With Valentine’s Day season upon us, you might wonder how spell L.O.V.E.  In our  book, The First Five Years, we explain how to create a memorable romantic encounter for your spouse no matter how many years you are married. (And we will adapt this for those who are single and dating).  Keep this acrostic for LOVE in mind as you make plans to wow the one you love:

 

Listen

Observe

Vary

Extract

 

Listen

Your spouse will drop hints about the things he or she loves and you can use these hints to create more romance and sizzle in your relationship. For example, if you listen to Bill and me in a casual lunch conversation, you would  discern  that Bill loves things like: Football, fishing, cooking, joke telling, and the Bible.  If you listen to Pam you’d discover she loves travel, biking, swimming, tennis, laughing, and helping women—and the spa!

It doesn’t take much imagination then to know that if I (Pam) give Bill a day of ocean fishing or if he gave me a day at the spa, we would be more interested in each other at the end of that day. But it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Kayaking is on both our lists, so we have a goal to have a kayak date in every state we travel to for business. Walking and biking are also on both of our lists, so an evening stroll, or a leisurely cycle around a lake near us is apt to also put us in the mood. Bill and I keep a running list of “loves” we discover about one another while listening.

Observe

On the TV show Sherlock (and in the classic books with this character),  Sherlock Holmes wows the audience by his keen detective skills of observation. You can become a detective and easily observe what will bless and ignite your spouse:

  • What raises stress in your partner?—then make a plan to lower it
  • What lifts the spirit?—then make a plan to repeat it
  • What calms the atmosphere?—then recreate it
  • What things are collectible?—then add to it
  • When he or she sighs and relaxes?—then repeat it
  • What draws him/her to you?—then protect it

 Vary

For married couples, when it comes to intimacy, don’t get in a rut.  Vary the romance. In our book, Red Hot Monogamy, inspired by Song of Songs, we give over 200 Red Hot Romance ideas. The King and the Bride in song of Songs model for couples simple romantic inspirations. And they make time together a priority, “My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away,” {Song of Songs 2:10)

One of the easiest ways to vary the experience is to keep the five senses in mind. Vary the places you date, mix the style from dressy to down to earth. Or try adding new sounds/music, scents, textures, or tastes.  If you go to dinner each Thursday, next week eat it on the rooftop, or on a blanket at the park. If you usually work out as a couple, then make the next date a payoff- get some new athletic wear and try out a new activity.

Extract

To extract love, take an old idea and give it a new spin. Personalize it, shake it up, add to it. For example, because we are relationship communicators, we are usually pretty busy around Valentine’s Day. Often we have to be at the NRB (National Religious Broadcasters) conference. No offense to those in Christian radio, but the NRB isn’t the most romantic place to be around on Valentine’s Day. We have decided, however, to make it romantic the years we need to be there. One year, Bill scanned the covers of all the books we have written and made a series of greeting cards with personal love messages that used the titles as a part of a pun, like “It has been “Pure Pleasure” being married to you”.  Every hour all day, he gave me a card with a new message and tiny gift.Bill & Pam Farrel Valentine

 

L.O.V.E: Listen, observe, vary and extract to create a love to look forward to living. It is possible to keep love as red hot as those candy hearts you munch on each Valentine’s Day—it just takes a little creativity and some L.O.V.E.

 

Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship specialists, international speakers and best selling authors of Men are like Waffles, Women are like Spaghetti, Red Hot Monogamy and The First Five Years: Make the Love Investment (www.Love-Wise.com) When they are not traveling to speak on marriage or family, you will find them at home on their live aboard boat in Southern California.

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This is a hard to swallow quote for those of us who write and sell words. But it was someone just like us who, allegedly,  first uttered this

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now timeless catchy phrase. In 1927, newspaper journalist Fred R. Barnard, shared this quote to express the need for a photo to accompany important articles and ads. And the principle has never been more vital than in today’s digitally cluttered cyberspace.

I asked one friend of mine, author, Linda Goldfarb, if I could share a few of her personality-packed photos to give all of us authors, speakers, bookstore owners, a fresh way to reframe our mission, our platform, our brand and perhaps even the way we present the gospel.

As you plan your own photo shoot, ask three simple questions:

Who is my audience? Be as specific as you can, then go in search of examples of images that this audience has responded to. What has gone viral? Whose Instagram images are the most followed?  Linda is popular with those who vlinda goldfarb profile series pixalue a balance of the Biblical wisdom mixed with authentic transparency, humor and the hope of overcoming whatever obstacle life
might send their way. This series of photos capture all these priorities .  (On her website these images rotate automatically!)

 

Who am I? What do I want conveyed to my audience? Do my images match who I am in person? Do they match my personality? Do Linda goldfarb and hubby Samthey represent my calling?  Am I approachable  and easy to relate to in this image?  This image of Linda and her husband captures the wide variety of who they are as a couple.  Linda explains, “// // <meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=/photo.php?fbid=10154635213594505&set=pb.636924504.-2207520000.1471478617.&type=3&size=960%2C960&_fb_noscript=1″ /> Sam and I are known as the Trans-Parent-Farbs!”

