All About Love And Relationship
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Marital Intimacy – A Connection
Marital Intimacy – A Definition
The phrase “marital intimacy” is frequently used only to refer to sexual intercourse. However, the phrase is actually a much broader concept and speaks of the relationship and connection between a husband and a wife. There is potential for a rewarding and deep connection between a husband and a wife that encompasses four main areas -- emotional, mental/social, spiritual, and physical.
Marital Intimacy – Can We Obtain it?
Since marital intimacy can exist between a husband and wife, how do we experience it? How can it impact my life and relationships? It is accomplished as both the husband and the wife sacrificially love each other by concentrating on meeting the other’s needs. Of course, no spouse should ever be expected to meet all the needs of the other. Nevertheless, the marriage is a team that is made up of two puzzle pieces. When the pieces fit together, they will create a beautiful picture of what marital intimacy is all about.
Intimacy is accomplished as each spouse learns to connect with the other emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. Men and women are designed uniquely, so these four aspects of intimacy will be experienced in a different way for each spouse. Women generally find fulfillment in the emotional connection with her husband and she wants to know that her feelings are both valued and shared. Women also enjoy mental forms of intimacy and mutual exchange of thoughts.
Men feel marital intimacy differently and often feel the greatest levels of intimacy through activity, companionship, and forms of physical intimacy such as sexual intercourse. The intimacy needs of women might be described as “being,” while the same needs in men can best be conceptualized as “doing.”
Marital Intimacy – Spiritual Intimacy
The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes speaks of two individuals deriving warmth from lying down together (Ecclesiastes 4:9). The same passage provides a visual picture of a rope that is woven with three strands of cord to symbolize the intimate connection that exists in a marriage that is strengthened by God. From these verses in the Bible, we can understand that while marital intimacy is certainly about a physical connection, it is much more than that. The Apostle Paul writes in Ephesians 5:31-31 about a mysterious union of a man who, by joining himself to a wife, becomes one flesh with her.
Where does God fit into spiritual intimacy? He waits to be invited to become the third cord spoken of in Ecclesiastes. God reveals Himself as Creator of the universe and of mankind. Here, we find that God has created human beings in His image. In other words, we have a human spirit that was made to connect with the Spirit of the Living God. God intends that we also join our spirits together within the covenant of marriage.
How do we achieve spiritual intimacy? We must first recognize God as the One who has created us and designed a spiritual life for us. Once we have entered into a personal relationship with Him, then we are ready to share our spiritual journey with our spouse as we seek all that God has for us within the beautiful covenant of godly marriage.
Pornography for Women - Step Out of the Pit
Pornography for women is becoming a serious struggle for women around the globe. Although women are more likely to fall into the pit of an illegitimate sexual or emotional relationship, they are also engaging themselves in the passive activity of pornography. Women can easily get caught in the dangerous porn pit.
How does this happen to women?
In our corrupted world, many women do not have a loving legitimate relationship where the need to be touched is filled in an intimate relationship. Abused and/or mistreated women often become hardened to loving sexual stimulation. Other women may not receive warm a loving tender touch from their spouses, but will not seek pleasure outside of marriage because they have been taught and have accepted that adultery is wrong.
The deep longing and need for secure, gentle, masculine touch is such a deep part of who she is as a woman. No matter how busy any woman may be or how fulfilled she is otherwise; the need for loving touch hangs in the background of her daily life, looking for fulfillment.
Pornography for Women – What Negative Effect does Pornography have on Women?
Light porn catches a woman’s eye, maybe even in a flashing TV scene. This passive activity pulls one into the vicarious enjoyment of watching another receive satisfaction for their desires. The more she looks, the more advanced the pornography needs to be in order to receive the same reaction. Due to the progressive nature of porn addiction, it doesn’t take long for her to be drawn into the pornography trap. The desire for pornography becomes greater than the woman’s power to resist and she becomes entrapped in the vicious cycle. She has fallen into the porn pit -- a dangerous and destructive place to be.
A woman’s self image is damaged as she compares her body with that of porn stars. Eventually women feel the need to prove she is just as beautiful, just as thin, just as sexy. This stimulates unhealthy temptations such as eating disorders and unhealthy relationships to find approval.
Not only do women compare themselves to others, but compare their spouse as well. “My husband doesn’t compare to the bodies I see online, therefore I need other stimulation to get me going.” In her mind, she is suddenly in a romantic and intimate fantasy relationship with a porn star, rather than her own husband.
Pornography addiction often leads to a masturbation addiction and often into a physical sexual affair. This creates a slippery slope into broken marriages, families torn apart, sexually transmitted diseases... the list goes on.
