Restoring intimacy begins with God.
By Lesli White
No marriage is perfect. There will be emotional meltdowns, communication breakdowns, and flat out mistakes made that will you have wondering if you can make it through. These issues can also get in the way of physical and emotional intimacy. Stress can also complicate things because it wears away at the very fabric of marriage. In our world today, many marriages do not make it and are in desperate need of hope. How we define faith, love, and marriage directly determines the success of our marriages. There is hope for your marriage when you can eliminate ongoing stress and trust in God’s design and plan. It is only through an intimate relationship with Him that we can restore intimacy with our spouses. Here are seven ways to reclaim intimacy with your spouse.
Whether you and your partner struggle with physical or emotional intimacy, the key to reclaiming it is being vulnerable with your partner. That means letting your guard down. This is easier said than done. The only way we can begin to do this is by trusting our partners. If trust has been broken, you will have to work together to restore it. We must be ok with showing our fears, our weaknesses, our embarrassments, and our raw feelings to our partner. Only then can we start truly being vulnerable and build the type of closeness intimacy requires.
Pushing through stress and grief, especially after a marriage disaster, can take longer than you’d hope. Giving your spouse some time and space to figure out his or her feelings and rebound is essential to recovery. Wise counsel is also crucial. Mutual counseling can help uncover the real issues which may be blocking the healing. An objective third party can help everyone see things more clearly and move in the right direction. Understand that this recovery process takes time. For example, in marriages where cheating is involved, people grieve and recover differently. Most experts would agree that a few months is scarcely enough time to recover from the pain of infidelity.
Pray For Your Spouse
Prayer is a great stress reliever. It is also crucial in marriage and you must begin to pray every day for your spouse. Ask God for a miracle in your marriage. Psalm 77:14 says, “You are the God who performs miracles.” The Bible makes it clear that God wants people to stay married. We need to expect God to intervene in our circumstances miraculously. Unbelief and fear paralyze us and cause us to believe our problems are too big for God. We need to believe that God can still move mountains, including our marriage. Sometimes, the hardest time in your marriage are the moments will receive God’s rewards in the most amazing ways.
Find Hope Through Scripture
One way to reclaiming intimacy is by opening up the New Testament and reading God’s Word. Reading Scripture is vital to finding the hope God wants to give because His Word guides us to change our behavior, which will then change our marriage. Paul explained the power of God’s Word to give hope when he said, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4). The Bible will give us comfort and instruction we need related to the specific behaviors and attitudes that must change. As you follow God’s commands, He will naturally give you hope. You will see the beneficial changes in your own life and then in your relationship.
Admit You Are Powerless
One of the biggest steps to restoring intimacy in your marriage is to admit that you cannot manage your marriage problems on your own. It would be best if you recognized the ineffectiveness of your attempts to change your spouse’s faults and character flaws. When you understand that you can’t control everything that’s happening in your life and are powerless to control or change your spouse, the true healing can begin. This means recognizing that you are not in control, but God is. He must be the focus of your life.
Remove Bitterness From Your Heart
A hardened heart can cause not only a lot of stress, but also a lot of pain. Bitterness should be removed from your heart for several reasons. First, it’s hard to forgive when you’re bitter. You may feel justified in your anger. You may think that your spouse doesn’t deserve your forgiveness until he or she straightens out. But when you do this, you forget the mercy that Jesus had for you. Romans 5:8 tells us that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners. By God’s grace, He didn’t wait for us to get our acts together before He provided a way for forgiveness. He gave it to us freely, even when we didn’t deserve it. Next, bitterness doesn’t give your spouse a chance to repent. If you’ve been holding in your hurt, your spouse may not even know they’ve offended you. Finally, bitterness spreads. One thread of bitterness can start to spread throughout your heart and contaminate your whole body. None of these things are good for your marriage.
Resist the Forces of Evil
The enemy finds many ways to chip away at intimacy and destroy marriages. He would love nothing more than to destroy the institution of marriage. The devil seeks to perpetuate selfish and independent attitudes and corrupt our thinking, to get us to exalt ourselves in selfish and separate actions and reactions. The undisciplined mind is vulnerable to the enemy’s attacks designed to defeat us by causing wrongful thinking. To have the life and marriage God wants for us, we must be alert, deal with our enemy, refute his lies, and think straight.
Some couples give up entirely and seek separation when there are issues of physical and emotional intimacy. You and your spouse must work at building intimacy again each day if you want your relationship to thrive. If your marriage is in a difficult place, you are battling over a never-ending list of conflicts or sensing distance between you and your spouse, the hope to resolve this brokenness and pain comes directly from God.Lesli White is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth with a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications and a concentration in print and online journalism. In college, she took a number of religious studies courses and harnessed her talent for storytelling. White has a rich faith background. Her father, a Lutheran pastor and life coach was a big influence in her faith life, helping her to see the value of sharing the message of Christ with others. She has served in the church from an early age. Some of these roles include assisting ministry, mutual ministry, worship and music ministry and church council.