Intimacy and Romance in Marriage

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It’s time to talk about some {boom-chick-a-wow-wow} in a godly marriage. Alright, I got that out of my system.

Seriously though, we need to talk about intimacy and romance in marriage (both sexual and non-sexual). Because sex isn’t just for procreation. It’s also for pleasure. But within the parameters of marriage, according to God’s design. And intimacy is more than just a physical act.

In this article, we’ll be discussing the sacredness of IT, emotional intimacy, and spicing it up if it’s gotten a little bland.

The Sacredness of Sex: Honoring God’s Design for Physical Intimacy

My wife and I use the term Intimate Time (IT) when it comes to having sex. Primarily as a code to hide what we’re doing from our kids. Rather than say “intimate time” we’ll merely say “I.T.” and we both know what it means.

Of course, our kids are old enough now to know what we’re referring to. But it doesn’t stop us from saying it. In our minds, it’s easier on them than saying, “Mom and Dad are going to have sex now.” As if we haven’t scarred them enough already.

The Bible tells us that marriage and sex are to be between a married man and woman (Genesis 2:21-24, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). And we should provide for each other’s needs.

“Because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband.

The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife.

Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. I say this as a concession, not as a command.”1 Corinthians 7:2-6

Emotional Intimacy: Connecting on a Deeper Level with Your Spouse

For a man, the wind can blow right and he’s ready to go. But for women, sex starts long before loins moisten, and clothes come off.

As men this is especially important for us to understand that emotional intimacy for women is just as (if not more) important than physical intimacy.

Emotional intimacy is closeness with someone else. Remember, emotional not physical.

Did your wife marry you because of your looks and physique? Either might have been what caught her attention initially. But neither is what kept it.

Do you remember what your relationship was like in the beginning? You spent as much time together as possible. And because you were new to each other, everything you did together was an experience.

Years later, you’re comfortable and no longer focus on experiencing new things together. But tackling something new might be exactly what the two of you need to rekindle that emotional intimacy.

You could interview each other. Remember, it will be just the two of you again when your kids move out. Getting to know each other now will help prepare and propel you as a couple into and through that time in your lives.

The article 7 Ways to Build Emotional Intimacy with Your Partner provides a list of questions to help build emotional intimacy.

Spicing Up Your Marriage: Rediscovering Romance and Passion

After twenty-one years of marriage, my wife and I know each other. In the most biblical sense of the word.

And after that long of being married to one person, most couples will develop a pattern when it comes to romance and passion.

Perhaps you have a certain night marked off on the calendar for intimate time.

When I’m talking about “spicing it up” I’m not talking about doing the dirty in public, using any form of pornography, or bringing others into the mix.

There are other ways to spice up your marriage (most notably your sex life) without going worldly. Not to mention, cameras are everywhere. Meaning, you risk being filmed in action. Is that something you want to go viral on the internet?

Related article: A video of you goes viral without your consent – what does the law say?

If you performed a simple search in your favorite search engine, you might find millions of articles devoted to the subject of spicing up your sex life. Unfortunately, the majority are from worldly-minded individuals.

To rev up the engines, start with knowing your wife’s love language.

Every person has their love language. For instance, my wife’s primary love language is acts of service and mine is physical touch.

When I try to seduce my wife using my love language, it doesn’t have the same effect on her as it would me. Just as doing something for me won’t have the same effect on me as it does her.

If you want it to have the intended impact, you have to use the language that speaks to her. That’s her love language.

Remember, for women sex starts long before clothes start coming off. Men are like a car in the summer months. We can hop into the car, start it up, and it’s already ready to go. We don’t need to let it run for an extended period.

Women, on the other hand, are like a car that’s been sitting outside overnight in the snow of winter. You can’t just start it up and expect it to take off. At least not without the potential of damaging the engine. It must be warmed up for a while before it’s ready to go. Most women must be warmed up before being ready.

That’s where spending time with her and learning her primary love language comes into play.

Some things you can incorporate into your sex life and won’t compromise your Christian values include:

  • Working out together
  • Don’t wait to be in The Mood
  • Reduce Stress in the Home

 Working Out Together

According to the NIH, a study conducted on forty-seven women shows that although antidepressants suppress sexual arousal, acute exercise can increase it. All participants were on one form of antidepressant or another. The study found that all were sexually aroused post-exercise. Some participants for up to fifteen minutes.

Don’t Wait to be in The Mood

Sexual spontaneity is great. At least at the beginning of the marriage. Unfortunately, most couples will see this dissipate over time. “Afternoon Delight” was amazing for the first few years. Somewhere along the way, it became an afternoon disruption.

That spontaneity went the way of the Dodo.

According to psychologist Brittany Blair, Psy.D., many people don’t desire sex until they’re sexually aroused. In the article, she refers to it as “responsive desire.”

In other words, just start. Before long, the desire will follow, and you’ll be doing IT.

Reduce Stress in the Home

It’s difficult to get aroused when we’re stressed. Even though having IT helps reduce stress, there’s that stress barrier standing in the way.

Of course, some stressors just can’t be ignored. Here, I’m referring to daily stress. Getting home from a difficult day at work type of stress.

Here are some things couples can do to address this.

  • Have a decompress buffer.
    • My wife agreed to give me 15 minutes when I get home to decompress. Once the time is up (or if I say I’m ready before then) she’ll talk to me about her day and mine. And let me know things that need to be addressed at home.
  • Have venting time limits.
    • Even though venting might make one feel better, it could cause stress in the relationship. If either of you needs to vent, make sure to agree upon a time limit for it. Let’s say you agree ten minutes is sufficient. Set a timer and respect each other’s time not go over that time. Once time’s up the venting session is over.
  • Set aside quality time together.
    • Busy schedules can cause stress in your relationship. Therefore, it’s important to make sure to set aside quality time together. This could be in the form of “Date Night” with your spouse. And date night doesn’t require leaving the house. We have friends who have date night every Friday. They’ll go up to their room, close the door, and watch a movie without the kids. Of course, there are other things you can do (like board games) that don’t require money or even leave the house. But still provide one-on-one time with just you and your wife.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the sacredness of IT, emotional intimacy, and spicing your marriage.

If you found value in this article, consider reading Priorities For a Successful Christian Marriage.

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