Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.
I looked up the definition of intimacy and it included everything from familiarity, closeness, rapport, and affection, all the way to sexual intercourse. For the sake of this blog, let’s talk about the later, the ultimate union between a married man and woman.
Many Christians argue about the importance of intimacy in a marriage and exactly where it belongs in the scheme of the relationship. God starts right out in the first book of the Bible referencing its significance. Genesis 1:28 God blesses man and woman commanding them to be fruitful and increase in number. In 2:18 it is written that it is not good to be alone so he makes a helpmeet or helpmate. In 2:24 a man is to leave his parents, cleave to a wife and become one flesh. There certainly is a level of intimacy needed to become one flesh and be fruitful, don’t you think?
Still, questions bounce in our heads about how often should we be intimate? What is acceptable or okay in the bedroom, in the eyes of God? Is there a list of what we are allowed to do or not to do to each other? What if one of us wants to make love and the other one is too tired or stressed out? What if what one partner wants makes the other one feel uncomfortable? Sadly there is no real checklist, although the Bible does give us some guidelines.
Think about how Philippians 2:3-4 says “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interest of others.” This surely does answer the question about making your partner uncomfortable. If you have a particular history, you must make sure that you are open with your spouse about the past abuse or trauma that may be interfering with sexual intimacy. This will clear up any misunderstanding about something that they thought was “no big deal.”
My favorite guidelines come from 1 Corinthians. Read from 7:1-11 and you will see that not only does a womans body belong to her husband, but that his body belongs to her as well. Husbands should fulfill their duty to their wives just as wives to their husbands. This should clear up the question about making love when you are not in the mood. Once in a while, you just have to “take one for the team.” Believe me, there have been many nights where I knew that my husband needed an intimate moment more than I did. I would oblige out of respect for my husband’s desire, and miraculously, along the course of the evening, I would end up enjoying myself much more than I had expected. Always be open to sharing yourself with your mate.
As your marriage evolves, remember that your lovemaking will too. Don’t expect you or your spouse to always want the same position, duration or even frequency. As you learn new ways to pray together, raise children together and adapt to situations life throws at you, be open to new ways to love each other. One of the most enjoyable parts of marriage to me is that it is never the same day. When it does become a burden it is not time to give up, but merely a time to seek help and pray about a solution. Song of Songs 8:7 “Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot wash it away.” So, solidify your marriage in all ways and you will never go thirsty!
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