Marital Intimacy – A Definition
The phrase “marital intimacy” is frequently used only to refer to sexual intercourse. However, the phrase is actually a much broader concept and speaks of the relationship and connection between a husband and a wife. There is potential for a rewarding and deep connection between a husband and a wife that encompasses four main areas -- emotional, mental/social, spiritual, and physical.
Marital Intimacy – Can We Obtain it?
Since marital intimacy can exist between a husband and wife, how do we experience it? How can it impact my life and relationships? It is accomplished as both the husband and the wife sacrificially love each other by concentrating on meeting the other’s needs. Of course, no spouse should ever be expected to meet all the needs of the other. Nevertheless, the marriage is a team that is made up of two puzzle pieces. When the pieces fit together, they will create a beautiful picture of what marital intimacy is all about.
Intimacy is accomplished as each spouse learns to connect with the other emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Men and women are designed uniquely, so these four aspects of intimacy will be experienced in a different way for each spouse. Women generally find fulfillment in the emotional connection with her husband and she wants to know that her feelings are both valued and shared. Women also enjoy mental forms of intimacy and mutual exchange of thoughts.
Men feel marital intimacy differently and often feel the greatest levels of intimacy through activity, companionship, and forms of physical intimacy such as sexual intercourse. The intimacy needs of women might be described as “being,” while the same needs in men can best be conceptualized as “doing.”
Marital Intimacy – Spiritual Intimacy
The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes speaks of two individuals deriving warmth from lying down together (Ecclesiastes 4:9). The same passage provides a visual picture of a rope that is woven with three strands of cord to symbolize the intimate connection that exists in a marriage that is strengthened by God. From these verses in the Bible, we can understand that while marital intimacy is certainly about a physical connection, it is much more than that. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:31-31 about a mysterious union of a man who, by joining himself to a wife, becomes one flesh with her.
Where does God fit into spiritual intimacy? He waits to be invited to become the third cord spoken of in Ecclesiastes. God reveals Himself as Creator of the universe and of mankind. Here, we find that God has created human beings in His image. In other words, we have a human spirit that was made to connect with the Spirit of the Living God. God intends that we also join our spirits together within the covenant of marriage.
How do we achieve spiritual intimacy? We must first recognize God as the One who has created us and designed a spiritual life for us. Once we have entered into a personal relationship with Him, then we are ready to share our spiritual journey with our spouse as we seek all that God has for us within the beautiful covenant of godly marriage.