Writer: Olabode King Joseph
Founder/CPS at Success MEDIA Africa – S.M.A
(a subsidiary of KING JOSEPH SUCCESS WORLD)
Laguage Used: SELA
Marriage and the family are institutions ordained by God Almighty Himself, but with both man (husband) and woman (wife) having great roles to play to further make it sustainable – one of which is “Intimacy” which many of today’s (cultural) marriages lack.
Intimacy In accordance with the English Dictionary means feeling in atmosphere of closeness and openness towarss someone else, not necessary involving sexuality, while “Marriage” (n) on the other hand is the state of being married. (ii). The union of two (or sometimes more) people, usually to the exclusion of all others. (iii). Figuratively, a close union.
Biblical Insights On Marriage
The Current Cultural Crisis – astonishingly, as it may seem, we can no longer assume that people in our culture understand what the proper definition of “marriage” is. This is not only sad a commentary on the impact of same-sex marriage activists on our society, it also shows how the culture’s memory of the biblical tradition on which it is largely based is fading fast.
My Big Question
What is Marriage biblically defined as? And what is the biblical definition of “Intimacy”? In this brief treatise in intimacy and marriage, we will be taking up these questions and proceed to discuss a number of related matters, such as; #singleness, #divorce, #remarriage & #homosexuality, in an effort to develop a full-orbed understanding of the biblical teaching on the subject matter. But, mbok, wait o, before we proceed, permit me to dwell on MARRIAGE & FAMILY a little bit, since we cannot talk on marriage and the aforementioned subject-topic without venturing on FAMILY and what the Bible says about It, #Nsido?
Marriage and Family
Marriage and Family are institutions under siege today, and only a return to the biblical foundation of these God-given institutions will reverse the doctrine of marriage and family in our today’s culture.
And so, What is the FAMILY?
Biblically, Family is defined (in a narrow sense) as the union of one man and one woman in matrimony which is normally blessed with one or several natural or adopted Children – the Fruit(s) of MARRIAGE!
Broadly, family includes any other persons related by blood (the extended…) as we were/are taught in the Elementary – one of the few truths taught in schools.
We read in the Holy Book of Genesis 2:18-20 that God in the beginning created first a man (Adam – the Apple victim) to exercise dominion over His creation and subsequently a woman (Eve – the Apple Discoverer) as the man’s suitable helper (the Bible actually refer to her as the “Helpmate”)
In furtherance, Genesis 2:24 says; “Therefore, a man (husband) shall leave his father and his mother and cleave (hold) fast to his woman (wife), & they shall become one flesh”. From this verse, we’ll discover that God actually instituted at the beginning; one man is united (intimately) to one woman in matrimony, and the two form one new natural family…what else? Simple! In this regard, “become one (intimate) flesh” not only refers to the establishment of one new family but also to the procreation of offering. This in turn, is in keeping with God’s original command to the first human couple (Adam and Eve) to “be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over all of creation” – Genesis 1:28
With the above biblical insight on family, it is therefore obviously obvious that to Marriage and Family are institutions ordained by God Almighty Himself, but with both man (husband) and woman (wife) having great roles to play to further make it sustainable – one of which is “Intimacy” which many of today’s (cultural) marriages lack.
Fast forward…deeper into the word “MARRIAGE”
What is Marriage – again?
Marriage is a covenant, a sacred bond between a man and a woman instituted by and publicly entered into before God and normally consummated by sexual intercourse.
Furthermore, God’s plan for the marriage covenant involves at least the followi five (5) principles:
(1). The Permanence of Marriage: Marriage represents a serious commitment that should not be entered into lightly or unadvisedly. It involves a solemn promise/pledge, not only to one’s partner but before God. In other words, divorce is not and never permitted/allowed! Marriage is intended to be permanent, since it was established by God. Remember what Matthew 19:6 (KJV) says; “Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder”. Read Mark 10:9 to learn more.
(2). The Sacredness of Marriage: Marriage goes beyond just a civil union; it is a relationship before and under God. I’m not going to spend more time here, but I humbly urge you to read the Book of Genesis 2:22 for..
(3). The Exclusiveness of Marriage Marriage is not only permanent, sacred or otherwise, it is exclusive! This simply means no other human relationship, I repeat, no other human being must interfere with the marriage (which starts from serious/committed relationship to dating to courtship between two opposite sex) commitment between husband & wife.
