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Lina AbuJamra

Sue Badeau

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Twila Belk

Gail Bones

Harriet Bouchillon

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Lisa Copen

Erin Davis

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Jamie Wood

And UPGRADE'S Founder

   Dawn Wilson



Five Tips for Upgrading Your Love Life

Ever practical and with keen biblical insight, Sue Badeau shares a post-Valentine’s Day UPGRADE for every married couple.

“Valentine’s Day has passed. Long, dark winter days lie ahead,” Sue says. “Coughs, sniffles and bulky layers of winter clothing don’t exactly scream romance. Is it possible to keep flames of passion burning brightly during this dreary season?”

Isn’t that what all married couples want? I (Dawn) know there won’t be “flames of passion” every day, but there certainly are positive ways to “stoke” the flames of marital love.

Sue continues . . .

My husband and I were high school sweethearts. Our first date, a frigid February night in Vermont, involved walking home from a dance through snow and ice. Holding mittened hands was our first display of affection.


We celebrate the anniversary of this first date every February. More importantly, we celebrate our love throughout the year using the tips below to build a foundation for romance to flourish even in the darkest seasons.

1. Connect

We begin every day with Bible reading, conversation and prayer. Even when one is on the road, we enjoy our morning reflection by phone. Sometimes, due to busy-ness of life, or distance across time-zones, we only have ten or fifteen minutes for this daily practice.

We’ve found that when we share our spiritual journeys, we enjoy increased intimacy as well.

“My beloved said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come along” (Song of Solomon 2:10).

2. Touch

Working, managing a home, participating in church and community while raising children are fulfilling and meaningful activities. The by-product is often physical, mental and emotional exhaustion and susceptibility to seasonal illnesses. None contributes to “the mood.”

Frequent small moments of physical touching are essential. A pat-on-the-back, shoulder rub, hug, tickle or snuggle while watching TV don’t require much in the way of “mood” but are critical for maintaining closeness and intimacy in the relationship.

“Let his left hand be under my head and his right hand embrace me” (Song of Solomon 2:6).

3. Move

Get off the couch and do something! A brisk walk after dinner. Cook, wash dishes, shovel snow, or dance in the living room.

Doing one or more of these activities—or something more vigorous such as skating, biking or swimming—for just ten minutes a day is not only good for well-being, but being active together improves mood and a sense of connection.

“Draw me after you and let us run together!” (Song of Solomon 1:3)

4. Text

Turn all electronics off while engaging in the activities suggested above. On the other hand, it’s a digital age, so use electronics to add zest to your relationship.

Send encoded “racy” texts, a few brief words that tell your partner, “I miss you . . . can’t wait to see you . . . you excite me.” These missives are like leaving a trail of rose-petals with the promise of more to come.

Imagine texting this verse to your hubby:

My beloved is dazzling and ruddy, Outstanding among ten thousand” (Song of Solomon 5:10).

5. Laugh

With bills to pay and the future of children to worry about, life is serious. When you begin to feel heaviness and gloom, break out the clown nose, bubbles or anything that makes you laugh. Laugh regularly with your spouse.

Finding moments for child-like delight decreases stress, strengthens relationships and increases opportunities for romance to bloom, even in the dead of winter.  

“Your hair is like a flock of goats” (Song of Solomon 4:1).

If that verse doesn’t make you laugh, watch this video - Vonda Skelton’s rendition. It's priceless! 

Maybe I could add another tip here, but it also fits under # 5. Eat Chocolate Every Day! At least it will make you smile!

There's no Song of Solomon reference for that, but the book does make reference to milk and honey, apples and pomegranates, wine, figs and spices. All are good, but seriously . . . where's the chocolate?

You can upgrade your love life, even in dark, dreary winter months. It only takes a little effort and it is always worth it!

Which of these tips would encourage the “flames” in your relationship today?

Sue Badeau is a nationally known speaker, author, and child welfare and trauma expert. Sue and her husband Hector are lifetime parents of twenty-two children—two by birth and twenty adopted. They wrote the book Are We There Yet: The Ultimate Road Trip Adopting and Raising 22 Kids. Learn more about Sue at and

Mittens in Graphic: “Romantic Mittens” at

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