Finding True Intimacy In Marriage
The news, occasionally reports on couples who have been together five or six decades who die within hours or even moments of each other. This indicates a level of intimacy that transcends the physical realm. In our current society, advertisers would have you believe that keeping it spicy, shopping at Victoria's Secret and swinging from the chandeliers is the answer to maintain a marriage. The sex act, however, in and of itself is not the sole definition of intimacy. Couples who learn this early in a relationship will have a foundation to build upon when the issues of older age present themselves. Intimacy is something that is built over a period of time. It can be as simple as sitting side by side with legs touching or holding hands while walking. Contrary to recent television commercials, infomercials, and online advertisement, you cannot purchase intimacy from a website or a store.
Couples should become one
The Bible, says in Genesis 2:24: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh." This is fulfilled when a man and woman join their bodies together in the act of making love. Cleaving to your spouse should also be practiced outside of the bedroom. No couple will agree on everything but having each other's back, and knowing you can count on the person you married is important.
Life happens and some couples experience more adversity than others. When you weather the storms together, you will feel like an unstoppable team. I recall a couple who were married for close to 60 years. When you saw one, you almost always saw the other. In later years they sat together on their front porch every night for many years. The wife passed away on that porch in her husband's arms.
Married couples need to become friends first and allow the friendship to grow as the marriage continues. If the majority of your relationship is based on what happens in the bedroom, how can you function outside of it? A wonderful example of a couple who endured is Almonzo and Laura Ingles Wilder. They met when she was a teenager and their union lasted more than 60 years. Based on the Little House on the Prairie books, and television show this couple endured many hardships but survived because they first were friends. Sadly today, women write out a list of what they expect in a husband and often their expectations are unrealistic. The man with the muscles and long hair may end up bald and fat. Illness or an accident may cause the stallion in the bedroom to become impotent. A job loss could wipe out the fortunes of that sugar daddy and if there is no true bond of friendship, the relationship may be doomed.
Almonzo and Laura Ingles Wilder
Dictinary.com defines intimacy as: "A close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group. Making love is very intimate, but is not the sum total of a close, familiar, affectionate relationship between spouses. Small private gestures that are special and specific to you and your spouse are also important. Sitting side by side watching a movie and eating popcorn, slow dancing in your home to a favorite song or a quick kiss on the cheek or neck are intimate acts. A couple can lovingly touch each other in special places, shower or bathe together and enjoy each other‘s company without the end result always being copulation.
Sex has been commercialized to the point that it has lost the beauty of why the Creator gave this gift to mankind. There was a time when a honeymoon was looked forward to so a new bride and groom could have their first sexual experience. Today many couples have been honeymooning without any thought of marriage. This is why spouses must build intimacy between the two of them that is based on what is special and specific to them alone. My husband and I have been wearing matching outfits since 1977. This is something that we enjoy but not every married couple chooses to dress alike. I personally love quiet moments where I lay my head on my spouse's chest and listen to his heartbeat and when we snuggle under the cover on cold nights.
Many preachers today teach that a marriage cannot survive unless a couple is Christian and submitted to Jesus, but this is not true. My brother's inlaws have been married for over 60 years and do not believe in God. There are other couples who have remained together for decades without being Christian or believing there is a Divine Intelligence. Likewise, there are a number of believers in Christ whose marriages did not survive. If a couple has the same religious beliefs it can, however, strengthen their union. My husband and I both accepted Christ and were baptized in Baptist Churches at the ages of eight years old. We have maintained that faith during our 38 years of marriage and 43 years of togetherness, We pray with and for each other, read the Bible and attend church together. We lay hands on each other and have believed and received healing. This is a form of intimacy that has strengthened our faith and our marriage. This is an area we have in common and flow together in. Obviously, my brother's inlaws, (and other couples) have found a common ground that keeps them together without believing in Christ.
Develop Intimate Moments
I had an older cousin who was married for over 30 years until she died. Due to health issues, she and her husband had separate bedrooms but their intimacy and love for each other was very evident. Each had a pet name for the other and their tone when talking to one another was always so loving and kind. Intimate moments can be as simple as falling asleep with your legs entwined or waking up to find your spouse is hugging you. If you enjoy sex toys, Victoria's Secret and exploring new positions and locations to spice up your relationship, that is your personal choice to make but: Anyone can and most people do have sexual intercourse but not every encounter is lovemaking.
Consider I Kings 19:11-12 Then the LORD said,(to Elijah) “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD. Behold, the LORD is about to pass by.” And a great and mighty wind tore into the mountains and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a still, small voice. True intimacy will not be in the wind, earthquake, and fire of earth-shattering mind-blowing sex. Look for it instead, in the still small voice of soft, gentle, beautiful private moments. By all means, enjoy making love with your spouse, but don't forget to include those special moments outside the bedroom.