The Four Facets of Intimacy in Marriage

The Four Facets of Intimacy in Marriage

Intimacy in marriage. Men often spell it S-E-X. Women frequently spell it T-A-L-K. It’s something married couples usually take for granted at the beginning of their relationship, but later may wonder what unseen gremlin came while they were sleeping and made it all go away. It’s something that a majority of long-married couples have learned to do well, and that many couples desperately want to improve.

If you’re reading this and you’re married, it’s likely either you or your spouse feels that intimacy is lacking between you. You may wonder why your spouse seems uninterested in sex, or why it seems you have nothing to talk about when you are together. You may believe your spouse is on a different planet spiritually, or that your only choices are to bail out of the marriage or to put up with disappointment for the duration.

There are other options. You CAN improve the intimacy between you. And it begins with understanding the Four Facets of Intimacy.

Four Facets of Intimacy

  1. The Physical Factor

That’s what many people think of when they think of intimacy, and it is important.

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What to do After God Speaks

What to do After God Speaks

PrayerYou had a problem, or something you desired deeply. You prayed about it – a lot. You asked others to pray for you about it. And you prayed some more. You struggled, you cried, you tried to listen. And yes, you prayed some more.

Then one day something happened in your spirit. It may not have been an audible voice from heaven, but you heard something in your soul. You felt God spoke to you, and it was good. Very good. Your problem would be taken care of. You were going to receive that which you desired more than anything else. The whole world looked different.

What do you do then? What do you do after God speaks?

I’ve been there. Several times during my life I felt I heard God’s voice in my heart. The first time I was quite young, about 13 years old. I prayed for something specific to happen, and I believed I heard God say to me that what I prayed for would come to pass.

It didn’t happen.

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How to Use Your Faith as Help For Mental Health

How to Use Your Faith as Help For Mental Health

FriendshipMajor depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder – these and other mental-health challenges are part of our human experience just as arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease are. If you’re a human being, you’re at risk. And that includes you and me whether or not we’re people of faith.

But that doesn’t mean you’re powerless when it comes to your mental health. Good mental health habits will decrease your chances of mental illness just as good nutrition, physical exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight will lessen your risk of arthritis, diabetes, and heart disease. Those good mental health habits include such things as nurturing healthy connections with other people, learning to take responsibility for one’s own thoughts, and ensuring a steady mental diet that’s positive and encouraging.

But as many of you know, a healthy physical lifestyle is no guarantee against physical illness. And good mental habits are no guarantee against mental illness. We need something more. We need healing. And we need an eternal perspective.

What role, then, does faith play in your mental health?

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The 10 Commandments for a Strong Marriage

The 10 Commandments for a Strong Marriage

Couple Reading the BibleGod’s rules for living – the 10 Commandments – have stood the test of time. They should; they were written by God Himself. The details of what keeping those commandments might look like may change with circumstances, but the principles never do. And those same 10 Commandments can describe what it takes to develop strong marriage.

You know the 10 Commandments, right? If you’re rusty, check the bottom of this post. I’ve listed the short version there.

Just like the all-encompassing original 10 Commandments, this is a standard which none of us keeps perfectly on our own. We need the grace of God here as much – or more – than anywhere else! But knowing what works in the economy of this thing God created called marriage helps us to see where we are doing well, and where we need to seek God’s help to be more consistent.

10 Commandments for a Strong Marriage

  1. Thou shalt have no other human being more important to you than your spouse.
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When You Feel Like a Failure

When You Feel Like a Failure

Sad EyesLet’s just admit it. We’re not perfect, and we know it. But sometimes the not-perfect-ness gets really old. Your head knows one thing, but you keep doing something else. You’ve prayed about it, but it still keeps happening. You feel like a failure at this Christian life, and you’ve got the data to prove it.

As a young woman I felt like a failure for a long period of time. On the outside I didn’t look that bad. I wasn’t out at night drinking or hooking up with many different guys. As a new doctor I was helping people every day, and I was going to church. Nobody would have called me a failure as a Christian by looking at my outward behavior.

But on the inside I felt very different. There were thoughts I was wrestling with, ways I was responding to people, and things I was not doing that made me feel like a failure. I remember saying to myself, “I’m an adult now. I should be functioning better. There must be something terribly wrong with me, and nobody will explain to me what it is.”

I’ve recently heard from a number of you who feel like a failure in some way:

  • The university student who feels she is never able to give her best to an assignment
  • The diabetic who gained another twenty pounds even while trying to eat right
  • The widow who feels guilty every time she feels strong sexual urges and masturbates
  • The retiree who still struggles after decades of serious depression

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