Gary's blog for couples and parents plus resources for individuals, leaders and churches.

Friday, March 5, 2010

"The Third Component of Marital Intimacy"

"Last night Bob and Cheryl were intimate." When you read that statement what do you think it refers to? Of course, most people would suggest that it means they had sex. Who wouldn't? But why is it we don't consider the possibility that they had a deep discussion or were praying together?

Because we've been programmed to think that intimacy is only physical. But instead sex is only one component of total intimacy in a marriage. It's an important component, something beautiful that God invented, but it's still only a portion of the true intimacy I've tried to describe in the last several posts.

Nonetheless, let me talk about some practical ways to enhance physical intimacy in a marriage. First of all, become more intimate in soul and spirit. You'll have to go back a post or two to get my practical thoughts on the first two. However, let me simply say for now that you'll grow your sexual relationship with your spouse if you'll grow together in your soul and spirit.

God made these three elements of intimacy to work together not separately. When I work with couples and they have sexual issues I'm pretty sure that there isn't anything wrong with them physically. Of course it's always important to make sure the physical checks out. See your doctor to make sure.

But most likely there isn't a physical problem. It's typically a soul and spirit problem. Couples wonder why their romance has waned and often it's because they've become more distant personally. They rarely talk about meaningful things and most likely their spiritual enthusiasm is gone as well.

However, when two people begin to get closer together emotionally they want to be together more physically. That's why people of the opposite sex who aren't married have to be careful that they don't connect emotionally on a very deep level. It can draw them together in other inappropriate ways.

Second, keep romance interesting and creative. It will take some time but plan times away, try some new things and get out of old and tired habits. There are excellent and tasteful books out there that can give you fun ideas for dates and getaways. Write each other a love letter, go on a special date now and then and attend a marriage conference that will breathe some new life into your relationship.

Third, monitor your lifestyle. Fatigue, burnout and busyness are pretty ruthless killers of physical intimacy. It just becomes too much work to try anymore. In fact fatigue can wipe out many components of a healthy marriage such as communication so do some evaluation now and figure out to give yourselves some margin. Try turning off the TV more too.

Fourth, talk about it. Yes, talk about your intimacy, lack of it, or ways to improve. Be gracious, not condemning. Be honest, but sensitive. Express your desires, but don't be demanding.

The book of Song of Solomon seems to suggest that God invented sex and thinks it's pretty special. So let's give our physical relationships with our spouse that same kind of intention and attention. If we do, then along with spirit and soul intimacy, we'll enjoy the perfect triad of marital intimacy.
Gary Sinclair Writer | Speaker | Leader

Gary is currently a consultant, teacher, speaker and chaplain providing resources for families, leaders and churches.

No comments:

Post a Comment