Uncovering the importance of intimacy in marriage: Make time and energy for... - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Community Focus

Uncovering the importance of intimacy in marriage: Make time and energy for...

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Diane Meehl freelance copywriter & journalist | serial volunteer | bookworm

Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2012 1:00 pm | Updated: 2:22 pm, Tue Mar 27, 2012.

Word has it a pastor in Texas staged a "bed-in" with his wife to promote the importance of, well, intimacy in marriage (my kids read this column, so, you get the idea).

But don't go scanning the Internet just yet - the two stayed in bed and just talked to the press about ... oh, boy, this isn't going to be easy.

Anyway, my first thought was, "A 24-hour bed-in? Clearly these people don't have children around!" And therein lies one of the biggest issues with regard to this topic.

Intimacy in the context of marriage - the place where we could feel most free to enjoy of one of God's greatest gifts - is also one in which we struggle for time, energy and space.

Of course, if you're married, and both you and your spouse are in full harmony on this topic, then your time is likely better spent reading another article. But first, give me your name and number, because we need to talk. Can you share your secret with the rest of us?

In my continuous observation of marriage, many couples seem to get that their connection to each other is strengthened when this area is active and mutually satisfying.

It's pretty hard to fight with someone when you're smiling about sneaking away from the kiddos for a few minutes of afternoon delight.

But neglected, what Pastor Ed Young calls the "Super Glue" of marriage quickly carves a lasting wedge of resentment and frustration.

Many believe God authored intimacy not just for the perpetuation of His people, but also, as a place in which we enjoy a deeper connection to one another.

So why are Christians so often hesitant to bring it up?

I give the good pastor in Texas credit for daring to start the conversation on a larger platform.

The topic is a favorite among couples at dinner parties - but mostly, what we often think is that surely everyone else's intimate life must be more exciting than our own. It's not, but why not try to improve?

The Bible has plenty to say on the topic - both good and bad. In the context of marriage, it's pretty clear. In 1 Corinthians 7:3 - and I'm using the New American Standard's translation - we are reminded that, "The husband must fulfill his duty to his wife, and likewise also the wife to her husband."

Like many verses related to marriage, God's word speaks to each partner in tandem. There is a mutual responsibility here. Both partners are called to prioritize this special time that only the two of them share. We can look at that call as a duty, or, as a gift we offer voluntarily.

Easier said then done, right? Marriage is tough. Even in the best ones, couples struggle with barriers - time, resentment, monotony, stress, conflict, and of course, children. We're tired, and intimacy can feel like one more chore on the to-do list.

And there's the age-old quandary - one spouse needs intimacy to feel connected, while their needs to feel connected beforehand to get intimate. Sound familiar?

It's not easy, but nothing important ever is. Talk about it. Make time and energy for it - even if you have to sign your child up for one less activity or give up a morning run once a week. I'm certain you'll see rewards in your marriage.

As for the kids? Two words: DVD and Goldfish crackers.

And don't forget to lock the door!

• A freelance writer, Diane Meehl lives in Ahwatukee with her husband and their three barriers to intimacy. They worship at Mountain View Lutheran Church. Find her on Facebook, or connect with her at diane@shiftkeycontent.com.

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