Today’s post comes from Scott Kedersha. What I like about this post isn’t just the content, but the links to some GREAT resources for your marriage. Hope you enjoy!
No couple has ever said “I do” with dreams of sleeping in separate bedrooms. But a recent article in the Wall Street Journal claims the secret to a happy marriage is two master bedrooms.
“Build two master bedrooms and you get extra elbow room!”
Who gets married with dreams of having extra elbow room?!?!
Even if you don’t want two master bedrooms in your home, intimacy doesn’t happen accidentally. You must be intentional to increase intimacy in your marriage.
Most couples will only have one master bedroom, but few will experience intimacy in marriage like they desire and God intends.
Here’s the good news. A little bit of effort goes a long way. You can experience more intimacy in your marriage. Following are 10 ways to experience more intimacy with your spouse.
10 Ways to Increase Intimacy in Your Marriage
1. Spend quality time together as a couple.
This doesn’t merely mean you sit on the couch and watch TV. Try new activities, adventures, dates, and make your marriage your highest priority relationship. Try something creative—shared experiences allow you to grow in intimacy.
2. Ask insightful questions to each other.
Go beyond simple yes-no questions and learn to be a student of your spouse. Live with them in an understanding way by seeking to know them on a more personal level (1 Peter 3:7).
When Kristen and I go on date nights, we often fall into the rut of talking only about kids and work. I want to continue to know my wife and be known by her beyond parenting and work. Ask a combination of serious and fun questions. We all used to do this when we dated our spouse before marriage—recapture your curiosity.
“God, please show me what it means to be intimate with my spouse. Please give me patience and understanding. I lack wisdom and discernment in this part of our marriage, so please help me to be an intimate spouse.” God will honor our prayers when we ask for wisdom (James 1:5).
Here’s a guide to help you pray for your marriage in 2018.
4. This one is a close cousin to prayer—ask God to help you discern where you fall short in intimacy.
Psalm 139:23 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!” Ask God to search you and help you know what’s going on internally to help you grow in intimacy. This is usually more challenging for the men out there. When you’re one flesh with your spouse, you don’t need to fear being open about what you’re learning.
5. Create a safe place for more intimate and personal conversations.
This means you’re probably not seeking emotional intimacy in front of your TV, in a crowded Starbucks, or with a phone in your hand.
Can you and your spouse talk about sexual intimacy? I know this can be a challenge for couples. I wrote this post a few years back to help couples communicate about intimacy.
6. Find a rhythm.
Do all the above on a regular basis—daily conversation, weekly dinner dates, and annual getaways. If you’re only emotionally intimate once a year or even just monthly, you’re not going to grow in your marriage. Ted Cunningham and his book Fun Loving You have played a big role in helping us establish some patterns in our marriage.
7. Be honest and authentic with your spouse.
To be intimate with your spouse means you know them, and they fully know you without fear of rejection. You feel the safety and security to be yourself with your spouse. In a world that often screams out “FAKE!” intimacy provides the opportunity to keep things real in marriage.
8. Talk with community and friends and learn from them.
What are they doing in their marriage that you can learn? How can you spur each other on to grow in this part of your marriage (Hebrews 3:13, 10:24-25, Proverbs 13:20)?
We spend a lot of time with four other married couples. They help us grow in every part of our lives-spiritually, as parents, as an employee, as a spouse, and so much more. We all need community.
9. Go to re|engage.
re|engage provides a safe place for you to grow in every aspect of your marriage. Whether you need to reconnect, reignite, or resurrect your marriage, check out re|engage and find a church near you who hosts this powerful ministry.
10. Be on mission together.
Every time you and your spouse do something to serve others, be scared together, or push yourselves into a position of dependence, you get the opportunity to grow in emotional intimacy.
Time to Get to Work (and to get intimate)
Imagine how much better your marriage would be if you even applied half of these 10 suggestions! What will you do to experience more intimacy in your marriage?