Many marriages today in the church are just existing, but not flourishing. A good marriage is work, work and more work. We must have God in the center of our lives individually. If each spouse is walking with God in integrity of heart, soul and mind and being submissive to God, love, joy and peace will reign in the home because it must start in the individual heart.
If intimacy with God is the first priority with each spouse, then the missing marriage ingredient of intimacy emotionally and spiritually will be much easier attained. The fact is this: spouses will get naked physically with each other, but they will not ‘get naked’ emotionally or spiritually with each other. When there is almost no sharing emotionally or spiritually, then the physical nakedness is not that fulfilling – it becomes an act and not a deep interchange of oneness in body, soul and spirit.
My book, God’s Design for Marriage, was written out of my teaching marriage seminars for years. It’s packed full of scriptural instructions from God. On purpose, I did not make it a large book. Reason: It’s been proven by Christian publishing that men write most books on marriage, but women are buying the books praying their husbands will read them. The majority of men are not book lovers. I’ve received many positive reviews by men and women both regarding my book. Ministry leaders have asked if they can teach from it and I say, “Yes!”
How do we get naked emotionally? There must be a deep abiding trust in each other. The trust creates the foundation for sharing emotionally about any subject because an emotional safe environment has been created. When couples first meet, there is a great deal of energy put in to listening, sharing, talking, and spending time together that creates a desire to become more intimate.
When the ‘newness’ of the freedoms of marriage seems to wear thin, the emotional intimacy can easily dissipate. Each spouse gets busy with life and do not take the time to nurture each other emotionally by sitting aside undistracted time together. It is job, kids, activities, iPads, iPhones, computers, TV, Facebook, etc. I’ve watched families where everyone is on an electronic device and there is no conversation.
We always find time for what we (selfishness) desire to do. To keep a healthy marriage, there must be special times of sharing – talking heart-to-heart – about life. After our intimate relationship with God, our spouse must be the most important person in our life. When you do not make time to share emotionally, you surely will not be making time to share spiritually.
Getting naked spiritually is praying (two or three minutes of prayer is better than nothing) with each other. Sharing insights from God’s Word that you are receiving from you devotional time with God. Have simple prayer together for God’s guidance, provision, wisdom and protection for each other. Pray for specific issues or needs for each other and the family. If you have children, spend 10 minutes a day sharing from a family devotional. Ask the children to pray simple prayers for each family member.
All of this takes discipline and self-control. (Husbands, I tell you a secret. When you take the lead in emotional and spiritual intimacy, you will be rewarded in the passion side of your marriage. A wife dreams about being emotionally connected to her man and having a strong spiritual leader of her home!) Deut. 6 tells parents to first love God with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and continues to instruct parents to teach their children throughout the day’s events – when you get up, sit down, walk (riding in car), go to bed at night. God must be in the middle of all you do. We are to do all to the glory of God – 1 Corinthians 10:31 (NLT) 31 “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
Developing an intimate relationship with God will be the foundation for emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy in marriage. God desires to set on the throne of our hearts. We must keep His commandment – MARK 12: 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
To include the missing ingredient of emotional and spiritual intimacy in your marriage, you must make time for it. When you do, the intimacy of passion God gave to marriage will increase in its enjoyment. Satan has tried to destroy all with selfishness. “Let’s submit one to another in the fear of the Lord.” – Ephesians 5:21. If you are struggling in your marriage, purchase my book from www.carolclemans.org. When you obey God’s design for marriage, your marriage will be blessed. It will be the most precious heritage you can pass to your children’s children.
Carol Clemans – Certified Pastoral Counselor 23 years, anointed Bible teacher 50 years, Holy Ghost 60 years, married to Rev. Harold Clemans 45 years. Call (636) 448-0121 to schedule speaking for churches/conferences/marriage seminars or nationwide confidential counseling by phone/Skype – firstname.lastname@example.org. www.carolclemans.org – bio, 200+ articles, teaching CD’s, DVD’s, book: God’s Design for Marriage.