Being intimate involves the mixing of our life with another’s, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts. This is something we all long for because it’s how God made us. We were designed to connect. Intimacy is more than sex. Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love, but we are only lying to ourselves when we act as if sex is proof of love.
Contend for intimacy
I am going to outline some ideas and guidelines about intimacy. Keep in mind these are tools to help you and your spouse with the goal of connection. While you will find much of this information useful, you will need to apply it in your own unique way. You will have to contend for intimacy in order to make it happen, as much as it needs to happen.
Listen to each other’s ques
You and your spouse will know how often it needs to happen. And, your needs will be different. The husband may need a fill of intimacy only 20 minutes a day while his wife may require an hour. Additionally, the ways you interpret love and intimacy will also be different. So, when your spouse needs to connect with you, take a hint!
5 love languages
- Learn them at www.5lovelanguages.com
- Words of affirmation – One way to express love emotionally is to use words that build up. “The tongue has the power of life and death” (Proverbs 18:21, NIV). Many couples have never learned the tremendous power of verbally affirming each other. Verbal compliments, or words of appreciation, are powerful communicators of love. They are best expressed in simple, straightforward statements of affirmation, such as:
- “You look sharp in that suit.”
- “Do you ever look incredible in that dress! Wow!”
- “I really like how you’re always on time to pick me up at work.”
- “You can always make me laugh.”
- Acts of Service – By acts of service, I mean doing things you know your spouse would like you to do. You seek to please her by serving her, to express your love for her by doing things for her. Consider actions such as cooking a meal, setting a table, emptying the dishwasher, vacuuming, changing the baby’s diaper, picking up a prescription, keeping the car in operating condition — they are all acts of service. They require thought, planning, time, effort and energy. If done with a positive spirit, they are indeed expressions of love. A willingness to examine and change stereotypes is necessary in order to express love more effectively. Remember, there are no rewards for maintaining stereotypes, but there are tremendous benefits to meeting the emotional needs of your spouse. If your spouse’s love language is acts of service, then “actions speak louder than words.”
- Receiving Gifts – Almost everything ever written on the subject of love indicates that at the heart of love is the spirit of giving. All five love languages challenge us to give to our spouse, but for some, receiving gifts, visible symbols of love, speaks the loudest. But what of the person who says, “I’m not a gift giver. I didn’t receive many gifts growing up. I never learned how to select gifts. It doesn’t come naturally for me.” Congratulations, you have just made the first discovery in becoming a great lover. You and your spouse speak different love languages. Now that you have made that discovery, get on with the business of learning your second language. If your spouse’s primary love language is receiving gifts, you can become a proficient gift giver. In fact, it is one of the easiest love languages to learn.
- Quality Time – By “quality time,” I mean giving someone your undivided attention. I don’t mean sitting on the couch watching television together. What I mean is sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other and talking, devices put away, giving each other your undivided attention. It means taking a walk, just the two of you, or going out to eat and looking at each other and talking. Time is a precious commodity. We all have multiple demands on our time, yet each of us has the exact same hours in a day. We can make the most of those hours by committing some of them to our spouse. If your mate’s primary love language is quality time, she simply wants you, being with her, spending time.
- Physical Touch – We have long known that physical touch is a way of communicating emotional love. Numerous research projects in the area of child development have made that conclusion: Babies who are held, stroked and kissed develop a healthier emotional life than those who are left for long periods of time without physical contact. Physical touch is also a powerful vehicle for communicating marital love. Holding hands, kissing, embracing and sexual intercourse are all ways of communicating emotional love to one’s spouse. For some individuals, physical touch is their primary love language. Without it, they feel unloved. With it, their emotional tank is filled, and they feel secure in the love of their spouse. Implicit love touches require little time but much thought, especially if physical touch is not your primary love language and if you did not grow up in a “touching family.” Sitting close to each other as you watch your favorite television program requires no additional time but may communicate your love loudly. Touching your spouse as you walk through the room where he is sitting takes only a moment. Touching each other when you leave the house and again when you return may involve only a brief kiss or hug but will speak volumes to your spouse. Once you discover that physical touch is the primary love language of your spouse, you are limited only by your imagination on ways to express love.
Make an effort to speak your spouse’s love language
Your spouse’s primary love language will probably not be your own. THey may also have more than one love language. This is why it is called a love language! Learn their language and make it your daily gift to them.
- Genesis 4:1 – Now Adam knew Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord.”
- 1 Samuel 1:19-20 – 19 They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord; then they went back to their house at Ramah. And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife, and the Lord remembered her. 20 And in due time Hannah conceived and bore a son, and she called his name Samuel, for she said, “I have asked for him from the Lord.”
- Is the result of knowing your spouse intimately
- needs to be a union with your spouse which
- Is a result of Yada
- Founded on mutual giving
In Genesis and in 1 Samuel the word “know” is used before announcing the birth of a child. Often we assume that “know” means sex however “knowing” does not mean sex. “Know” leads to understanding, to intimacy, to sex, to a child.
“Know” is translated from the hebrew word yāḏa‘. Yāḏa‘ is a verb. Here’s the definition: yāḏa‘:
- To know someone relationally
- to know, learn, perceive,
- to discern, experience,
- to confess, consider,
All of this is encapsulated in this thought:
To know you and to make myself known to you.