A thriving and everlasting marriage is built upon intimacy
Thriving couples regularly celebrate their marriage with passionate sexual intimacy. Because they are joined as “one flesh,” healthy husbands and wives place an appropriate emphasis upon the physical component of their union, realizing that it is a vital aspect of the joy, pleasure, and mutual satisfaction that are supposed to lie at the heart of the marital relationship. To say this another way, they don’t regard sex as a “chore” or “obligation.” Instead, they see it as a delightful “dance” in which each spouse puts the other’s needs and interests ahead of his or her own and explores ways of giving sexually to his or her “other half”. There’s a saying, “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife” Sexual union is central to this process.
Most married couples lack sexual intimacy due to work commitments / Pix: infokids.com.cy
Naturally, we have to strike the proper balance here. It goes without saying that there is a great deal more to marriage than just sex. Important as it is, sex is not the only element of a vibrant marital relationship. Nevertheless, the sexual act is the nexus, the symbol, and the physical expression of the leaving, the cleaving, and the becoming one flesh that define the very essence of matrimony. In a certain sense, sex is the glue that uniquely unites a husband and wife and places their relationship in a category apart from all other human relationships. We should add that mutually satisfying physical intimacy is something bigger than sexual intercourse in the narrow sense. It includes affection, tenderness, warmth, and physical touch. This point deserves to be stressed because sexual intimacy in marriage is a lifelong process.
Different forms of expression may be appropriate at different phases in the development of the relationship — in youth and old age, in times of stress and times of joy, during pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing, during and after menopause — the list could go on and on. Where pain or physical incapacity has ruled out the possibility of certain types of sexual activity, it’s worth remembering that sexual intercourse per se is not necessarily the only option for physical intimacy. Physical closeness, skin-to-skin contact, even intimate conversation can be extremely satisfying in the absence of other forms of sexual pleasure. Thriving couples often approach marital sex with candor, prayerfulness, vulnerability, flexibility and a willingness to communicate at every stage of life.
Try This! Discuss with your spouse the different expectations that you both have during physical intimacy. This way, it helps you to understand your spouse’s needs and be able to satisfy them during your most intimate moments. This article was published with permission from Focus on the Family Malaysia. If you liked this article and would like to go deeper, we have some helpful resources at: www.family.org.my