Intimacy is not spelled S-E-X—or at least not primarily.
The sexual relationship with our wives should be a by-product of the everyday intimacy in our lives.
Intimacy given rightly, given freely, and given not for what you get—but for what it gives to your spouse—will bear incredible sex with your wife!
Void of intimacy, sex is nothing more than an act. Period. It’s cold, passionless and empty, filling nothing but a selfish desire. It’s self-centered.
If you are about to get naked and get together with your wife and your mind is focused on is your satisfaction and release…stop. You have an intimacy problem.
So what is intimacy?
Intimacy is a close, familiar, and affectionate personal relationship with someone else. Intimacy more about what you do, not just what you say. Here is a short list of things you can do for your wife that speak intimacy in volumes to her.
- Hold hands with her.
- Open doors for her.
- Help with chores around the house (such as dishes, vacuuming, laundry).
- Listen attentively to her. Use both ears and eyes at the same time.
- Spend time with your kids and if they are grown and out of house, keep in contact. Let your wife know and see you continuing to speak into their lives.
- Give unexpected gifts and treats. How little or much you spend is not the point. It’s about letting her know your thinking deeply about her.
- Date your wife. Regularly.
- Pray with and for her.
- Have devotional time together.
- Hold her. Physically comfort her without any sexual purpose behind it. Feeling secure physically is a very intimate need for most women.
My wife told me at one time that when I pray for us at a meal while out in public, she finds it kind of sexy. Needless to say we eat out a lot more these days.
So, how about the obvious physical aspect to intimacy? Sex with your wife can be a very intimate setting and time together. In fact it should be the height of intimacy.
As I stated earlier, if our attitude about it is driven by a personal need or as it was for me a by-product of satisfying a selfish desire to climax after watching porn, that sexual act will be completely void of the intimacy God intended for it to display and for you to encounter. It is sex outside of the design God intends and is therefore a sinful act.
Sex between husband and wife should be about giving to one another, not about getting from the other. You getting your needs met by her. If you desire to meet her needs sexually, I dare say you will not regret it.
“Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered” (1 Peter 3:7, emphasis mine).
“In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself” (Ephesians 5:28, emphasis mine).
Both of the passages speak to a perspective on how we are to view and treat our wives, including physically and sexually. It may not be a direct reference to sex, but it’s quite accurate to say it does include it. God is telling us how to treat our wives in every aspect of life. Sex included.
Intimacy is About Time
The most precious things a husband wife have to share between them is time. Once spent, it is gone forever. This means sacrifice: giving up time at the golf course, at the lake, or the television and computer.
Have date nights and spend more than two minutes planning it.
Time spent with my wife is precious. Time spent thinking about my wife is precious. I know she’s thinking of me and praying for me, as I am of her.
And when you are with her, be there, completely. Phone, laptop, or tablet put away. For me, this is something I need to be better at.
Intimacy at the Soul Level
The greatest level of intimacy for a husband and wife lies in the soul. When you are both individually centering your lives on Christ and your souls are connecting at the spiritual level, intimacy with your wife can beyond what you thought possible.
As I struggled with this very issue in recovery from my porn habit, I found the answer to prayer in Song of Solomon. I read the verses in chapter seven that describe the inner beauty Solomon saw in his bride—that God given inner beauty.
It is in that revealed depth of “two shall become one” spiritual connection and created relationship that sexual relationship reaches its highest level of potency. There is no other experience on earth like it. God created it to be so. It is “very good.”
This realization has changed forever how I view women in general. Every woman is God’s daughter. Who am I to look up my wife in any other light—or any woman for that matter?
This one of the finest articles provided! It reminds me of a saying that ‘sex is between the ears’. I believe that, so, for me porn is cheating. I HATE IT when he says it is just ‘viewing’.
Thankyou for the article!
My husband’s idea of intimacy is weird. When we were having sex, he was all TOO giving…that is, he would pride himself on how many orgasms he could get me to have. That made me feel like I was being used as a slot machine spitting out coins to feed his Ego. There was no foreplay…just get straight to the “parts”. After, there was no lingering in bed…not for a second…as a matter of fact, he NEVER came to bed with me the whole ten years of marriage. I’d go to bed at 10pm…him, 2am or later.
He’d get up right away, clean up and ask if I enjoyed it. Well, yeah, if you stimulate my “parts” then I certainly can and do enjoy it as any animal with nerve endings would. But I was left sad. Sad because there was no bond, love, or emotional connection made. Just mechanics. This is the way he views “great sex”. He thinks he is a stud based on how many orgasms he can create for me to enjoy (little does he realize that I can do that all by myself if I wanted to). What I wanted was just one…even none would be fine…what I wanted was his heart engaged with mine…I wanted to see love in his eyes. He would come home from work, eat dinner, get on line for hours…then turn to me sometime during the evening and tell me to go upstairs. Like I am just sitting there ready and waiting. I think for him, sex is just about release. Intimacy is what you do when you tell your wife about what happened at work that day. Anything more than that is just too much “work”. This is the result from the porn and promiscuity he indulged in since his teens. It is sad, but he rather enjoyed it too much to want to change it.
This is absolutely one of the best blog posts I’ve seen here at CovenantEyes–right on the mark, and my belief/sentiments about marriage (even as a single) exactly!
This is what I have been trying to tell my husband for years….20 years! Thank you!!! Although this hits the nail on the head, I think reading “Your Brain on Porn” was the lightbulb moment of *WHY* my husband didn’t seem to “understand” the idea of intimacy. It fully explained why I have felt like a second class citizen, and why my husband would try the intimacy route for a few days, and everything would fall apart. This information is most certainly needed though!
Thanks, Kerri. Glad to hear how Your Brain on Porn was helpful!
Cecile, Greg and Kerri, thank you for your comments! God is faithful in revealing truths to me along with learning from my own mistakes. Sweetz, praying for you.
I wish a whole book were written on this matter. I know that this alien concept called intimacy is more about taking care of her needs, but I’m not even certain what her needs are, beyond what she has obviously told me. I really, really need to learn more about this topic to better serve my wife. I’ve spent too many years focused on my needs, and it has ruined our relationship.
Hey Jeremiah, one of the very best books out there on marriage is John Gottman’s The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Gottman’s work is the premier research into successful, emotionally intimate marriages. I also referenced some of his work in this article, where I talk about what my husband did to become emotionally trustworthy again in our marriage. You can also follow The Gottman Institute on Facebook, where they frequently post helpful resources for healthy marriages. Hope that’s helpful to you. Blessings, Kay
Thanks, Kay. I have it on Kindle now. My current read is “Surfing for God”, so I’ll read the Seven Principles after that. I’m a slow reader, though, as my mind wanders. Just have to keep working at it.
I only open the door for my wife, any thing else she does. I’ve got my room in the basement.