If you’re looking for a guidance along the path to greater intimacy in your marriage, Scott Means of Heaven Made Marriage has written you a gift. In his book, The Path of Intimacy, Scott guides the reader away from the path of separation and onto the path of intimacy with wisdom and foresight. Isn’t that what we all want in our marriages, to be intimate with one another, fully known and completely loved? To stand before one another completely naked—emotionally, mentally, and spiritually open—yet completely unafraid and completely secure in the love we share with one another? If that’s what you’re looking for (and we all are), this book will serve as your guide on the path of intimacy. Now if you have ever gotten lost, you know how important it is to follow the right signs and not get distracted by the alternatives. With that in mind, The Path of Intimacy exposes the lies that threaten to distract us from the path of intimacy. The Path of Intimacy teaches us to discern the on-ramps that lead to the path of separation from the trail markers that keep us on the path of intimacy. And, The Path of Intimacy prepares us to recognize the markers informing us that we are still on the right path, the path of intimacy. With the insights shared in The Path of Intimacy, Scott Means has offered us the tools we need to remain watchful and intentional in growing a “grace-full,” intimate marriage. (Available on Amazon)
Tag Archive for wife
Date can boost intimacy and fun in a marriage…or it can lead to a cul-de-sac of frustration and loneliness. Consider these statements, four of the many I’ve heard over the years, describing date nights gone awry.
- “We were having a great date until he got drunk and ruined it all.”
- “She just can’t go one night focused on us. All she talks about is the kids and the house and the kids and the kids and the house.”
- “We used to go out and have a blast just hanging out and talking. Now we go to a movie or the bar and neither of us says a word.”
- We don’t have fun on dates anymore. They just turn into arguments over money, politics, and tattoos, whatever…. All we do is argue.”
Do any of these sound familiar. Maybe you’ve heard similar statements…or even made a few of them yourself. These comments do not reflect dates that helped to boost intimacy and joy. If you do want to boost intimacy and joy with a spectacular date night, remember these 8 tips!
- Prepare for your date ahead of time. Don’t wait until date night to ask, “What do you want to do?” Plan ahead. Maybe you want to surprise your spouse. Great. Let them know you’ll plan it all. Or, maybe you want to plan your date night together. Wonderful. Have fun planning it out. Pick the activity. Make the necessary reservations. Then just enjoy the night!
- Build anticipation for your date. Start talking about your date before it begins. Talk about it for the day before or even the week before. Flirt with your spouse about the details. Let your spouse know you are excited to spend time alone with them.
- When date night arrives, dress up for your spouse. Everyone likes to see their spouse “looking good.” Remember how you dressed and primped to make an impression on your spouse when you were dating? Do it again. Dress to catch their eye. Doing so will let them know how much you value them and your time together. It will also draw your spouse’s attention to you…and that’s always a good thing.
- Make time to talk on your date. Whatever activity or venue you choose for your date night, be sure to include time and space for conversation. If you go to a concert or movie, allow for time to talk afterwards. Talk about hopes and dreams, favorite vacations together, or a trip you’d like to take together in the future. Talk about other possible date night activities. Talk like “old friends” who want to nurture their friendships.
- Postpone arguments. Avoid talking about areas that might result in arguments and bad feelings. Save those discussions for another time. Date night is to nurture a deeper connection, not create feelings of frustration and distance. So save the sensitive discussions for another time and focus on topics you can both enjoy. If you have trouble coming up with conversation ideas, refer to bullet #4. One other comment. Planning and kids are bound to come up, just don’t let them monopolize your date night. Stick with topics like those discuss in bullet #4.
- Stay sober. Nothing wrong with having a drink, but don’t get intoxicated or even buzzed. It’s not safe. Even more, it robs you of the joy of completely clearheaded intimacy. It also increases the chance of experiencing conflict on your date. Stay sober and enjoy your spouse “to the max.”
- Enjoy physical touch. Physical touch adds a flare of excitement to your intimacy and anticipation to the joy of your date night. Hold hands. Walk arm in arm. Sit touching shoulders. Play footsies. Put your arm around your spouse. Enjoy physical touch.
