Christian Marriages: Ephesians and 5.5 hours a week

Wisdom From the Book of Ephesians


Ephesians 5:28-30 says “So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His Body” Titus 2:4 says…”encourage the young women to love their husbands.” Song of Ephesians 5:33b (Amplified Bible) says “…and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband – that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly.” The couples who continue to grow in intimacy and closeness in the relationship  seem to be doing a number of things to change their routines. These tips have been put together into a hypothesis called the magic five and one-half hours (Gottman, 2007)


Sit down with your spouse, undistracted for about an hour. Discuss specifically how each of you will restructure your couple time in the following week in the following areas: partings, reunions, admiration and appreciation, affection, knowledge of your partners current world (Love Maps), and after the fight (Gottman, 2007). The first five topics are discussed below.

Five Areas 

Gottman (2007)

  • Partings: Don’t part in the morning without knowing one interesting thing that will happen in your partner’s day, and kiss for a minimum of six seconds. Two minutes a day x five working days. Total 10 minutes.
  • Reunions: Have at least a six-second kiss. Also, have daily the stress-reducing conversation: Each partner take 10 minutes to talk about your day. Partner does active listening.
  • Give support. Rule: Understanding must precede advice. Twenty minutes a day x five days. Total 1 hour 40 minutes.
  • Admiration and Appreciation: Find some way every day to genuinely communicate affection and appreciation for your partner. Five minutes a day x seven days. Total 35 minutes. 
  • Affection: Kiss, hold, grab, touch each other. Play is good. Make sure to kiss each other before going to sleep, and follow the admonition in Ephesians, “Do not let the sun set on your wrath.” Again, use a  six-second kiss. Five minutes a day x seven days. Total 35 minutes.
  • Love Maps: Update your Love Maps. Turn towards one another. Go out on a marital date. Two hours once a week. Think of great questions to ask your partner (e.g., “How are you thinking of changing the bedroom these days?” or “What would be your idea of a great getaway?” or”How are you thinking about your work these days?”). These dates can sometimes be about resolving a relationship or marital issue. 

Last Words

Ephesians 4:30-32 says “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander by put away from you, along with malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”  

In Christ,

Ted Stein

Stein Counseling & Consulting Services