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The Lord Your Healer: 

Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch by Paul J. Bucknell

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Discover Him and Find His Healing Touch

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Overcoming Anxiety: Finding Peace, Discovering God


Three Aspects of Marital Intimacy : The Goal of Marriage is Intimacy

Paul J. Bucknell

Let's look a bit close at the 3 aspects of marital intimacy.

The Heart Intimacy Cycle for MarriagesHeart Intimacy
People are relational. A relationship grows as both parties share of themselves. With further understanding, there is deeper understanding. This deeper understanding demands a deeper commitment.

This cycle grows more and more. We should be aware that the cycle continues to grow only as much as the individuals take time to foster this relationship. It can only significantly grow by God's love.

Spiritual Intimacy
God's goal of intimacy in marriage is also interweaved in a life of intimacy with Him. The husband and wife both grow in their spiritual relationship with God. The deepest growth comes through sharing about each aspect of our lives. If a part of our lives is excluded, then there is no harmony developed there in that area. This spiritual area is crucial to a healthy marriage. There are two reasons this is so.

  1. Man doesn't want to grow.
    Growth in relationships depends upon personal growth. Personal growth depends on spiritual growth. Unless a man can become more vulnerable and humble, then he is unwilling to open himself up more to his wife. The same is true with a wife. We can clearly see why marriage between a Christian and non-Christian are forbidden.

    This problem is essentially a spiritual problem. John 3:20 tells us that man tends to hide from his sins. He does not want to face up to his weaknesses. He doesn't want to improve because it means admitting he is wrong. He rather congratulate himself on his distasteful habits. Only when it gets overwhelming, then he sometimes is willing to change.

  2. Man cannot grow without God's help.
    The humility and love necessary for proper heart change is not easy to come by. Without God he lacks the vision, hope and power for change. God can use circumstances and glimpses of truth from ones parents to help an unbeliever be gracious to a certain degree, but it lacks the real depth for the intimacy God has designed us for. This pathway for growth comes through a life with Christ. This change in a real way only comes through knowing God.

Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy is the pleasurable uniting of the husband and wife. Physical intimacy properly sits like a gem in a bracelet or on a crown enabling a fuller expression of heart and spirit intimacy. The deeper the heart and spiritual intimacy, the more the splendor of the physical relationship.

The goal of a rightly aligned or focused marriage must incorporate all three aspects. This kind of marriage is strong and can withstand hardships.

If physical intimacy is unavailable, the spouse does not look elsewhere for fulfillment (actually that would be an emptying!) He or she focuses on their commitment which is sealed at a much deeper level. The spirit and heart aspects of sharing enable the couples to focus on the needs of each other rather than their own individual needs. Self–pleasure does not rule them but the physical drive is rightly subjected to love and patience.

We find four common mistakes in understanding these three aspects of marital intimacy.

1) Heart Versus Physical Intimacy Problem
The most common problem is that marriage is only thought in a fleshly sense. Although wives greatly desire the sharing of their souls, the husband is often oblivious to this need. He would rather sit down and watch a football game than talk to his wife. God seems to have made the wife so desirous of sharing that physical intimacy is hard to obtain without the husband paying more attention to heart to heart intimacy. Simple advice. "Guys, don't rush it!" Enjoy our wife's company.

2) Forbidding Physical Intimacy Problem
Some groups believe physical intimacy is only for childbearing purposes and is not for pleasure. These groups have some anti–Christian concepts of the body. They unfortunately wrongly target the body rather than the self nature as the flesh or the part that fights against God. In fact, the body is good and wonderful. Sufficient proof of this is in God's physical design of man and woman with each of their parts which are highly filled with pleasure during this time of intimacy.

God has designed marriage to flourish as people draw close to Him. They learn of a kind of intimacy and faithfulness from Himself. Our spouses might disappoint us, but our Lord never will. Where else should we go to find this love than God Himself from which true love flows forever?!

Visit other parts of this series or marriage articles.


Read more exciting and practical articles on marriage. Just click on a link or graphic below.

Developing Love in Your Marriage
Strengthening Godly Marriages: The Marriage Navigator
Renewing Affections between Husband and Wife
God's Sexual Design for Our Lives and Marriages
Goal and Design of Marriage: Intimacy
Helping Solve Marital Problems