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Capturing the “Green Flash” in Marriage

We have had the lovely good fortune to have answered God’s call to serve him in Southern California, for most of our marriage living very near the ocean and now living on a boat on the ocean. If you have been around the beach community very long, you will hear about the trek to capture the elusive “green flash” The green flash is not mythical, it is not like capturing a leprechaun and his pot of gold, but  the green flash is REAL but it is RARE.

Here is how one scientific blog describes the green flash:

According to, the brief phenomenon results from the refraction of sunlight, and it can happen at sunrise or sunset. At those times, light must travel through a large expanse of the atmosphere, and as it travels, it bends and separates into its different colors. Blue and violet lights, which have shorter wavelengths, refract strongly and are scattered by the atmosphere. Red, orange and yellow are absorbed and disappear, leaving only the green light visible during those fleeting seconds when the sun dips into the sea. (Sarasota Magazine)

So why are we, as marriage educators, talking about “green flash” sunsets?  Because, we, as married couples, need to cultivate romance, to capture the brilliant and beautiful moments of marriage. A green flash sunset is rare enough to bring a sense of awe and appreciation to an otherwise ho-hum day. In the same way, many days of marriage seem mundane, but we can nurture the magical into revealing the magnificence of our love.

But how?

Above all, put on love—the perfect bond of unity. (Col 3:14 HCSB)


If we can “put on love” then we can take actions to fan the flame on our love.

Create a “F.L.A.S.H.

Flirt forward

Give a fun invitation for the romantic rendezvous, then keep the flirting going through seducing texts, emails, voicemails, emojis, winks, gentle touches, and provocative whispers—vary the methods of communicating to share the heartbeat of “I look forward to being with you!” Even if you have had a rough patch, time constraints and stressors, focus on why you first fell in love with your mate, recall the magical moments, review all the time he or she was “there for you”. As you take a stroll down memory lane in your mind, God will feed you ideas with ways you can express your affection and will fill your mind with words of affirmation. (See my blog on my book, Red Hot Romance for Women: Express Appreciation for a few ideas to add spark and sizzle.)

While planning a recent twenty-four hour escape from caregiving his 92-year-old parents for my husband, Bill, we arranged care for his folks so he could join me aboard  our boat. I gave Bill a small plaque as the invitation. It simply said, “Sail Away with Me”. I wrapped the sign in a new tee for him complete with a compass and boating theme graphic.

Lead with your best effort

Put time, energy and creativity into making your time together pleasant. Phil 2, reminds us we are like Jesus when we consider others first. So to spice up your love, think about your mate—not yourself as you prepare your plans and your heart. In Red Hot Monogamy, we look at 8 different facets of romance. There are many kinds of getaways—or staycations. Sometimes taking time to get on the same page of parenting, career planning, money matters, or S*X, or another focus will both bless and build your love. Sometimes, there can be no “flash” until you first gain a little unity. (If you are ready for romance, there are also 200 “Red Hot” romance ideas tucked inside Red Hot Monogamy too! Grab a highlighter and see which sparks your interest!)

What would make your spouse feel encouraged, connected, renewed, revived, and rejuvenated? On our recent Delightful Date, I thought through the schedule through Bill’s lens. To truly enjoy dancing on the front deck while listening to the live concert in the park just yards from our dock, I asked Bill if he would like to dip in the marina’s pool, relax in the jacuzzi then take a nap for as long as his body needed.

Arrange an atmosphere of grace

Start with a relaxed schedule not a list of expectations. Let being together be the main priority. The above-mentioned nap was much longer for Bill than I anticipated. Instead of getting upset, I savored the satisfaction of knowing I hit the bullseye of meeting his top need—REST! I simply grabbed a fabulous book and enjoyed the first part of the concert while working on my tan and mulling over a list of Bill’s best traits through my mind so when he was  awake—I was READY for Romance! If plans go awry, or you need to flex with your romantic date itinerary, just adapt and overcome. Roll with the punches knowing God works ALL things together for your good—even love and romance—if you surrender it to Him

“…all things work together for good to those who love God…” (Romans 8:28)

Because I chose to keep a good attitude, we were able to enjoy a simple dinner on the back deck with a view of the sunset while we shared heart to heart conversation.

Speak love, value and appreciation to your mate

In our Marriage Meet Up: His and Her 52 week Devotional Planners for Couples Who Want More Passion, Purpose and Productivity book set, we give many conversational prompts so you can lavish encouraging words into the heart of your mate. Here are a few sentences to complete to foster a few ideas for delightful dialogue:

I so admired you today when…

Bless you for caring about our marriage and family by…

You impressed me this week when…

God radiated His love through you to me by…

I respect you even more because…

Thanks for watching over the details of our life by…

Hold on to Humor

Be sure to create moments to laugh and rejoice in the treasure of your marriage. On our recent romantic tryst for two, we took Bill’s rehabbed convertible, at sunset to a Christian comedy show. We had forgotten how much we needed a chuckle, snicker and a long, good belly laugh together.  On the way home, even though it was chilly, we kept the top down on the convertible as we reminisced through years of precious memories and merry-making moments.  Bill and I have woven into our relationship time to curate the jovial. We save humous videos, find pages of puns, and save jokes in electronic files for the next time life allows us a few minutes to cheer one another.

Because we made the effort to cultivate precious memory-making moments for each other, the evening was topped off with our own private “green flash” of dazzling love.

What can you do this week to cultivate your own F.L.A.S.H. of love? Start to process now with a simple prayer:

Lord, please give me Your eyes to see my mate. Show me how to string together pearls of love and romance to create our own “FLASH” of passion. Amen

PS: If you can arrange it, in the near future, plan a time to stroll a beach and watch an ocean sunset as it slowly dips in the horizon, and look for the green flash—and kiss passionately– whether you see it or not! (If land-locked, watch a green flash here.)

Bill and Pam Farrel are authors of 55 books,  including bestselling Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti. The Farrels have been happily married for 42 years, and are the parents of three sons who are happily married to their three daughters-in-love and have 5 grand children. The Farrels live part-time on their live aboard boat docked in Ventura County CA . Together they Co-Direct Love-Wise and lead the Living Love-Wise Membership Community (and invite you to join!)

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