50 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage Without 50 Shades of Grey

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and with that, most of our heart turn towards romance. If you’re married, this is often a time when we think about doing something special for or with our husbands.

Something about this Valentine’s Day is different, though. You’ve probably heard about it in the news or on social media.

50 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage Without 50 Shades of Grey


From the title of this post, no doubt you realize I’m talking about the movie 50 Shades of Grey that’s debuting. It’s based off a book of the same name, and it’s expected to bring in a tremendous amount of money. That includes money from women who say the book and movie are improving their marriages.

I won’t be seeing the movie. I’ll never read the book. And I’ll be honest, friends. I hope with the deepest sincerity that you don’t turn to 50 Shades to spice up your marriage, either.

There are so many better ways to do that.

Why Not 50 Shades of Grey?

50ShadesofGrey_TheLieIf you aren’t familiar with the storyline of 50 Shades of Grey (and I’d be surprised if many of us aren’t familiar with it by now), you can read about it on this phenomenal resource dedicated to getting the truth out about the series. 

To summarize:

The Fifty Shades of Grey book series and franchise promote torture as sexually gratifying and normalize domestic violence, particularly violence against women. This type of material cultivates a rape and sexual violence culture and is now permeating our society.

50 Shades Is Abuse

I also highly recommend these videos from Covenant Eyes on this story, both here and here.

Ladies, we don’t want to be fooled into thinking that this series is helpful, romantic, harmless, or beneficial. It’s the polar opposite of God’s definition of love found in 1 Corinthians 13. Satan may try to convince you that it can spice up your marriage, but this kind of fantasy will only tear it down.

I don’t feel I need to share more about 50 Shades, but if you are interested in more thoughts that I wholeheartedly agree with, I encourage you to visit this post from my friend Kristy at Kristy’s Cottage, and this one from Leigh Ann of Intentional By Grace. They are both spot on.

50 Ways to Spice Up Your Marriage

Now, with that all said, here are 50 Christ-honoring, godly, loving, and real ways to spice up your marriage. 

50 Ways to Spice up Your Marriage without 50 Shades of Grey 2

Disclosure time: there are some affiliate links in this post. If you purchase through one of these links, your cost is the same, but this site and my family can be blessed with a commission. Thanks!

  1. Write a love letter. Not a love email or a love text. A handwritten love letter, sealed with a kiss.
  2. Better yet, keep a love letter journal. We’ve had one for 12 years now, and though the entries have diminished as the children have increased, it’s still fun to have a collection of so many love letters.
  3. Or, mail your husband a love letter at work where he’ll least expect to get one.
  4. Get to know one another all over again with fun personal trivia questions.
  5. Take a nap together when you have the chance.
  6. Come up with a silly tradition to keep together over the years.
  7. Reread your wedding vows to each other.
  8. List out fun date ideas together, then work through the list together.
  9. Look through your old pictures together and recall what you were thinking and feeling at the time.
  10. Choose a new project to work on together, like installing some landscaping or painting your bedroom.
  11. Speaking of your bedroom, make it your favorite room in the house! Decorate it like no other so it fits you both and encourages you to spend more time there together. (I’m still working on this one.)
  12. Find out what his love language is and learn to speak it fluently.
  13. Take a walk together and hold hands.
  14. Talk about how you first met and fell in love. See if you both remember the same things!
  15. Make a special romantic massage oil and give it as a gift. Mix some essential oils like ylang ylang, rose, jasmine, sandalwood, cinnamon leaf, or lavender together in a blend you both enjoy, then dilute it in a good massage oil like apricot kernel or grape seed.
  16. Use that massage oil! Even better, take some time to learn how to give a good massage.
  17. Read some godly, quality books on marriage together and talk about what you’ve read.
  18. Read through Song of Solomon together.
  19. Learn to do a new hairstyle that your husband loves.
  20. Give him specific compliments about his appearance, accomplishments, or strengths you see in his life.
  21. Learn about the unique needs of husbands and wives and consider how you are meeting his needs.
  22. Pray together frequently.
  23. Pray for him and your marriage regularly.
  24. Get away on a trip together, even if it’s just one night away at a nearby hotel, and even if you have to save up for months to do it.
  25. Learn how to really apologize and do it quickly when it’s needed.
  26. Then offer quick forgiveness when you receive an apology.
  27. Ask him for requests when you plan out your meals for the week or month.
  28. Invest in your friendship together by developing some shared interests.
  29. That also means that you can develop a greater interest in things that he enjoys, even if they don’t interest you.
  30. Take a step back and honestly consider tendencies that erode at greater intimacy in your marriage, like busyness, fear of confrontation, or blame. Work through them together.
  31. When you’re in a conflict, keep a close watch on your own heart conditionConflict isn’t necessarily bad, but…
  32. What’s in your heart comes out in your words and actions. We have to be mindful of how we handle conflict.
  33. Make a fun dessert together and enjoy it after the children go to bed. If all else fails, enjoy some sneaky ice cream while the little ones sleep.
  34. Tickle each other for giggles.
  35. Secretly save up for something you know he wants, and give it to him when he isn’t expecting it.
  36. Figure out a way to make date times happen, even if you have to get creative to do it.
  37. Send him a romantic but silly text message full of emoticons instead of words, and see if he can solve the message.
  38. Brag about him to your children or others, both when he is around and when he is away.
  39. Consider his preferences in your clothing choices and just be mindful of them. Look nice when he comes home as much as possible, even if there are a few spit up stains here and there.
  40. Think of him when you choose new undergarments.
  41. Work silly and flirty one liners into your conversations when they aren’t expected.
  42. Tell him why your life is better because of his presence. Be specific.
  43. Kiss in front of your children.
  44. Kiss more often.
  45. Kiss like you mean it.
  46. Do a job that he doesn’t like to do as a surprise. It might be something like mowing the lawn or organizing his closet.
  47. Never be ashamed to talk with a godly pastor or counsellor together if you consistently struggle in a certain area. That’s not a sign of weakness or failure, but wisdom.
  48. Say yes more often to intimacy and initiate more often. Mark it on your calendar if you need the reminder.
  49. View his need for physical intimacy as a blessing to your relationship and a key component of your marriage. Treat it with respect.
  50. Tell him you love him and say his name (or a special nickname) when you do it.

