostic. 

Bill: It’s an acrostic that helps you. So the T is for 10 or 20 minutes a day to connect, which this is primarily a skill us guys need to work on, because again, we don’t communicate this way. 

Jim: Ten or twenty minutes. 

Bill: Yes. And that’s just checking in. 

Pam: Like touch base. 

Bill: It’s not problem solving. 

Pam: How was your day? 

Bill: It’s you walking in and say, “Honey, how are you doin’? How was your day?” Okay because again, I would not communicate with you two guys this way. I would not call you every day, “Hey, John, just checkin’ in. You know, how’re you doin’?” 

John: Well, that’s so kind of you. Thank you for calling. 

Bill: Yeah. Like I might call to say, “Hey, you - you gonna - you gonna slay any giants today?” But we just don’t do the checking in thing. But then when we get married, we have to add that skill to our life. And I do want to tell the guys who are listening, I have negotiated this down. See, I asked Pam. I said, “Pam, for you to operate your absolute best, how much time would you want every day just visiting with one another?” 

Pam: Like in a perfect world... 

Bill: Yeah, you doin’ your best. 

Pam: ...like vacation - that maybe 90 minutes a day. 

Bill: Ninety minutes? 

Pam: Well, you know... 

Bill: Every day? 

Pam: ...Perfect world, perfect world. 

Bill: Okay, so I’ve got it down to 10 to 20, okay? 

Jim: Okay, well done. 

Bill: And so, we’ve negotiated it down. 

Jim: What’s the secret there? 

Bill: Uh, the secret is you just do it. You know, again, as guys, we just practice it. Uh, the more you practice it, the better you get at it. 

Jim: Do you do that uh, if you come home from the office, do you do it right there? 

Pam: And the best thing is for every couple to look for their prime time, 10 to 20 minutes. Because for some couples, it’d be first thing in the morning over a cup of coffee, um, “What’s comin’ up in your day? How can I pray for you? Um, but sometimes it is a drive time, maybe you drive to work together. Um, sometimes it’s meeting at lunch for that quick lunch, um, if you happen to work in the same vicinity, ‘cause the kids are all taken care of. Or sometimes it’s right when he walks in the door and you get the kids busy and you have that first debriefing. 

Jim: But it’s not while you’re doin’ something. I can’t be shaving... 

Pam: Yeah. 

Jim: ...and then say, “Well, tell me how you’re doin’.” 

Pam: Well, actually, if there’s no kids around and it’s quiet in your bathroom, that may be part of the prime time. 

Jim: Okay. 

Pam: Um, ‘cause you’re both lookin’ in the mirror. You can see each other’s eyes. So, you can kinda give a little bit leeway... 

Jim: So that’s one of the rules... 

Pam: ...that way. 

Jim: ...see each other’s eyes? 

Pam: You see each other’s eyes. 

Jim: Looking at each other. 

Pam: Yeah, that’s important. 

Jim: Yeah. That’s good. 

Pam: And the end of the night is the last one, maybe um, before you go to bed, praying, how was your day and checking in. That’s another opportunity. 

Bill: The I is for invest in a weekly date night. Like this is something you want to start when you first get married and you never want to give it up. Now the date night changes as time goes on. Sometimes you date at home. But as a young couple, you want to date every week. 

Pam: Right and in Red-Hot Monogamy, those - some of those 200 ideas are free or nearly free ideas, because we know that in an economy such as ours or if you’re a young family, strugglin’ on one income ‘cause you want mom to - one of the parents to be there for the kids, sometimes money’s tight. And so, that’s what Bill and I were like when we were newlyweds and he was a youth pastor. We had one budget and it was small. And so we decided a lot of these dates need to be at home. 

So, we had this tradition on Thursday night. That was our date night. The kids had the privilege of going to bed early and they could play with the Thursday night toy box. And those toys couldn’t be played with any other time but Thursday night and they could stay on up on their bed, playing with those toys as long as they wanted to, as long as they didn’t get off the bed. And you know what? Those - all of our kids were really great, very cooperative. 

Jim: I was gonna say, did that always work? 

Pam: It pretty much did, because... 

Bill: We had to establish it first. 

Pam: That - yeah. 

Bill: And once we got it established, then... 

Pam: Once the rule was, if you get off the bed, your toys are gone. Once they clued into that, they really cooperated really well and those Thursday nights became something the whole family looked forward to. 