Pornography for Women - Healing for Women Caught in the Porn Pit
As a woman who is struggling with porn, how can you get out of the vicious cycle?
Humble yourself to seek help. Do not try to do this alone. We recommend Pure Online and the book Every Women’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge.
Recognize that the habit of viewing porn is an attempt to fill a deep feminine need. This need joins together in an illegitimate relationship with pornography. Viewing pornography becomes an idol, filling the place of God in a woman’s life.
Admit the problem -- recognize that your desire for pornography has taken control and you are trapped by something that is greater than your power to resist.
Create boundaries. Cancel magazine subscriptions, avoid stores or websites where porn is available, create TV and online blocks on pornographic channels, avoid reading romance novels, and run from sexual chat rooms.
Believe that you can have deliverance from both the cause and the habit.
The very presence of Jesus in your life has the power to change your life. The closer you come to Him, the closer you come to freedom from the addiction, which holds you. Won’t you let Him come in and make you whole?
Ask God to search your heart for the weaknesses that have allowed temptation to come in and take control.
Starve your addiction. Totally abstaining from pornography is the only way to kill the addiction.
Enable forgiveness -- first forgive yourself. Then forgive others who may have been involved in whatever way. Then allow others to forgive you.
Make restitution -- Help others receive deliverance from the pit of pornography. Making restitution helps to restore the path of righteousness in your life.
Decide each day to live in victory over the addiction, which once held you captive.
Fantasize – Healthy?
When we fantasize, we imagine a situation that does not correspond with reality, but expresses certain desires. Fantasies typically involve situations which are impossible or highly unlikely.
Many fantasies are sexual in nature. This applies to both sexes, but often one or the other mate is dissatisfied and will begin fantasizing to “get through” the lovemaking session with their spouse. Is this healthy for the relationship?
Fantasize – What’s the harm?
What harm, if any, is there in fantasizing? How does it begin and where might it lead? These are good questions to examine.
Fantasizing first leads to an increased dissatisfaction with your spouse. Many women experience a desire to be adorned with affection from her man. This is normal, but when he fails to come through for her, she:
begins to have impatient, unfulfilled, and perhaps unreal expectations of him,
dreams or fantasizes about someone else showering her with all she desires,
begins to think that the “grass may be greener” elsewhere,
is certainly deterred from working on her commitment to love and honor,
finds herself vulnerable to the temptations of outside sources.
David Sanford1 writes:
“Nobody wakes up one day and suddenly decides to begin an extramarital affair. Infidelity begins in the heart and mind. By the time a person physically commits adultery, he or she has been indulging for quite some time in progressively more intense mental and emotional affairs.”
If we continue to dwell on sexual thoughts about another man, these thoughts will eventually give birth to sexual compromise. We are rehearsing in our minds what we would like to act our physically. When this man comes in our direction, we are more likely to act upon those fantasies since we’ve already rehearsed them in our minds. As Sanford says, we’re working toward an extramarital affair by fantasizing it in our minds.
Unfortunately, the Internet has opened a new door to fantasizing. Not only is pornography abundantly available, but chat rooms are especially appealing to women. It’s very easy to begin “chatting” and begin a fantasizing online relationship. Even inappropriate online relationships can lead to infidelity of the heart and soul.
There is a great deal of harm that can begin with fantasizing. We should guard ourselves from giving into this temptation. Whenever a fantasy enters your mind, critique it. The authors of Every Woman’s Battle2 encourage us to use these questions to determine whether a particular thought is healthy:
Is the thought beneficial? Does this thought harm me or my spouse in any way or hinder our sexual relationship?
Does the thought involve anyone else? Sexual activity is for you and your spouse only.
Is the thought honoring to God? The Bible is very clear that God sees our minds and wants us to focus on thoughts that are pure. Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable -- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy -- think about such things.
Fantasizing – What can I do instead?
When you are tempted to fantasize, remember why you first fell in love and committed yourself to your spouse. Your marital fidelity began with your promise to be faithful. This applies to being faithful -- physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
If you have a hard time keeping your mind from going to thoughts of fantasy, you might try these alternatives:
Talk to your spouse and let him know if you have feelings of neglect or dissatisfaction, but be sensitive. Address this with regard to his feelings and work on this together and prayer together about it.
Explore intimacy with your spouse, put some new spice in your love life, be sure you make time to enjoy each other without stress and distractions.
Pray and ask God to help keep you from fantasy and impure thoughts.
Read your Bible daily and study topics like self-control, love, and faithfulness.
1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 reads, “God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin. Then each of you will control your body [and thoughts] and live in holiness and honor -- not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and his ways.” God created us to be amorous, affectionate people -- within healthy and satisfied marriages. Enjoy your sexual life in a passionate and honoring way.