50 ways to spice up a marriage weren’t too hard to compile. What would you add?

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    1. Thank you so much for this post! I have only heard of 50 Shades of Grey, but just that it is extremely sexual and so I have never read it or watched the movie. I don’t believe God wants me to be imagining things like that, I’d rather be thinking of my own husband and our intimacy. I loved reading your post and I made sure to pin it to my Pinterest. My husband and I have been married for almost 14 years, we have 6 children. 3 biological children, 2 adopted and 1 medically fragile foster child. We make sure to take time for our marriage, but it seems like we have come to this place in our lives where the spark is gone a lot of the times. I know that this is a lie that the devil would like for me to believe and I won’t do it. I know that God has so much more planned for our marriage and the answer is never to give up. I have never been one to want to give up, so when I notice something like this I make sure to act on it. I was looking for good, godly advice for a marriage and what I can do to feel like I’m living life and enjoying this marriage with my husband again. I think that you have wonderful ideas that are biblical and I can’t wait to work on them one at a time in my marriage! Thank you for your post!

    2. I’m a Christian & I have been married for 9 yrs. I enjoyed the 50 shadeds of grey. Yes some parts are dark but she changes him shows him what love truly is. I don’t think God looks down on what a husband & wife do behind closed doors as long as it ok with both people. And as long as it stays between them no outside people. I wouldn’t do everything the book talks about but some could be done in a more loving way. Everyone enjoys different things in the bedroom & in a marriage you are to compromise find a happy medium so both get the love, respect, & satisfaction they need. If that’s means a whip or blind folding or spanking. That is what it means many marriages fail because they aren’t able to communicate their needs or wants or they refuse to be open. As long as its between a husband & wife and is agreed upon I don’t see the issue. (Absolutely NO having another person in the bedroom that is not ok marriage in Gods eyes)

      1. Hi Savannah. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. While I agree that husbands and wives need to learn to openly communicate about their intimacy, I do have to disagree with many other points. The Scriptures do teach that the marriage bed is undefiled (Hebrews 13:4), but that’s within the context of marriage being an earthly example of Jesus Christ and His bride, the church. I can’t see bondage and physical pain as part of Christ’s love for His people. Rather, it’s the opposite!

        I have heard other Christians defend the story because the young woman in the story changes the man. But how often is that the reality for women in abusive relationships? For myself, as a Christian woman, I never want to defend something that permits, enables, or glorifies abusive behavior, even if it is cloaked in a type of “love/lust” story.

        We also both agree that only two individuals are invited into the intimacy of marriage, never more. That’s the exact reason I could never watch sexual scenes in a movie, especially one like this. How is it okay to watch actors on a screen acting out love making when I wouldn’t want to watch that between two people any other place? While they may be “acting”, they are still going through the same motions, and in this case, in a degraded way. I feel the same way about reading descriptive erotic/romance novels, as well.

        I do believe the Lord cares about healthy sexual relationships between husbands and wives. That’s why it’s addressed in Scripture, and I can’t see anyway that this book series and movie lines with the Bible. If by chance you’re open to hearing more on why many believers felt the need to stand against this book and movie so strongly, I’d love for you to visit Covenant Eyes and their many excellent videos and articles on the topic, as well as others that are similar. I have them pulled up HERE. Best wishes.

    3. Thank you for posting this. So many of my friends are obsessed with 50 Shades of Grey. I read an interview of the leading lady and lead actor in the film. They talked about how uncomfortable and awkward it was to act out scenes that they never would do to anyone in real life and how difficult it was at times to film the movie. I think that speaks volumes (for me at least) why it is just about selling sex and not selling love.

      Sex is a very important part of marriage, but so is respect and love.

    4. This is a great list. I got a few new ideas for the future 🙂 I actually surprised my husband with a bedroom makeover this week. While he was out of town last weekend, I painted, moved furniture, and put up new curtains and decor. It really makes a difference to make the room you share nice. I also wrote about our love story yesterday and this morning we reminisced together as he read it. It was a really simple act that turned out to be really sweet!

      1. I love that, Lisa! I’ve been neglecting a bedroom redo for a few reason, one of them being 5 children. 😉 But it needs it! For now I think putting up some new curtains would do a lot for us since the other projects are out of our budget right now. That alone adds quite a bit!

        I hope you have a very blessed Valentine’s Day with your guy!

    5. Truly as with all of Satan’s other schemes, the pleasure he tempts with only lasts for a moment-but the pain that people pay for playing his games can last a lifetime. =/
      I’ve found drinking tea on a winter evening with my hubby is like a mini-date. =]Thank you for all the other ideas! I will definitely be refering to this list. =]