Read 1 Corinthians 7:2-5 & Genesis 2:22-25
(4). The Mutuality of Marriage: Marriage is a relationship of free self-giving of one human being to another (Eph. 5:25-30). Partners are to be (first and foremost) concerned about the well-being of the other person and to be committed to each other in steadfast love and devotion. This also involves the need for forgiveness and restoration of the relationship in the case of sin.
NOTE: Mutuality here doesn’t mean equality (sameness) in role. Remember what the Scripture teaches about this; wives are to submit to their husband’s (in everything) & to serve as their “HELPMATES” Ephessians 5:22-24. Also Genesis 2:18-20 & Colossians 3:18.
(5). INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE
Yes! This is where we’re going to dwell on more.
Marriage is the most intimate of all human relationships, uniting a man and a woman in a “one flesh union” (Gen. 2:23-25). Marriage involves leaving one’s family of origin and “being united” to one’s spouse, which signifies the establishment of a new family unit distinct from the two (Partners) originating families.
Get this fact known and registered; “one flesh” suggests sexual intercourse and normally procreation, at its very heart the concept entails the establishment of a new kinship relationship between two previously unleashed individuals (and families) by the most intimate of human bonds.
“And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh, she shall be called WoMan, because she was taken out of Man.
Therefore, shall a man leave his father and his mother and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and we’re not ashamed.” ~ Genesis 2:23-25
In addition, Mark 10:6-9 says; “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.
For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife; then they are no more twain, but one flesh.
What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put assunder.”
From the above biblical extracts, it is no more news that Marriage does not happen by default or accident. It is never an accident at all! Marriage has always been divine – God’s plan! This means it has to be a concerted effort of both Parties. Therefore, must agree to it and strive to make it work. Amos 3:3
In Genesis 2:23; Adam said “this is now the bone of my bones…” mbok, what does this imply to you? Don’t get your brain cracked up, I’ll explain briefly; when bone locates bone in marriage, they become one (flesh) and stronger!
P.S: husband and wife are not mates but helpmates.
What Brings About Marital Intimacy?
(i). Acceptance: Strength, weakness, opportunity, & threats are all found in marriage, and for it to work, they both must accep each other – always (Mark 10:8). No one is good let alone being perfect, & so we must learn to accept each other’s flaws. “Ephesians 5:28-29 says; “So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church.”
(ii). Agreement: there must be an agreement between man (husband) and woman (wife)
a. Husbands and wives must always set goals together and make it black and white. Heb. 2:15-16
b. Set priorities of goals together – a must!
c. Availability of resources must both be considered and worked on together.
d. Giving attention to others is a must.
e. Breaking tides with distraction.
f. Creating time for each other is a must! Heb. 3:6
(iii). Service: husband and wife must be ready to serve each other thus:
a. Reverence each other
b. Must sacrifice for each other – regardless. Agreed!
c. Couple must practice the 3Cs in marriage:
ii. Comfort and
iii. Cuddle each other like #Nsido?
d. Couple must correct each other in love. But must avoid correction by debasing your partner.
e. Communication is key! Let’s go lengthy here by looking at the roles communication play in marriage, as follows:
i. It breaks that partition in marriage Hebrew 13-15
ii. It breaks trust and transparency if you’re not discussing, you’ll end up having catalogue of offenses – now & then.
iii. It leaves room for wrong assumptions by both Partners, & assumptions creates issues where there might seem not to be any – in the first place.
iv. If it lacks in marriage, it turns once Love Birds to Strangers.
v. It opens the wall for Lizards, if it’s lacking in marriage…
What Are The Things That Make Communication Effective?
i. Communication must be timely – make it at the right time.
ii. Communication barriers of ambiquity must be removed – make it simple!
iii. The language and tone must also be considered. Be (very) polite and calm when communicating it with your partner.
iv. Marital communication must be devoid of intents of anger and insults.
Some of us may still fall victim to the belief system that “true love happens naturally” and the implication that “work need not apply” to loving relationships. If you are guilty of this type of thinking, you may be in trouble. The reality is, real love takes real work and effort, long after the move-in date or the exchanging of vows. But knowing how to build it is another subject entirely.
Let this article prepare you to get started with some marriage intimacy exercises frequently recommended in couples’ therapy. These intimacy activities for couples will work wonders for your married life – if tried out!
Let’s study them together as follows:
1. Extra Long Cuddle
Let’s kick things off with an easy one. Choose the time, whether at night or in the morning, and spend that precious time just snuggling for 30 minutes at least. If you normally snuggle for this length of time, increase it to an hour.
Why it works?
Physical closeness is one of the hallmarks of bonding.
The pheromones, kinetic energy, and chemical reactions that happen just by snuggling with your loved one create the sense of connectedness necessary in healthy relationships.