- Try something new. Don’t get stuck in the “same old date night rut.” Be creative. Try a breakfast date, a picnic date, a night at the museum date, a walk in the woods date…you get the idea. There is no limit to what you might enjoy on a date.
Eight tips to make your date night spectacular. Give them a try. Then share your date night ideas with us so we can all make date night spectacular!
Marital intimacy is built upon simple everyday activities. Here are a few of those simple every day activities you can use to strengthen your marriage.
- Hold hands every day. Hold hands while you take a walk. Hold hands while you watch TV. Hold hands while you sit together. Hold hands every chance you get.
- Give one another a 10 second hug when you get home at the end of the day… or when you leave at the start of the day… or both!
- Kiss one another every day. Give a kiss good-bye, a kiss hello, a kiss just to kiss. Give a simple peck on the cheek or give a 10-second kiss…or just sit down and kiss as long as you want.
- Say kind words to one another. “Good morning.” “Good night.” “I love you.” “Have a good day.” Offer a compliment. Say “Thank you.” Don’t forget to say “You’re welcome,” too.
- Do a project together. For instance, make dinner together. Do yardwork together. You might even do a little home remodeling.
- Do kind things for one another. Hold the door open and let your spouse go first. Do an extra chore around the house. Make the bed. Give your spouse a simple gift. Let your spouse have the last piece of pie.
- Text your spouse to see how he or she is doing. Or, text them to ask about some special appointment in their life. Text them to say how much you love them. You get the idea. Text them to spread a little love.
- Tell your spouse one thing you appreciate about them every day.
- Bring home a small gift for your spouse. It doesn’t need to be a big gift. If your spouse likes a certain candy bar, bring one home. If they like a particular kind of gum, bring home a pack. Buy a card and write a note of appreciation in it before giving it your spouse. Of course, there are always flowers too.
- Resolve disagreements and arguments as they occur and as quickly as possible.
You can carry out these simple activities on a daily basis and each one will strengthen your marriage and increase intimacy with your spouse.
An intentional Christian marriage gives us a glimpse of heaven on earth. We see a reflection of God’s Kingdom when each spouse serves, sacrifices, and loves the other. Each spouse reveals the character of their King by treating their spouse with honor, sharing grace in times of need, and actively pursuing a peace that “passes all understanding.” Spouses in a godly marriage encourage, support, and nurture one another in so many amazing ways. A godly marriage gives us a glimpse of heaven, a mere taste of something greater to come. Imagine a photo album filled with pictures capturing the moments of joy and celebration, love and hope in your marriage. Then, sit back and pause. Consider…what awaits us in heaven is so much more than we can experience on earth…so.much.more! Enjoy this video of Mercy Me singing I Can Only Imagine with the London symphony…and imagine how your marriage gives just a glimpse of what is yet to come!
A study out of Baylor University suggests that married couples can damage their marriage and romance by “phubbing” their partner. Specifically, a survey of 145 people found that “phubbing” your partner creates conflict and leads to lower marital satisfaction. So, quit “phubbing” your spouse!
If you’re like me, you have no idea whether you phub your partner or not because you have no idea what “phubbing” is. I know what you mean. I’m the same way. So, let me share what I found out. “Phubbing” is “snubbing your partner in order to look at your phone”…phubbing. (I know. Where do people come up with this stuff? But, I like it!) Anyway, this study found partners feel “phubbed” if, and I quote:
- “My partner places his/her cellphone where they can see it when we are together.
- My partner uses his/her cellphone when we are out together.
- My partner uses his/her cellphone during leisure time we could spend together.
- My partner keeps his/her cellphone in their hand when he or she is with me.
- My partner glances at his/her cellphone when talking to me.
- My partner checks his/ her cellphone in the midst of conversation.
- My partner checks his/her cellphone if there is a lull in our conversation.”
In this survey 46% of the respondents had been “phubbed” by their partners. A full 23% said “phubbing” caused conflict in their relationship and 37% felt depressed about it! Think about that, one in four said “phubbing” caused conflict and one in three said it depressed them. So you can see how “phubbing” lowers marital satisfaction for the one being “phubbed.”
