By Revd. Dr. Idowu Ibitoye
Intimacy is very necessary and crucial in Christian homes. Intimacy in this context is the closeness of in relationship with one’s spouse emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and sexually. Christian spouses must develop intimacy in their marriage in other to make their Christian pilgrimage
easier, the Bible says “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labour: if either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpower, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” Eccl. 4:9-12. The above Bible passage serves as the bedrock for this teaching/write-up.
The need for intimacy in Christian marriage
There are lots of reasons and needs to develop intimacy in Christian marriages, and this is into four folds which include:
- Spiritual needs – Christian couples need to always pray together, they must be prayer partners, always be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, they must constantly hear God speaking to them at all times on every matter that pertains to their home. “Then Manoah prayed to the Lord; pardon your servant, Lord, I beg you to let the man of God you sent to us come again to teach us how to bring up the boy who is to be born. God heard Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman…” Jud. 13:8-9. Both of them must also serve God together. Like Aquilla and Priscilla in Acts 18. This type of couples are needed in the 21st century church evangelization for Kingdom expansion, such are couples who can go to mission fields during their holidays for soul wining activities.
- Emotional needs – Human beings have emotions and always respond to happenings around them. Couples must understand each other, such that when one is depressed or down-cast the other should encourage the counterpart loving, to move on in the journey of life.
- Psychological needs – Psychology is the scientific study of the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behaviour in a given context. Couples must respect each other, give admiration and appreciate themselves when situations call for it. This has positive psychological effects upon the mind and improves self-esteem in one’s daily behaviour.
- Physical needs – Spousal intimacy develop faster when couple express physical intimacy to each other, this can be done in the form of kissing, caressing, gentle touch, hugging, availability of oneself for the other partner, provision and preparation of food, etc. Live in the world of social media where couples can get in touch with each other through Instagram, WahtsApp, facebook, Tweeter, etc.All these can never replace physical relationship that promotes intimacy in homes.
Factors that promote intimacy in Christian marriage
There are many factors that promote intimacy in Christian homes, the list is numerous, and few of it are enumerated below:
- Mutual Trust – This requires couples to have faith, and believe in each other. They must base their mutual trust an honesty and in the worth of partners. This will help couples to build a sense of security for themselves through which they shall have confidence in each other. The bottom line is that the more couples express trust in their spouse, the more the other partner responds positively.
- Tenderness – This is simply to be loving or sympathetic. For couples to be tender to each other, it requires taking care of one’s partner with tender heart, being compassionate and always showing love (Eph. 4:32). This tenderness can be expressed through caring for another.
iii. Acceptance – Couples must learn to accept each other the way God made the partner, know that your partner is distinct and wonderfully made by God (Ps. 139:13-14). They should never compare their partners with other husbands/wives. Acceptance in marriage means an unconditional approval in a relationship. However, no one is perfect; but everyone learns to accept the other partner and move on.
iv. Effective Communication – Couples must always create good time to discuss together on matters of benefits to each other and their family. Channel of communication must always remain open between husband and wife, both must develop ability to discuss anything at any time with each other. Couples should be willing to listen to each other when the other partner is speaking.