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 sexual intimacy. I consider sex to be the ultimate union between a married man and woman. Many people argue about the importance of intimacy in a marriage and exactly where it belongs in the scheme of the relationship. Yes, there should be respect, friendship, laughter, responsibility, honesty, trust, communication and more, but I also expect those things from my friends. I want the relationship with my husband to include those characteristics too but definitely include some good physical loving as well.
God starts right out in the first book of the Bible referencing to the importance of intimacy. In Genesis 1:28 God blesses man and woman commanding them to be fruitful and increase in number. In 2:18 He says it is not good for man to be alone, so He makes a helpmeet or helpmate for him, and we all know that in 2:24 a man is to leave his parents, cleave to a wife and become one flesh. There must be a certain level of intimacy that comes with becoming one flesh and with being fruitful.
Still, the questions bounce around in our heads: 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 to each other? What if one of us wants to make love and the other one doesn’t? What if what he wants to do makes me feel uncomfortable? Sadly, there is no list we can check off about what is acceptable in each relationship. The Bible gives us guidelines, yes, but a list, no. 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 interests of others.” This would answer the question about doing something that feels uncomfortable to you. Your husband or wife should never ask you to do something that feels disagreeable to you. Make sure that you are open with your spouse about any past abuse or trauma that you may have had that may interfere with sexual intimacy. Often one partner has no idea why the other had a bad reaction or an aversion to something he or she thought was no big deal.
The Bible also talks about marriage in 1 Corinthians. Read from 7:1-11 and you will see that not only does a woman’s body belong to her husband, but his body belongs to her as well. Husbands should fulfill their duty to their wives just as the wife should fulfill her duty to her husband. This clears up the question about making love even when you are not in the mood. Sometimes you have to “take one for the team” and just show up for your spouse. I know there are times when you are tired, distracted, feel frumpy, or have a lot on your mind. These may be the times when you need good love making the most! Believe me, there have been many nights where I know my husband needed an intimate moment much more than I thought I did. I would oblige simply out of respect for my husband’s desire. Almost 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 the various situations life throws at you, you will also find that your intimacy may also change and evolve. That is part of the fun of being married. It is never the same day. When it does become a burden, it is not the time to give up, but merely a time to seek help and pray about a solution. Solidify your marriage in all ways and you will never regret the intimate moments.
Song of Songs 7:10 “I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me.”