Thanks for tuning in to the discussion of the last key in our marriage tune up! Today, we focus on sex and intimacy. All marriages need sex! All marriages need intimacy! We all know what sex is but intimacy is less often understood. The dictionary defines intimacy as a “close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person or group”. Intimacy can happen without sex. Intimacy is being there for your spouse when they’ve had a hard day. Intimacy is sharing a good morning kiss (bad breath and all) without expectation of it leading to sex. Intimacy is holding hands in public and sharing your deepest thoughts without fear they will be repeated. Intimacy is opening yourself up to your spouse—flaws and all. This requires trust. Intimacy is revealing your vulnerabilities and nakedness without shame. The good news is intimacy usually leads to sex and more exciting love making. But the expectation in intimacy is not to get to the sex. It is truly sharing that side of you that no one else knows. We all desire to be intimate with someone—whether it’s a spouse, best friend or family member—because God created us for fellowship with others.
Sex, on the other hand, can be just an act. But when two people care deeply for one another and are closely familiar with another, sex becomes something magical and exciting. It becomes a unique expression of their love for one another. They both desire to please the other and have a mutual respect for each other’s needs (sexual and otherwise). Their passion becomes more intense throughout the years if intimacy is present. There is no desire for “one night stands” or adulterous relationships because each person’s needs is being met. The sexual journey evolves over time as each spouse gets to know the person they married at the various stages in life through communication, trust and companionship. The journey should become more and more enjoyable, not less enjoyable. You should look forward to seeing your spouse every day and still have heart flutters when you see them.
We must find ways to keep the passion and spark burning through intimacy and sex. If sex is not fun anymore, something is wrong. Both spouses need to talk and discover the problem. Usually if sex is boring or dull, intimacy is missing or we have stopped being passionate and are merely going through the motions. Whatever the case, it can be fixed. Sex should be fulfilling for both spouses and unique for their marriage relationship. Sex should never be compared to other couples’ sexual relationships or discussed with friends or family. If there are problems in the sexual relationship, they should be discussed with a counselor or an objective third party who can help the couple discover the problem, after the couple has tried to discuss the issue on their own.
As you explore intimacy and sex with your spouse, keep it fun and exciting. Keep it consistent. Work at making it enjoyable for both people and discover how truly rewarding and fulfilling God created it to be! Below are some ideas you may consider over the next week to enrich your sexual relationship. Remember, find other couples you can take this journey with and keep each other accountable.
This is the final week in our Five Week Marriage Tune Up Challenge. I hope you’ve gained insight into some areas that will enrich and enhance your marriage. Feel free to review our previous weeks’ discussions of communication, money, trust, and companionship. Of course, this is not the end of the journey to having a great marriage. Marriage is great, but it takes GREAT work! Put in the work and make it GREAT!
Day 1: Think about your sexual relationship as it stands today. Are you and your spouse intimate? Do you merely go through the motions? How often do you have sex? Do you share unique moments and thoughts with each other on a regular basis?
Day 2: Talk to your spouse and discuss the three things you like most about your sexual relationship. Tell them why you like those things and be specific. If you are too uncomfortable verbalizing them, write them down and give them to your spouse.
Day 3: Talk to your spouse about the three things you like least about your sexual relationship. What do you not like about them? How could it be better or different? Remember to watch your tone and find a positive way to discuss each of them.
Day 4: Together, come up with a plan for increasing the passion and excitement in your marriage. This may involve taking turns coming up with date nights or having a theme night, etc. Use your imagination and creativity. There’s no shame in sex and love making between a husband and wife.
Day 5: Plan a really exciting date night where you experiment with love making. Do something different that you both agree and are comfortable with.
Day 6: Discuss your date night and how it went. Did you enjoy it? Was there something you did not enjoy? Did it enhance your marriage or put a fresh spark in the relationship?
Day 7: Continue to think of ways you can surprise your spouse. Think of ways you can increase intimacy with your spouse. Are you satisfied with your sexual relationship? If not, how can you make it better (don’t point fingers at your spouse; look within)? Once you have identified ways of increasing the passion and intimacy, devise a plan for how you will implement them. Remember to be consistent!
~Coletta Jones Patterson