Jim: And they grew up normally. 

Pam: They did. They’re great guys, yeah. 

Jim: They don’t - they’re not sitting on a bed somewhere waiting for a toy? 

Bill: Every Thursday night. 

Pam: Every Thursday night, yeah. 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Well, you were going to the acrostic, you had... 

Bill: Well, M is for a monthly uh, day away. 

Jim: Okay. So T? 

Bill: T is for ten to 20 minutes a day just to visit. 

Jim: Right. I? 

Bill: I is invest in a weekly date night. 

Pam: You might need to get some friends together and have like a co-op, so your kids get covered. Trade those opportunities to give each other date nights. M is for the monthly day away and sometimes you might need to be a little creative, finding that six or 8 hours and this is again, mostly for the girls, because if we’re emotionally connected, we’re more in the mood for red-hot monogamy. And so, guys, you’ll do yourself a favor if you create this time. 

And you can really do anything you want on that date. It doesn’t always have to be romance. You just have to do it together. And sometimes you can create it even at home - that unique time. I remember once Bill and I, he was the senior pastor. Um, we had started our writing career, speaking. Um, our - our kids were in that - what I call the oasis. They’re not preschoolers, but they’re not teenagers any more. So, they’re really cooperative at times to your ideas. And so, I looked at our schedule and I said, “Oh, my goodness. It’s like the next two hours are the only two hours I have with Bill all week.” 

And I got a little panicked. I said, “God, you have to help a girl out here.” And so, as Bill’s car drove in, I grabbed the piggy bank. I pulled the boys in the backyard. I said, “Here you go, guys. I counted this money. There’s X amount of dollars in dimes, pennies, quarters and nickels here. Y’all can have all this money, but nobody can come in the house until” - and I broke the piggy bank, spread it all over in the ice plant - “until you get every dime, quarter, penny and nickel and Brock, you get to count it all up. You’re the mathematician. And when it adds up to this, then all three of you boys can come in the house.” And then I put a dime in my pocket and walked in the house. And I got some good time with my husband. And my boys were happy. They got money. They - it was a great game. 

John: How - how many days passed... 

Pam: So... 

John: ...before you shared that - that dime in your pocket? 

(LAUGHTER) 

Jim: Twenty four hours later. 

Pam: Yeah. 

Jim: Kids, come in for breakfast! 

Pam: I actually went out and said, “Oh, Hon, here’s a dime!” Brock’s like, “That’s why it wouldn’t add up!” Oh! 

Jim: Okay, we’ve got T-I-M. 

Bill: Right and the E is escape yearly. And that’s taking a yearly vacation. And sometimes again, it might be 24 hours. Sometimes you might be able to pull off a week or two. 

Jim: And it can be something close to home. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. 

Pam: Right.

Bill: No. The key to it is, and again and as guys, we need to really value this, that we - we have talked previously that men are like waffles, women like spaghetti. That - that spaghetti picture, women integrate their whole life together. So what typically happens for a woman is her life grows. Like her emotional attachments, the things that are important to her, her priorities, they grow. 

And you have to get her away from her life periodically, so it shrinks her life back down. Because when her life gets smaller, she looks at you and goes... 

Pam: Wow! 

Bill: Oh, yeah. 

Pam: What a guy! 

Bill: Yeah. And so, we need to really value that. 

Jim: And try to keep her life smaller? 

Bill: And well... 

Pam: Give her a break...

Bill: Just give her a break. 

Pam: ...from all of this stuff she’s handling. 

Bill: So she sees you again, ‘cause again, you know as guys, we get very interested in our wives very quickly. But one of the things we can do to enhance the relationship is, just give her breaks in her life, so that - that again, her focus just shrinks back down, so she can remember, “Oh, yeah. I remember why we made this commitment.” 

Jim: Well you’ve given us a great example of uh, the parenting years. Are there some other things during that time? Intimacy can be so hard when you have toddlers and 5 and 8... 

Pam: Hey, teenagers can be a challenge, too. 

Bill: Oh, yeah. 

Pam: Alrighty, you know, the whole world comes to your house all the time and they don’t need to sleep. It’s like, will you please go home? Um, yeah. 

Jim: And they’re probably not gonna go out in the backyard and organize your piggy bank. 

