Biblical Intimacy In Marriage By: Christopher Brock June 21, 2020
Whenever we hear the words intimacy and marriage used in the same sentence it is likely that our minds go to one conclusion… this is going to be about the sexual relationship between husband and wife. However, if that is the first conclusion that we come to then I believe that it points to one truth, we do not fully grasp what true Biblical intimacy is between a husband and a wife. With that in mind, what we are going to be talking about today is what real intimacy between a husband and wife looks like and how it can be deepened.
With that said, there is no doubt that physical intimacy plays a role in the overall intimacy between husband and wife, but physical intimacy by itself does not equal true intimacy. I believe in fact that when we breakdown the relationship between a husband and wife we can find four major areas of intimacy. These areas are all interconnected with each other. When one of the areas is neglected or abused then it will enviably have an effect on the others areas as well. If this behavior is not corrected then eventually the overall intimacy between husband and wife will suffer and eventually, there will be no intimacy left at all. What are these four area and what role do they play? Let us start to dig in and find out…
1. Emotional Intimacy
A husband and wife should seek to have emotional intimacy with each other. Emotional intimacy occurs when a husband and wife share their feelings with each other. They will share details about the things that bring them stress, the things that bring them joy, the things that cause them to have fear, and the things that they are struggling with. This requires that the couple be transparent and not hide their feeling from one another. Instead, they share all of the details and see each other as a support. This also means that the husband and wife be open to listening to the feelings and emotions of their partner and respond with love, support, and guidance.
2. Intellectual Intimacy
In the same way as emotional intimacy, a husband and wife should seek to have intellectual intimacy. Intellectual intimacy is when the husband and wife simply talk and share their ideas and thoughts about the things that are going on in their lives. It may be talking about the last movie they watched together, discussing the latest happenings in the sport they enjoy, discuss ideas about the next family vacation, or share their beliefs about the political events taking place. They should desire to learn more about each other and to also share more about themselves. Intellectual intimacy should be the bedrock of conversation that happens between the husband and wife and should take place continuously.
3. Physical Intimacy
As we said at the beginning of this article, when the topic of intimacy in marriage is brought up, I believe that the majority of people will immediately think about physical intimacy. Physical intimacy, meaning the physical touching that occurs between a husband and wife in marriage, is unique in that this type of activity is limited to occur only between a husband and a wife. This may be holding hands with each other, holding each other as you watch your favorite movie, making love, or even working together to accomplish a task that the Lord has given to you. It is possible to have emotional intimacy and intellectual intimacy with close friends, but physical intimacy is to be shared only by the husband and wife. Physical intimacy is just as important in the marriage as emotional and intellectual intimacy and in some ways, it is even dependent upon the first two. When a husband and wife are not engaging in emotional and intellectual intimacy, physical intimacy can be much more difficult to engage in. At the same time, if a husband and wife ignore physical intimacy it can and does eventually create distance in their emotional and intellectual intimacy as well.
4. Spiritual Intimacy
I have intentionally left spiritual intimacy to the last, not because it is least important, on the contrary, because I believe that it is in fact the foundation of true Biblical intimacy in the marriage. More important than any other type of intimacy, the husband and wife should be praying together, reading the Bible together, seeking revelation from the Holy Spirit together and ultimately, they should be growing together in their relationship with the Lord. When there is no spiritual intimacy then I believe that the foundation of the Biblical marriage is not present. Non-believers can enter into a common law marriage and engage in emotional, intellectual, and physical intimacy, but when a couple comes together before the Lord and submits together before Him and seeks Him together as one, they will experience the depth of relationship that the marriage relationship was designed by God to
Intimacy in marriage is a deep and serious topic and I know that we have only scratched the surface here today. What I pray that you will do from this point is first to consider your own marriage, or if you are not yet married, the marriage you desire to have in the future. Do you desire a deeper level of true intimacy with your spouse? What are the areas that you know you are not experiencing the level of intimacy that you should be? Pray that the that Lord, through the Holy Spirit, will lead and guide your marriage to become deeper and more intimate. Seek Him in all that you do and He will be faithful to show you the way. Click here to return to the Marriage Column