Monday, December 13, 2021

Blog Tour: Excerpt of The Flirtation Experiment by Lisa Jacobson & Phylicia Masonheimer

Authors: Lisa Jacobson & Phylicia Masonheimer 

Publisher: Thomas Nelson (December 7, 2021)
Hardcover: 224 pages

From popular Christian voices Lisa Jacobson and Phylicia Masonheimer, The Flirtation Experiment inspires you to strengthen your marriage with a fun, unexpected approach that leads to the depth, richness, and closeness you desire.

Romance novels, Hallmark movies . . . the immense demand for romantic stories reveals a deep, unsatisfied longing that can be found in many marriages, but does it have to be that way? Is it possible that the best marriage has to offer can grow, rather than fade after you say “I do”? Lisa and Phylicia say, “Absolutely yes!”

So what is the secret to a happy, thriving, loving marriage, where the fire of romance and close friendship do not fade? While The Flirtation Experiment includes the frisky side of marriage, it’s far more than a good romp. By degrees, each chapter takes you to a deeper place, covering themes every beautiful marriage has in common, such as covenant, healing, and hope.

Enjoy this excerpt:

Phylicia Lens

My own avoidance held me back for most of our young marriage. I couldn’t get past my innate fear of being rejected, unwanted, or—pridefully! — looking silly. But as I looked at the legacy built by years of avoiding affection, I saw nothing but loneliness and heartbreak. The risk of showing love was worth healing in my marriage.

C. S. Lewis famously said about vulnerability: “Lock it up safe in the casket. . . . [and] it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.”2 I saw those words come true in my very own heart. How hard, distant, and unbreakable I became! I was safe, but I was not happy. And Josh? He was as lonely as I was.

In a Christian marriage, our model for love is Christ Himself. Christ took on the most vulnerable, risky position in the world. He opened His heart to be broken by imperfect people and died to reconcile them to God. We are gathered into the arms of our Father, able to call Him the intimate name Abba (Rom. 8:15) because Jesus risked affection.

The Affection Experiment

Those first couple times expressing affectionate touch felt completely antithetical to my personality. This made me nervous because I didn’t want to feel like I was faking something. I wanted my actions to be genuine. But in the back of my mind was an adage from author Gretchen Rubin: “Act the way you want to feel.”

In healthy situations, taking action can actually make our feelings catch up. For me, this was the case. As I reached out to Josh to show him love through physical touch, I felt more confident and at ease. I also felt closer to him. As for Josh, he was as surprised as I expected him to be. He knew how I struggled with showing my love physically, particularly as the one initiating. My reaching for him, tentative as it was, was received warmly. He pulled me closer when I reached out. He responded to my little touches with touches of his own. The first few times (and many times after), I was nervous. I knew he would be surprised at the change and questioned whether his reaction would feel like rejection to my fragile heart. But as I reminded myself of God’s heart for my marriage—unity, passion, and love—I took the tiny step to embrace that truth. The crazy part? God’s truth became my truth. I felt closer to Josh because of seemingly insignificant touches. Our physical closeness reassured my heart; he wasn’t disinterested in me. He wasn’t rejecting me. I felt more known, more loved, and safer. And by the way he looked at me—and how he eagerly came to me each morning—I know he felt the same!

Perhaps what holds you back from affection isn’t fear but busyness. How can you make time to show affection to your husband? What specific action would express affectionate love most? The seven-second kiss? Nonsexual touching? Holding his hand? If you think fear is playing a role in your ability to show love physically, spend some time in the Word studying what God says about fear. How does He deal with it? What does He promise to those who follow Him?

Then decide on a simple act of affection to do today (and tomorrow) that will express your love in physical ways.

Lisa Lens

I heard him walk through the front door, but I never even looked up. By the time my husband, Matt, came home that evening, I was so frustrated, so frazzled, that his coming home hardly mattered. I kept sautéing the onions and peppers without so much as a glance in his direction. I just ignored him and tried my best to tune out the squabbling of our four young kids hungrily sitting around the kitchen table. I kept my eyes down, stirring those vegetables as if my life depended on it. And that’s when I felt him come up behind me and slip his strong arms around my waist. I knew I should have felt cared for, but mostly what I felt was annoyed. Couldn’t he see I was trying to make dinner? Couldn’t he do something about the kids who were now throwing their napkins at each other across the table? Couldn’t he do something?

I shrugged him off. Without saying a single word, I let him know that I wanted him to leave me alone. He got the message all right, and I saw his shoulders slightly drop as he stepped back. He stood silently behind me, watching as I sautéed away. But then, out of nowhere, I had the wildest idea come into my head. What if . . . what if instead of brushing him off, I twirled around and leaned back into him? I suddenly had to know.