Pam: No, they are not any more. And so, sometimes we’ve just said, “Guys, um, here are two movie tickets. Y’all have a good time tonight.” And so, we send them out to have a great time with their buddies and we have the house to ourselves. So, sometimes you have to be a little bit pre-planning when it comes to teens. 

Bill: And - and I think it helps us if we’re willing to train our kids that intimacy is normal. So, early on, you know, we start telling our kids, “Hey, we have a special night together every week. And on that special night, you have responsibilities, because you need to help us have this special night together.” 

And then as they begin to approach puberty, we get a little bit bolder with them. And like I have said to my boys, “Hey guys, do you want to like get together with some of your friends tonight? Or do you want to turn your radios up?” ‘Cause Mom and I are gonna have some fun tonight. Because I want them to know that it’s a normal part of life and that we’re not hiding it from ‘em. We’re - we’re not trying to sneak away, that this is normal. ‘Cause when they get older, I want them to know, this is normal. 

And then I think setting up co-ops with friends is one of the most important things we can do, because we’re all in this together. We’re all struggling to find time together. We’re all overwhelmed with time with our kids. We all are so attached to our kids that we can’t possibly be objective about them. So, everything they do affects us. And so, if we can set up co-ops where you know, John, how about this Friday night, we just have your kids over to our house? 

John: I’m on it. 

Bill: And then - and then two weeks from now, our kids will come to your house. And that way we get alone time without feeling like the kids are being neglected or they’re in a place that we can’t trust. 

Pam: But as they get older, a good lock on the door is always helpful. 

Jim: Maybe two or three. 

John: Our guests are Bill and Pam Farrel. This is Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller. Our host is Jim Daly and there’s something that we’re touching on here I just have to ask you about. You know, Jim, we’ve heard from so many who have, I think in a good way said, “You know, we’re pouring out our lives for our children.” But they’re doing so at the risk of the relationship and their intimacy in their marriage, because they’re making the kids number one and just driving themselves into the ground, not protecting that relationship. That’s a hard thing to do and it’s pretty counter-cultural at times. 

Pam: It is very counter-cultural. But the best thing you can do for your kids is to have a solid, strong, red-hot relationship, because that makes them feel secure, knowing Mom and Dad are in love for a lifetime. Our kids never worried about us getting a divorce, because it was so obvious, you know, as they got to be teenagers, like “Get a room, Mom and Dad,” you know? Um, they really appreciated the fact that we are affectionate with each other, not crazy and embarrassing. Well, sometimes it was. 

Bill: Sometimes. 

(LAUGHTER) 

John: Not - not inappropriate. 

Pam: Not inappropriate. 

John: For teens, it becomes... 

Pam: That’s the word. 

John: ...quite embarrassing, doesn’t it? 

Pam: Yeah, that’s the word. It was never inappropriate, but they could tell just by the look. We didn’t have to talk about our sex life with them. All we had to do was, they could tell by the way we looked at each other, the way we treated each other, the kindness, the affection, that smile, that they knew that we had a strong, vibrant, red-hot relationship. And that gives them security. 

Bill: And I think we tend to minimize the importance of this, because we have too individualistic of a view of sexual intimacy. And the guy... 

Jim: Explain. Explain what you mean by that. 

John: Yeah. 

Bill: Well, I remember when this changed for me. It was kind of a shocking moment when somebody told me. It actually was in the - in the middle of a sermon. And the pastor said, “Your sex life is part of your evangelism.” And I kind of shook my head and went, “What?”

And then he took us to Ephesians, chapter 5, where it says, you know, we have instructions on husbands and wives in Ephesians 5. And it says, “For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother, will cling to his wife and the two will become one flesh,” an obvious reference to intimacy in marriage that leads to the bedroom. 

And then the very next verse says, “This is a mystery. I’m actually talking about Christ and the church.” And so, what we have is marital unity is a reflection of the relationship between Christ and the church. And so, when we develop intimacy in our marriage, we put out a picture for the world that says, “Look, this is real. And this is the kind of love that Christ has for the church.” 

And so, we shouldn’t be surprised that it’s under attack. We shouldn’t be surprised that our culture is setting up this frenetic system to keep us all so busy that we can’t stay connected. And we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s this whole industry out there, trying to corrupt the picture of sex. 

Pam: Pornography. 

