Enjoying Greater Intimacy In Your Marriage
When a husband and wife achieve true intimacy, of course, they will naturally desire to share their romantic feelings at the deepest level. By God's design, one of the most pleasurable ways for couples to express their profound love and appreciation is through His gift of sexual intimacy.
The Art of Making Love
Some would say that "having sex" and "making love" are one and the same, but there's an important distinction between the two. The physical act of intercourse can be accomplished by any appropriately matched members of the animal kingdom. But the art of making love, as intended by God, is a much more meaningful and complex experience. It is physical, emotional, and spiritual. In marriage we should settle for nothing less than a sexual relationship that is expressed not only body to body, but also heart to heart and soul to soul. This intimate union, two becoming "one flesh," is both the symbol and fruit of genuine, heartfelt romantic love between a husband and wife.
The epitome of deeply felt romantic love—including sexual intimacy—can only be expressed within the unbreakable bond of marriage. Solomon's Song of Songs concludes with this eloquent description of the connection between two married lovers: "Love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like a blazing fire, like a mighty flame" (8:6).
This fiery, romantic, sexually intimate love is not achieved overnight. It develops between a man and woman through a process called marital bonding. Such bonding refers to the emotional covenant that links a man and woman together for life and makes them intensely valuable to one another. It is the specialness that sets those two lovers apart from every other couple on the face of the earth. It is God's gift of intimate companionship.
No matter how you express romance—through flowers, love notes, an evening in the bedroom, or all of the above—it is a vital ingredient for achieving genuine and lasting intimacy in your marriage. If you are careful to nurture and protect the flame of romance in your relationship, you'll enjoy its warmth for a lifetime.
Action Steps for Your Romance
• Write down what romance means to you and ask your partner to do the same. Now compare notes. You may be surprised at what your spouse comes up with!
• What are your favorite memories of romance with your mate? How could you recapture those? What new memories would you like to make? Schedule at least two of these for sometime in the next two months.
• How often do you and your partner journey through the twelve steps to intimacy? Set aside a relaxed day, evening, or weekend to do exactly that, and pay special attention to each step as you enjoy your time together.
God’s Recipe For Sex
Let my lover come into his garden and taste its choice fruits.
Song of Songs 4:16
Song of Songs 4:16
Someone once said that in matters of sex, men are like microwaves and women are like crockpots. There is certainly some truth to that cooking analogy—husbands can reach their "boiling point" before many wives have even decided what's on the menu! Why would God make men and women this way? Don't our different makeups set us up for conflict when our attention turns to physical intimacy?
I believe the Lord knew just what He was doing when He established these fundamental differences between us. After all, if women were more like men, we'd all probably spend so much time in the bedroom that we'd never get anything else done. And if men were more like women, we'd enjoy many more meaningful conversations—but the species might just disappear!
Our differences are what make life so interesting and invigorating. They force us to reach out, to grow, to appreciate our partner. When a husband is extroverted and the wife is introverted, the husband draws out the wife, while the wife helps the husband take time to reflect. When a wife is spontaneous and her husband is a planner, she brings energy and excitement to his life, while he adds stability to hers.
So it is with sex. Emotional and physical differences create interest and excitement. We encourage you to celebrate them! After all, when marital partners are joined as "one flesh," it is more than a physical union. We are merging our whole beings—body, mind, and spirit—in a wonderful and sacred encounter. This is just what your loving God intended. You can enjoy the variety that each of you brings to your marriage—no matter what you're cooking.
With a little unselfish forethought, each can learn to satisfy the other. Responding to these basic differences opens the door for genuine passion in marriage.
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