Thrive: Building Stronger Marriages . . . Together

Day 9 of 9 • This day’s reading

Devotional

Intimacy

Intimacy—real intimacy—is about knowing and being known. It’s being so closely connected to another person that there’s no need for pretense or self-protection—no need to hold the other person at arm’s length out of fear of pain or rejection. That kind of intimacy is God’s design for marriage. 

Marital intimacy is a pursuit of oneness—an ongoing quest to discover as much as we can about our spouses and to reveal everything about ourselves. 

Intimacy involves all three aspects of a person: physical, emotional, and spiritual. To pursue only one or two aspects fails to produce the oneness God wants for us. When we don’t pursue all three, we’re left only partially fulfilled, or worse, frustrated and lonely. 

Physical Intimacy

Physical intimacy is one of the most important ways God designed us to experience that oneness. It’s more than sex, but sex is a huge part of it. 

Sex is the convergence of all three forms of intimacy—physical, emotional, and spiritual. Sex at its best becomes the celebration of oneness between two people who are fully known by each other. 

In order to experience physical oneness the way God intended, we need real connection. It doesn’t start in the bedroom. We need the harmony that comes with a good spiritual connection, the friendship that comes with a good emotional connection, and the romance that comes with anticipating where those things can lead. 

Emotional Intimacy

We have already established how important physical intimacy is in marriage. But most of married life happens outside the bedroom. 

Your spouse should be your best friend—a trusted confidant and ally who always has your back, someone genuinely committed to your well-being. Building that kind of emotional intimacy requires time, shared experiences, and consistency. It requires a desire to truly “know” your spouse—to be intently and eternally curious about them and to share yourself with them. 

Spiritual Intimacy

Marriage doesn’t cause us to morph physically into a single new being. Our oneness before God is something of a spiritual mystery, but it’s clear that God views married couples as single units. A husband and a wife in marriage uniquely share that kind of tight spiritual bond. No other relationship produces that kind of oneness. 

God wants to be an integral part of our marriages. Not only do we share our physical and emotional lives with our spouses, we share our faith—our relationship with God. While we’re each responsible for our own spiritual journeys, it’s important to share experiences as we’re growing. If true intimacy encompasses our whole beings, then we have to learn how to grow together spiritually. 

Don’t forget to invite God into this process. Marriage was his idea. He is the master craftsman of intimacy, and he wants to help you achieve it.  

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