Bill: And so, we want as people to say, you know what? This is one of our priorities in life, that if we stay intimately connected to one another, we give a better picture to the world of the most important message on earth. And we help the next generation see how to do it also. 

Jim: Well, it is one of the things that breaks my heart when you look at the Christian community and 40 percent uh, are divorcing. And you’re right uh, we’re losing that battle as a community of believers. 

Pam: If we had a red-hot relationship, our love becomes a light. I mean, Bill and I have been trained in all kinds of evangelistic tools. We went to a great seminary, Talbot, Biola, Lovett. But really, when it comes right down to it, it’s not so much the Four Laws that we were trained to use or Steps to Peace with God or any of those... 

Bill: Although those are extremely useful. 

Pam: They’re awesome awesome tools. But what people want to know behind that tool is, is it really workin’ for ya? 

Jim: Is it real? 

Pam: Is it real? And so, one example would be when we were a young family. We’re at the soccer field. I had a friend who was about as far from God as you could picture somebody. She had three different children by three different men. She hadn’t been married to any of them. She was currently pregnant and living with a condom salesman. 

And she was bringin’ me like fliers from the grocery store. “Jesus is at the LA Coliseum, Pam. Do you want to go see Jesus?” All these New Age-y kind of really wild spiritual things she was bringing to me with tons of questions. And one day she said, “Oh, I - I know what God’s will is now.” I’m like, “Really? How do you know that?” She’s like, “Well, I went to a palm reader.” I’m like brrrrlllll... Time out! “It just sounds like you have tons of questions, sweetheart, about - that God loves you and that you want to know His plan for your life?” And she’s like, Yeah!” I said, “Well, why don’t we get together for a Bible study and I’ll - I’ll help answer those questions.” And she’s like, “Okay.” 

And so, she came with her kids every week and she was showin’ up for the Bible study, but no big spiritual movement or anything, not really doin’ her homework and all that. And one day we were supposed to go to the beach after the Bible study, with her kids. And we were down to one car. The other was in the shop. And uh, there’s this principle in marriage. The thing you love most about your spouse can become an irritation. Well, I fell in love with Bill because he’s a great listener. But because of that, he never checks his watch. Thus the irritation, always running 10 or 15 minutes late. 

Bill: So, I’m running late this day and I know I gotta get back to give the keys to Pam, so she can take the car. I - again, I know I’m late and on the way home, there’s a flower stand that I can get short-stemmed roses for $5. And I thought, “If I’m gonna be late anyway...” 

John: You might as well... 

(LAUGHTER)

Jim: Might as well be really late. 

Bill: Make a big entrance right? So, I do. I get the flowers. I come home. I give ‘em to Pam and say, “I love you. I’m sorry I’m late. Here are the keys. Have a great time.” 

Pam: So, roses take the edge off me, of course. And um, he gives me a kiss, says, “I love you.” Gives me the roses. My friend said, “Whoa! Did your Jesus make Bill do that for you?” And I said, “Yeah, you could say that.” She said, “Okay, now I want to know your Jesus.” 

Jim: Wow! 

Bill: See and that’s... 

Pam: She loves the light. 

Bill: ...the power of our love. And - and if we view intimacy as a personal fulfillment, we’ll sacrifice that for other things. But if we see it as part of our spiritual development and spiritual growth, we’ll protect it much more. 

Pam: Our kids are looking at us and our neighbors and our friends and our family. They’re saying, “Do you have the real thing?” The Bible says that God is love. And on our gifts to each other at our wedding, there is the verse out of 1 John 4:19, “We love because God first loved us.” So, if we can show people that the Author of love, where love really starts is with God, then they’ll be interested in everything else that we have to say about that same God. 

Bill: And it’s interesting. Our three sons are grown now. None of them have ever come to me and said, “Man, I wish you had spent more time putting me in youth sports. I wish you’d spent more time putting me in drama.” But they’ve all told me, “Hey, Dad, thanks for loving Mom.” 

Jim: Bill and Pam, one of the things and it really is the next phase, when you look at a home that’s been very kid-centered and I think the Christian community can fall into this trap... 

Bill: Oh, yes. 

Jim: ...where you’re so kid-centric, in addition to the divorce rate we talked about, the highest, one of the highest divorce periods in marriage is when it’s empty nest. 