In our ministry, this image of Bill kissing me has had huge emotional impact, especially when linked to our Red Hot Monogamy or Red Hot Romance Tips for Women books. This photo captures that more than success in writing or speaking, it is success in our marriage that really matters to us. (And is is what we hope and pray our Love-Wise ministry helps as many couples as possible achieve.[am bill beach kiss rebecca

What is my mission? Ask yourself, “How can I get others to feel about my calling, passion and mission, the same way I feel about it?” Or “List images you have seen that helped you feel called into the ministry you have today. For example, Bill and I are “marriage missionaries”, much in part to the chaotic, and anger-filled homes we grew up in. So images of couples in conflict will always catch my eye—and cause me to want to take action to give those in the photo a better, happier life!That is why when I saw this photo of Linda and her husband, it caught my heart, and my eye, and inspired this blog!

Linda goldfarb gender wars

Take some time and think through then talk through your ideas for images that will best represent you, your mission and reach your audience. It will be worth the time to create the image that will be “picture perfect!”

(photo of Pam and Bill  and signature photo of the Farrels are by Rebecca Friedlander)

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Pam and Bill Farrel are relationship experts, authors of 45 books, including Men Are Like Waffle, Women Are Like Spaghetti , and co-directors of Love-Wise.com

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Red hot wives correctOne of the ways of multiplying sales is to develop a challenge that the “everyday” man or woman can fit into his or her already full and responsible schedule. This is one reason books like: The Love Dare or Purpose Driven Life (and other 40 Day challenges) have done well in helping books fly off the book shelf. My friend, Arlene Pellicane, has several 30 Days to books (30 Days to Younger You; Happy Husband, etc.) My new book, Red Hot Romance Tips for Women is a 26 Day challenge to help women become a more loving wife. It is an A to Z look at the 26 traits husbands find most desirable in a wife. (Ired hot song of S 3 4 bill pam had the wives set goals using my “K.I’S.S.” method which I walk women through in my Red Hot Romance Tips for Women book)

Each wife buys the book, (paperback or ebook) then there is a short reading of a few pages each day in Red Hot Romance Tips for Women  (where she will select the idea she wants to implement). I encourage whole Bible studies, women’s ministries, or friendship circles do the challenge together. I also offer a daily email for 28 days (26 daily challenge “extras” and encouragements plus a day before and after as introduction/ reminder and a wrap up/ follow up (with ideas of the next book to use to enrich her marriage).

red hot collageI also created a Red Hot Wives private facebook group that is an optional meeting place for these motivated wives. The facebook group, along with my blog, had additional reach to feature books by other authors , as well as our own (like Red Hot Monogamy couple’s study), that touch other books and resources which impact marriage. I also had a daily graphic that was reposted, tweeted and shared by many members.

There were also giveaways of romantic items and books during the challenge to keep women connecting to the several times a day.

So far several thousand women have done this simple Red Hot Wives Challenge, and many of them have seen their marriages rescued and most all of them have seen their marriage improved or enriched. Even the few who have serious marriage issues have found a safe place to receive prayer and support during a difficult season in their marriage. To pull this off, I teamed with a talented graphics person, who automated as much of the contact as possible, however she also did the hard work to invite women into the private facebook group and did trouble shooting with the women who might not be as techie.red hot kindness

To expand the reach, next time I will team more with Christian counselors or writers who are also counselors. The challenge was especially popular during the Valentine season (and was a great godly, Biblical rebuttal to the “Shades ” attack on marriage as my tag line was, “Never settle for Mr. Grey when God’s Plan for Love is Red Hot!” Over all, the vast majority felt the challenge enriched and enhanced their marital strength, and for those with already healthy marriages, the challenge created many positive romantic memories and gave them an opportunity to be a bright light of God’s love in a world desperate to see if any couple has the real deal of a happily ever after marriage.

The wives have the option of staying in the Red Hot Wife private facebook group and I have seen women (and myself) share helps and resources and encouragements there between challenges, so a true community of wives who care about their marriages is growing organically). This group will receive marketing on future romance and marriage enrichment like invitations to our speaking, webinars, teleseminars, as well as video or new book release emails. A challenge is a way to really locate then minister to your target audience.

red hot adClick for details on the Red Hot Wives Challenge that our ministry runs. We are also working on connecting to churches that might want us to run a Red Hot Challenge for their local community, or speak on Red Hot Monogamy, Red Hot Romance Tips for Wives, or a Wow Wife Night featuring 52 Ways to Wow Your Husband: Put a Smile on His Face.

Some church leaders might want to target a time of year, like “Make Your Summer Sizzle” or “Make Every Day Valentine’s Day” . For more information about how the Farrels can team with your local church or community, contact us through Love-Wise.com website contact page.

The Farrels are relationship specialists, international speakers, and ministry leaders who have writtenpam bill red umbrella rebecca 40 books and have been happily married 35 years. www.Love-Wise.com .  Red Hot Romance Tips for Women (and most of the books by the Farrels) are available at most of the Christian Retailers bookstores, as well as online at CBD or Vyrso (ebook by Logos)

 

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