Marriage Developing Intimacy
by DeBorrah K. Ogans
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Intimacy is an essential component in developing a strong, robust, rewarding and satisfying marriage. Marriage should consist of an intimate, healthy, warm endearing closeness. This attractive closeness results in building a comfortable, formidable, deeper understanding and appreciation for each other. Fostering a marital environment that welcomes intimacy will yield, trust, security and transparency within your relationship. Often two people marry and just parallelly coexist, not really getting to know one another. To further develop your relationship it is important to get to know your spouse on a much deeper level. A good healthy marriage does not just happen it takes teamwork. Do you really want intimacy in your relationship? It is a necessary ingredient when one desires a deep, long lasting gratifying marital relationship.
Marriage was originally designed by God to be the ultimate, life sustaining Christian marital relationship where two; one man and woman agree to come together and grow as husband and wife. Each should have one another’s best interest at heart. To desire to journey through life with, as well as share their personal growth experiences along with a committed partner. This then becomes the ultimate foundational environment in which to build the family. Did you know today as many as 60% of marriages end in divorce? It is important that your marriage is or becomes a priority to both of you. Intimacy will foster a stronger union that encompasses developing the ability to build a healthier marital bond. It is never too late to start building intimacy. It is fundamentally essential that each spouse should consciously embrace and continuously seek God’s direction and enlist His principles within your relationship. “God’s Love endures forever.”
What does intimacy really mean? Webster Dictionary defines intimate as follows: “1 a: intrinsic, essential b: belonging to or characterizing one's deepest nature 2: marked by very close association, contact, or familiarity 3 a: marked by a warm friendship developing through long association
The Bible describes marriage as two becoming one flesh. This is really truly a fascinating concept that has become all too common. Take some time and ponder on this; we were made for God. “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Genesis 1. Today the world offers many variations as to what marriage can consists of? Remember God who is the Original Designer designed marriage to be a monogamous partnership between a man and a woman. Do you realize that you made a vow to love, walk together, grow together and go through both good and difficult life experiences with your spouse? Think about it your commitment was not only to your spouse but to God as well.
“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked and they felt no shame.” Genesis 2. Although Adam was very close to God he still needed human companionship. Intimacy in marriage is vitally important. Intimacy consists of being transparent; being able to freely express and communicate however it is you are feeling, to openly disagree without fear. To learn, express and experience the depth and benefit of God’s true Love within the confines of marriage. Intimacy when embraced helps you to also become closer to God. The Hebrew word for “intimate friend” is partner. Intimacy actually brings an element of responsible emotional freedom to your relationship. You do not elect to major in the minor things of life. Mutual trust, compassion, concern and respect then naturally become healthy components of your relationship.
Within marriage you are able to learn and understand the concept value of submission, which really is meekness. Meekness is so often misunderstood. It in no way implies weakness! It is a Fruit of God’s Spirit. It simply means “power under control.” Self control is an important element of the Fruit of God’s Spirit. The insecure desire to always want to dictate and control someone or something is easily relinquished when you know that it is God who really is in control of all things anyway. You also can easily recognize manipulation. “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” Partaking in all the Fruit of His Spirit is quite beneficial. (See Galatians 5) Getting to know the Lord in an intimate personal way is so very important!
Why is it that all too often you are respectful to everyone else except your own spouse? Is your relationship often fueled by your residual unresolved emotions, impulsiveness, impatience and or hot tempers? When you usually relate in this mode to one another it will create a lot of tension between you. This also negatively impacts the overall quality of your relationship that can create a hostile unhealthy living environment. Relating in this manner, is it because you really do not believe that God is present when no one else is? Anger really grieves the Holy Spirit. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs that it may benefit those who listen, And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger, brawling, and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore as dearly beloved children and live a life of love.” Ephesians 4. The “TRUTH” really does set you free! How did you relate to each other before you married? It is important not to take one another for granted. “God’s Love endures forever.”