Pam: Mid-life. 

Jim: When your kids are gone and you look at each other and you go, “I don’t know you.” 

Bill: Right. 

Jim: Because they haven’t done the things that you’ve talked about. 

Bill: And our purpose left home. 

Pam: Exactly. And really both Bill and I have a ministry to that mid-life section. I have www.seasonedsisters.com, where women 40 and above get encouraged. Bill has mid-life men, www.mid-life.com. And that’s one of the reasons why. We’re trying to build into those mid-life marriages because everything piles on, if you think about it. Um, you’re dealing with teens and tweens and maybe you had a bonus baby after 40, so now there’s hot flashes and toddlers. Life can feel pretty unfair at times. You have menopause. You have a man in mid-life crisis. Maybe you’re taking care of your aging parents, as you’re paying for weddings and cars and proms and colleges. And it just seems so overwhelming. So, it’s really easy to just drift apart during those years. And so, you need to make a conscious effort to stoke the fires, to fan that flame, to spend time with each other and really look forward to umm creating red-hot monogamy once the nest does empty. 

Jim: But if you haven’t done these things over the last 10 years, is there still hope? 

Bill: Again, anybody can restart. It’s the beauty of life, is that any - at any point that we want to say, “You know what? I want to create a new beginning and I just want to kinda restart things.” You can do that at any point. 

Pam: And that’s really in Red-Hot Monogamy. It’s like an eight-week guidebook to turn up the temperature inside the bedroom. So, for eight weeks, if you just set aside the next eight weeks. Let’s rekindle our romance. Let’s make this a priority. Let’s put it on the front burner. Anybody can restart their relationship. 

Closing: 

John: Bill and Pam Farrel are so encouraging when it comes to relationships. And we’re gonna pause right there and come back next time on Focus on the Family with more great conversation with them. 

Jim: John, the Farrels bring such wisdom and sensitivity to what could be a very difficult topic for most of us. And um, that acrostic they give - TIME, T-I-M-E - is a good way to remember a few solid tips for a stronger marriage. Um, let me go through it quickly. That is the T - in ten or twenty minutes a day to connect. I - invest in a weekly date night. M - monthly day away. And E - escape yearly - you know for that bigger break, that bigger time together. 

And this kind of program is really at the heart of what we do here at Focus on the Family. We want to give you the tools to strengthen your marriage so that you can have a thriving family and to do that, to honor the Lord. We know things can get hard sometimes because all of us go through difficulties. Little things can add up and begin to snowball, and before you know it you’re thinking about maybe even separation or divorce. If you’re there, give us a call. We have caring Christian counselors available to talk with you and point you in the right direction. We also offer our Hope Restored marriage intensives for those marriages that are in real trouble. It’s a powerful program designed to help you work through the major issues in your marriage and resolve those conflicts. And we check in with the people who attend those intensives, and in our two-year follow-up, 4 out of 5 couples have stuck it out and are still successfully married. That’s about 80%. We’re excited about these numbers and how God is working in Branson to redeem these broken marriages. 

We also have other resources available for you like the book we mentioned today, Red-Hot Monogamy by Bill and Pam Farrel. But we couldn’t provide these things without you. Your prayers and financial support empower us to come alongside these marriages with encouragement and godly advice. So, join us in this ministry to help couples. And right now is the time to step up and make a contribution because generous friends of Focus on the Family will match your donation dollar-for-dollar. So your gift will help twice as many couples. And let me say in advance, thank you for standing with them and supplying the help they need through Focus. 

John: And when you donate a generous gift of any amount today, we’ll send a copy of the Farrel’s book Red-Hot Monogamy as our way of saying thank you for helping couples and families by supporting the ministry of Focus on the Family. Donate, get your copy of that book, and learn more about Hope Restored at focusonthefamily.com/radio. Or call us and we’ll tell you more - 800, the letter A, and the word FAMILY. 

Thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we once again help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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Guest

Bill and Pam Farrel

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Bill and Pam Farrel have been working together to help couples and families for more than 30 years. The Farrels are popular speakers, best-selling authors and the co-founders of Love Wise, a ministry dedicated to helping people build successful relationships. The couple has co-authored numerous books including The Marriage Code, Red Hot Monogamy and Men are Like Waffles, Women are Like Spaghetti. They have three children and two grandchildren.