2. Breathing Connection Exercise
Like many intimacy exercises, this one may seem silly at first, but open your mind to trying it and you may just love
it. You and your partner will face one another seated, and lightly touch your foreheads together, eyes closed. You will begin to breathe, deep, intentional breaths in tandem. The recommended number of breaths in tandem starts at seven (7); but you and your partner can participate for as many breaths as you like.
Why it works?
The touch, and the experience of the touch, aligned with the breathing, brings about natural feelings of connectedness through the shared energy exchanged via the brow or “third eye” chakra. This may tap into some of our most primal resources in our ability to engage in spirituality and to exchange energetic forces through organic means.
3. Soul Gaze
In this exercise, u are merely sitting faced to one another and will stare into one another’s eyes, imagining that the eyes are a “window into the soul”. As many of these types of exercises may seem corny at first, this one is a classic. Though you may indeed feel awkward in the beginning, as you get used to sitting and gazing into one another’s eyes the exercise becomes relaxing and meditative. Try putting it to music so that you have 4-5 minutes of timed focus.
Why it works?
This type of exercise tends to slow things down. It should be done several times per week for maximum benefit. In today’s busy world, focusing for 4-5 minutes just gazing into one another’s eyes helps the couple to relax and regroup. Yes, it is okay to blink during the exercise, but try and avoid talking. Some couples use a 4 or 5 minute song to set the background & time.
4. Three Things
You and your partner can play this one however you like.
One of you may state your things all in one go, or you may alternate. Think of the questions you want to ask; write them down if it helps.
The questions will be phrased as such:
What 3 things will you want to eat for dessert this month?
What 3 things will you be sure to take with you on an adventure to a tropical island?
What 3 things do you hope to do together that we haven’ttried?
These are merely examples; you get the idea.
Why it works?
This is a communication exercise . It enhances the bond between u by increasing communication skills, and provides knowledge of one another’s thoughts, feelings, & interests. It is also helpful as interests can change over time. The answers will also yield information that will most likely prove useful in the future.
5. Two Ears, One Mouth
In this active listening exercise, one partner talks or “vents” on a topic of their choosing, while the other partner must sit facing them, merely listening and not speaking. The both of u may be amazed at how unnatural it can feel to actually just listen without speaking. After the five minute, three minute, or eight minute rant is over, the listener then is free to express feedback.
Why it works?
Active listening practice is another communication exercise that enhances our ability to truly listen and take in another’s stream of consciousness. Focusing on them intently without distractions, gives them the sense of our undivided attention; something of vital importance but of which is rare in today’s busy world. Intentional listening also reminds us to stay focused on the other person without asserting our opinions prematurely. At the end of this exercise, you will exchange places as speaker/listener.
Additional Bedtime Couples Exercises and Tips for better Intimacy (base on research)
Here are some amazing bedtime routines to incorporate in your daily lives for better intimacy:
i. Keep Your Phones Away: Not only is keeping the phone away great for your relationship, having zero electronic light is also beneficial for sleep hygiene as well. It will really work wonders for the quality of sleep that you’ll be able to get.
Prioritize your connection with your partner for some time before you doze off – talk about the day, your feelings or anything else that’s on your mind. Make sure to switch off the phones or light a few fragrant candles or two to bond better.
ii. Sleep Naked: Taking all your clothes off before you sleep has proven health benefits (it regulates cortisol, is great for genital health, and improves skin quality too).
Additionally, it also allows you and your partner to have more skin on skin contact which results in the release of oxytocin. Plus, it makes having sex in the morning so much more easier!
iii. Massage Each Other: Massaging each other is a great routine to keep! Imagine you’ve had a tough day and are being pampered by your partner with a loving massage. Whatever your reason, massage is a great tool for enhanced relaxation before bedtime and couples connection.
iv. Show Gratitude: Do you know what sucks at the end of the day? Criticism. Now replace that with gratitude and you’ll see what a difference it makes to your life. Say thanks at the end of the day to your spouse and you’ll notice how rewarding life becomes.
v. Have “Good” Sex: The best way to reconnect at night as a couple is to have sex! Of course, you cannot do it ever single day. But, do engage with each other intimately/sexually and explore new and limitless options every single night.
Dedicate at least 30-60 minutes of your day to the health of your relationship with your spouse and witness the upward spiral effect of it in all areas of your lives…#Nsido?
May God help us all as we press towards making our marriage works. AMEN!!!
#marriage & #family
I remain #kingJoseph the @strategist_kj