Since we live in the world that so strongly influences behavior, for many actually including God’s principles usually just becomes an afterthought. Common excuses “I’m human” well I hope so! Or “nobody’s perfect.” Did God not say “be ye perfect” because He is perfect, which really means mature not flawless. As God’s child we should be growing until He decides that it is time to meet Him face to face. Or repenting in stead of repeating. Pride usually takes the forefront. As a Christian your marriage should be different. God really is Omnipotent, He is right there! His Word is meant to be our life manual. When truly embraced fully and practiced, intimacy will alter how you interact and behave tremendously. You share mutual interests and your needs are met. You invite God in your circle. Of course you disagree at times but you learn to resolve most of your differences responsibly which further strengthens each of you as independent individuals, yet matures you as a couple.
Intimacy helps you to learn how to appreciate and to mutually respect one another, to entrust your inner self to your partner. This reinforces your union as a couple. You usually don’t impulsively just react when something or someone triggers you emotionally or “pushes your button”. You do not have to give them “a piece of your mind” all the time. I always say that I prefer to “keep my entire mind.” When put into practice you instead, learn to think first, and then responsively respond if and when necessary. The more you practice this principle you gain deeper insight and acquire calmness, inner peace and serenity. You do not just let others outwardly control you by remote. Be alert because you will be tested! “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteousness that God desires…” James 1 The peace of God brings much inner contentment. If you read on you will find that there really are spiritual benefits in learning how to bridle or control your tongue! God is AWESOME! Each of us has an innate God given unique temperament. “It is our temperament that determines how well we react to people, places and things. In short, it is how people react with their environment and the world around them.” (Creation Therapy by Dr. Richard & Phyllis Arno)
Our Creator knows what we need. The malleable brain, your mind God has given you has over 12 billion cells, and over 400 miles of capillaries within 100 sq ft. In other words it can store a lot of “stuff”. You know the saying “practice makes perfect” what we really should say is “practice makes permanent.” Be careful what you ……. Creativity and learning by building upon what you already know builds dendrites or increases learning which builds your mind. Spiritually digesting and applying God’s Word transfers into a stronger solid spiritual foundation. Intimacy with God works absolute wonders! God’s Word is spiritual food for your mind. He says we can be “transformed by the renewing of our minds…” Romans 12. Change is possible. Do you really believe His Word? God really does have a better way! This is why it is so important to consult the Lord and apply His Word. Since He created us He really does know what is best for us. “With God all things are possible!
Remember God has designed marriage for each of you to have a “helpmeet if desired.” Developing intimacy has to be a desired goal; it is not an automatic process. Rather than just “dump” on one another you create an environment where you can learn healthier relational dynamics. Intimacy also helps to release inner anxiety, allows free expression, frees your mind, and allows room instead for each of you to build an inner strength which stabilizes your relationship. The two becoming one is a spiritual principle of intrinsic value.
Marriage is supposed to be something that is cherished. It must be attended, nurtured and cared for in order to create an environment in which you both are able to mutually grow together both spiritually and emotionally. Each marriage is different and as two different individuals you both together are able to determine what your priorities are in your own marital relationship. It is important to respect, support, encourage, chastise and urge one another to be all they can be in life in order to grow and fulfill whatever their God given purpose may be. God wants to be a part of our lives each and everyday. Sometimes this requires a shifting or reprioritizing of what you think or perceive to be important. Ultimately instead of trying to fit God into our lives we should design our lives to center around Him.
Quite often when one thinks of intimacy they think only on terms of being physical. Many couples have and are experiencing physical relationships without any intimacy. They physically engage regularly with one another, without really getting to genuinely know one another. This may fill an immediate physical desire. However in the long run it hinders your ability to bond and develop a depth and significant security within your marriage that comes along with intimacy. There instead resides an insecure, unstable shallowness to the relationship just waiting to become unhinged. Intimacy is possible but it takes time and a mutual commitment to move towards a deeper transparent relational level in your marriage. “God’s Love endures forever.”
About the Author:
DeBorrah K. Ogans is a licensed Pastoral Counselor and ordained minister. She is certified through the Sarasota Academy of Christian Counseling in Creation Therapy and holds a Master’s Degree in Biblical Clinical Counseling. DeBorrah is a Co-Founder along with her husband Randall of "Alpha 7 Ministries". She is the author of a pre-marital guide “How Do I Love Thee: Things You Need To Know Before You Say I Do”, and has released her second book "Holy Matrimony: Now That You're Married".
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