What if?

And then, right in that crazy kitchen moment, I turned off the stove, whipped around, and pressed my body deeply into his. And stayed there for a minute or more. I don’t know who was more surprised, him or me. He stared into my eyes, wondering what in the world had gotten into me. How could I explain it? That I was merely curious as to what might happen? That this was an impromptu experiment by an otherwise weary and worn-down mom of four? How could I have known that one small move like this could start a much-needed, much-desired fire?

Passion Experiment

In all honesty, the last thing on my mind that evening as I stood over the skillet was passion. He wasn’t expecting it, and I wasn’t looking for it. We were in that survival stage of parenting when you find yourself in a bit of a blur as you go from one task to the next, trying to keep ahead of the cascading monotony of daily chores, milk spills, and utility bills.

Deep down he probably wished we had more sex, and I wistfully wanted more romance. But neither of us thought to ask the other as we were both doing what we could to keep up with the basic demands of the day until there was little left for the night. So we quietly kept our disappointments to ourselves and hoped something would change when our season changed. Maybe that’s where you find yourself—waiting for a new season.

Hoping things will get better or hotter when there’s more money, less stress, or better health, or when the kids are older. But here’s what I’d say: Don’t wait. Don’t put passion on the back burner with some vague idea that it will reignite itself when your circumstances are different. When I say “passion,” I don’t use it as some sort of euphemistic reference to sex (although sex typically plays a part in there somewhere).

What I mean is that strong feeling of physical desire and closeness for each other— an intense longing. Now, you may be asking yourself what place passion has in a Christian marriage. Isn’t that a rather worldly, self-focused pursuit? A way of thinking better suited for chick flicks and romance novels? Something you leave behind not long after the honeymoon?

God didn’t leave passion to the world, and neither should we. The desire we have for our husbands is a beautiful part of how God designed us as women. To desire your man is to live in harmony with who you were created to be. Just think: God could have kept our marriage mechanical, but, instead, he gave us that extra spark. So, as believers, let’s not be shy about seeking for passionate Song of Solomon moments in our marriages. And we don’t have to wait for our husbands to make the first move.

Lean into your man. Let the sparks fly!

Taken from “The Flirtation Experiment” by Lisa Jacobson and Phylicia Masonheimer. Copyright 2021 by Lisa Jacobson and Phylicia Masonheimer. Used with permission from Thomas Nelson.


About the authors:

Lisa Jacobson is an author, a podcaster, and the founder of, an online community of Christian women authors who write on marriage, home, family, and faith–a powerful voice for biblical womanhood. She is the author of the bestselling 100 Ways to Love Your Husband. Lisa and her husband, Matt, are also cohosts of the popular FAITHFUL LIFE podcast. They live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest where they have enjoyed raising their eight children

Phylicia Masonheimer is a national bestselling author, speaker, and host of the Verity Podcast. Her blog – Every Woman a Theologian- teaches Christians how to know what they believe and live it boldly. Theology touches every area of life, so Phylicia addresses cultural questions through the lens of church history and sound biblical interpretation. She lives in northern Michigan with her husband and three children.
Sunday, December 5th: @rozierreadsandwine
Monday, December 6th: @shejustlovesbooks
Tuesday, December 7th: @readingthroughnaptime
Wednesday, December 8th: @webreakforbooks
Thursday, December 9th: @msanniecathryn
Friday, December 10th: @nurse_bookie
Saturday, December 11th: @books_with_bethany
Sunday, December 12th: @lovemybooks2020
Sunday, December 12th: @kimsterling
Monday, December 13th: @megsbookclub
Tuesday, December 14th: @sunsoakedpages
Wednesday, December 15th: @andrea.c.lowry.reads
Wednesday, December 15th: @arrow_reads
Thursday, December 16th: @what.ems.reading
Friday, December 17th: @peachy.paperbacks
Friday, December 17th: @bookish801
Saturday, December 18th:
Monday, December 20th: @baytownbookie
Tuesday, December 21st: @bookscoffeephotography

Monday, December 6th: @parksidereads
Monday, December 6th: @finding_joyathome
Tuesday, December 7th: Tabi Thoughts
Wednesday, December 8th: Run Wright and @karen_runwrightreads
Thursday, December 9th: Stranded in Chaos and @sarastrand9438
Friday, December 10th: @shegabsaboutbooks
Monday, December 13th: From the TBR Pile – excerpt
Tuesday, December 14th: @jenniaahava
Wednesday, December 15th: @theocbookgirl
Friday, December 17th: @travelerswife4life
Monday, December 20th: @kristens.reading.nook

No comments: