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Thursday, February 18, 2016

It's a special Friday! I'm combining a Friday Favorite post with Friday Freebie giveaway.
I have proposed here on multiple ocassions that intimacy is the primary goal of marriage. I explained why I believe that in today's Friday Favorite post, "What if Intimacy Matters Most?"
It's because of the Bridal Paradigm, which is my understanding of myself as the bride of Christ. It is through that lens that God portrays the perfect picture of marriage. It is through that lens that I see Christ as my Bridegroom, looking for an eternal bride. Christ's pursuit of me, a pursuit that cost him his very life, was not so that I would follow all the religious rules. No, Jesus' pursuit of me was so that I could live in intimacy with him forever as his bride, starting right here and now. (Sorry guys, if you want to be a great husband you will just have to get over yourself and get a clear picture of what it means to be a bride.) 
If Intimacy Really Matters Most

So if you buy into my belief that intimacy is the most important goal in marriage, what should you do about it?

You have to work at it! More from my What If post:
Genuine intimacy in marriage doesn't happen on its own. The natural state of a relationship is not intimacy but coexistence. Left untended, a marriage can easily devolve over time into little more than being excellent roommates.
Focusing on Intimacy Changes Everything

If I really put the goal of intimacy with my wife ahead of everything else in our relationship, a lot of things would have to change.
  • I would no longer see having my personal needs met as the most important thing in our relationship. Instead of asking "What can I get from her?" I would ask, "What can I do to keep us close?"
  • I would not depend on my wife to make me happy and to keep me that way. Instead, I would find the greatest happiness when our intimacy is deepest. I would gladly take the lead in our pursuit of every form of intimacy.
  • Demanding my rights and insisting on my "fair share" would be replaced by looking out for what is best for our marriage and our relationship.
  • When I feel offended or disappointed, instead of reacting by keeping emotional distance, I would press closer to her, seek to understand what is really going on, and do my best to eliminate whatever is standing between us.
  • Instead of giving my wife only my leftovers, after my job and ministry and chores have taken everything out of me, I would make sure I have sufficient physical, emotional, sexual, and mental energy to give the best part of me to her.
Defining Intimacy
(and the Freebie)

If we are going to make intimacy of primary importance in marriage, we probably need to understand what it is.  I have my own ideas, but I would really like to know what you think intimacy is.

So I've created a little giveaway incentive to get you to tell me your thoughts. I'm giving away three copies of my "Intimate Connections for Couples" workbook (spiral bound, hardcopy) to three of you who will give me your thoughts. Enter using the Rafflecopter contest below. You can get exra entries by tweeting about the contest and sharing it on Facebook, but answering the short survey question is required to win.

I'll be posting some of your answers here next week in a follow up post. Don't worry, the survey is entirely anonymous. Contest closes Tuesday at midnight, so click below and enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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