Four Areas of Intimacy That Are Vital to Great Relationships
By - Paul Hargreaves
Intercourse literally means “to get to know someone intimately.” In our culture, we have reduced the word to refer only to the act of sex. Conversely, we’ve nearly forgotten a traditional Biblical meaning of the verb “to know” — which means “to have sexual intercourse.”
Biblical history starts the whole human lineage with this line: “And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived. . . .”
The two words intercourse and knowledge are closely aligned. To know your wife is to become intimate in various ways. I purposefully arrange the following types of intercourse in order of importance. The best life possible is when it starts with God and keeps Him preeminent in your personal and married lives. It will take intentionality to rearrange these types of intercourse in terms of their value and impact throughout your marriage.
Consider the saying: “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Some writers have seen that truth as a picture of marriage: man-woman-God bound together in a strong union. Praying together is one of the foundations for Spiritual Intercourse. The most important goal of prayer together is that it keeps
our relationship as a couple intimate and close, and it keeps our hearts open before the Lord as a couple. Look at any relationship as a triangle of three rather than a line of two. If God is at the top of the triangle there is communication that each of you have with God individually but you can also have a spiritual intimacy with each other by talking to God together.
There is a lot of unspoken accountability in our combined walk with the Lord. Daily prayer can serve as the guardian of the marriage, for the husband and wife that pray together do not pray alone. God Himself is present in praying moments and He will encourage the formation of an ever-closer bond. He will lend His strength to that bond. He will mend any brokenness that occurs between the couple who talks to Him together.
Attending worship services or small groups in a local church as a couple is another way to build spiritual intimacy. The Bible instructs Christians to not forget to meet with others of faith in Jesus.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” ~Hebrews 10:25
We are born into groups called families, the church is a group called a family and a body. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the head of this body. If the Church is a body with each of us as members, we are encouraged to stay connected to Jesus and each other. We can personally have greater intimacy with Jesus by developing our own relationship with Him but the Bible tells us that our faith also needs community to grow. Worship is also seen as a combination of both personal and corporate settings. God wants our spiritual intimacy to grow by gathering with others and consequently staying connected to the direction and plans that that Jesus has for our lives.
This intimacy involves getting to know your wife/husband through talking to each other and spending conversational time together. I want you just to know some ways you can find time to talk.
Twelve ways to Find Time to Talk to Your Spouse
You’re both home from work at the end of the day? Set aside a fifteen-minute period at some point to discuss — reflect on — your respective day’s activities.
Have daily dinner together but make a rule that the TV is off during dinner, encouraging conversation. For that hour, let the voice mail take all phone calls except emergencies.
Write a weekly or monthly date night into your schedule that cannot be broken. If your schedule permits, get together for lunch once a week — even if you’re just brown-bagging it in the park.
As a couple, attend one of your children’s sports games or other performances. It’s amazing how conversation can develop while you sit and watch your child or on the way to and from the game.
Take a walk together after dinner. It’s a good time to talk, and it’s also good for you physically.
If you are allowed some flexibility in your work schedule, go in late one day to have some together time. Once you have kids in school it can be after they have gone off to school. Enjoy an hour or so with your spouse.
Read a magazine article or book together that you both feel will stimulate a discussion.
Once you have children, don’t be afraid to use baby-sitters just to give you time alone to talk.
Write each other little notes that begin, “I have something really amazing to talk with you about the next time we’re together.”
Once or twice a year, plan a weekend getaway for just the two of you.
Ask your best friend to hold you accountable to meet regularly with your wife/husband at least once a week for a meaningful conversation.
One intimacy killer is to combine a serious discussion about a conflictive issue while on a fun date, during an intimate talk, or just before or right after the sexual experience. Plan your conflict discussions during the week at a specific time and day. There is a time and place for those all-important conflict resolution moments. It is not when you are needing to find more verbal intimacy.
Sharing deep feelings with each other is emotional intercourse, and it’s vital to sexual satisfaction. . . this involves conversations that deal with more than facts alone. It's definitely easy to get so caught up in the mundane rhythms of life that you sort of lose track of each other and who you're each becoming. That other person you knew so well can start to look like a stranger when you don't take the time to live in each other's worlds and connect. If you're feeling distant from your spouse, and even if you're not, try taking some time to talk about your answers to the following questions the next time you find yourselves relaxing together or on a date:
If you could choose the activities to do that would make a perfect day, what would you choose?
What's your favorite childhood memory?
What are the ten most important things on your personal bucket list?
When did you last cry about something and what did you cry about?
If you could wake up tomorrow morning with one new skill or ability, what would you choose?
What do you like best about our relationship?
What's something that you'd like to try, but that you're too scared to try?
If all of your friends were asked to describe you, which friend’s description would be the most accurate and why?
Think in terms of meeting the others needs by touching, caressing, hugging, kissing, and romancing. Most women need eight to twelve meaningful touches a day to keep their energy level high and experience a sense of connectedness with their husband — a hug, a squeeze of the hand, a pat on the shoulder, a gentle kiss. Men have a similar need for touch but are more visually stimulated. The key to physical intimacy lies in knowing your spouse and deciding to focus on acting on what stimulates the other. Each person looks for times and ways to find physical intimacy. Each one becoming more selfless, giving and focused on physically meeting the others needs is what brings about a deeper physical intimacy. Physical intercourse takes time and is best achieved through knowing the others needs well. This kind of love is patient and other focused.