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Happy Days at Home

It was one of the cutest lines on the perennial sitcom hit, Happy Days. Every now and then, the avuncular dad, Tom Bosley, would be feeling amorous. He would “put a move” on his wife, Marion Ross, who would always quip: “Howard, are you feeling frisky again?” Once, as the pair headed cheerfully up the stairs, she remarked back down to the studio audience: “But it’s only Thursday!”

Unfortunately, in any house also populated by Richie, Chuck, and Joanie, romantic interludes might indeed be few and far between. And this is before the Internet and text messaging! But it points to a stark reality: married couples who wish to keep things alive in the bedroom generally have to be proactive about it.

Dr. James Dobson once observed: “If sex is important in a marriage — and we all know that it is — then some time should be reserved for its expression. The day’s activities should end early in the evening, permitting a husband and wife to retire before exhausting themselves on endless chores and responsibilities. Remember this: whatever is put at the bottom of your priority list will probably be done inadequately. For too many families, sex languishes in last place.”

Once, lecturing on the east coast, I mentioned this blushworthy bit of counsel to an afternoon seminar group. Half teasing, I added: “I don’t know how you cope, living in the Eastern Time Zone . . . when all World Series ballgames end past midnight. When do you people find time for this sort of activity?” One man volunteered: “That’s what the seventh-inning stretch is for!” (I hope not!)

All whimsy aside, I recall a more serious discussion with several good thirtysomething friends of both genders. Across the board, they admitted that fatigue and childbearing and unresolved resentments were creating a painful barren spot where abundant love used to flourish. It takes communication, give and take, and sometimes a willingness — as taught in I Corinthians 7 — to unselfishly serve the human needs of one’s mate. We need an attitude of will and biblical determination to keep the marriage fires burning brightly and to make sure that robust romantic love continues at a cheerful, albeit realistic, pace.

And if Potsie and Ralph drop by unannounced, simply hang a necktie on the doorknob. They’ll know what it means.

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About David B. Smith

David B. Smith

writes from Southern California.

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