Perhaps we need to add a warning label to all cellphones: “Warning. Use with caution. Phubbing is harmful to your marriage and relationships, creating a 23% chance of conflict with your partner.” Or, perhaps I go to far…just quit “phubbing up” your marriage. (For more on the impact of cellphones on relational intimacy read Family Date Night Tip: Don’t Text & Date.)
One of my Facebook friends posted this pic. I love the proverb written on it: “If a man expects a woman to be an angel in his life, he must first create heaven for her…angels don’t live in hell.” I don’t know about you, but I want to live with an angel. So, I have to ask myself: how can I create heaven for my wife? How can I make my wife feel like an angel? Upon what is heaven built?
- Heaven is built on honor—treating one another as special, precious, sacred. To create heaven for your wife, treat her with honor. Honor her above all others like a diamond above coal. Constantly think about the character and beauty you adore in your wife. Don’t stop with merely thinking about your admiration of her character and beauty. Let your words and actions communicate love and admiration to your wife. Let your eyes sparkle with delight and adoration when she walks into the room. Speak of her with high praise when you describe her to others.
- Heaven is built on unfailing trust. To create heaven for your wife, live a life of integrity and faithfulness that will build trust. Let your actions and your speech enhance her sense of security and acceptance. Keep your promises. Be available. Remember: the small, positive moments build trust; so, enjoy playful interactions, simple adventures, joyful moments and moments of sorrow, friendly conversations, and laughter. Work to “keep in tune” with your wife’s emotions. Comfort her when she needs comforted. Rejoice with her when she rejoices. Rest with her when she needs rest. Join with her in life.
- Heaven is built on servanthood. To create heaven for your wife, become a servant in your marriage. Serve your wife by listening to her and accepting her influence. Serve her by cooking dinner, washing clothes, or running the vacuum. Serve her by asking what she would like you to do to help her. Become the leader of servanthood in your home.
- Heaven is built on sacrifice. Jesus willingly became the Sacrifice for our sin, a sacrifice that brought peace between man and God. Sacrifice opens the doors to heaven. To create heaven in your home, become a leader in sacrifice. Make small sacrifices like giving up the TV remote, giving away the last cookie, giving up your seat for your wife, giving up “the game” to take a walk…you get the idea. You may also make bigger sacrifices like giving up your music to listen to her music in the car, giving up time on your project to do what she desires, giving up the adventure movie to watch a “chick flick” followed by the emotional discussion of the movie…. You know what would prove a heavenly sacrifice in your home. And, you know that your sacrifice will produce greater security and open the doors for heaven in your home.
“Expect your wife to be an angel in your life”? Start creating heaven in your home. Build your home and marriage on honor, integrity and trust, servanthood, and sacrifice. Believe me, you will live with an angel…and you will get a taste of heaven on earth!
My family and I attended a beautiful wedding at Camp Christian last weekend. The wedding ceremony took place in the chapel. Then, everyone walked a short distance to the Millhouse for the reception. It was a beautiful day. The bride and groom, along with their families, have participated in numerous programs at Camp Christian over the years; so had several of those who came to witness the wedding. As a result, many of those attending, including the bride and groom, had a lifetime of memories and personal dedications made in this sacred place; which, I suppose, added to my contemplation that day. After Eric and Emily exchanged their vows, the minister spoke of God’s words after He had created Adam and Eve, man and woman. Throughout the creation story (Genesis 1-2), God looked at His creation and “saw that it was good.” That is, it was good until He created man. When God created Adam, He said “It is not good for man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). So, God created a woman. The Scripture tells us “God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female” (Genesis 1:20) and then God saw all He had made and “it was VERY GOOD” (Genesis 1:31). God did not say “it was very good” until He had created both man and woman and brought them together. Witnessing Eric and Emily as they committed to living a life together, I began to understand why God waited until He had created both man and woman to say “it is very good.”
- “It was very good” to see family and friends gather together to celebrate and support this young couple in living out a lifetime of loving commitment. A wedding represents more than a man and woman making a commitment. It represents a community coming together to nurture and support a couple’s love…and that “is very good.”
- As this young couple gazed at one another with obvious adoration, “it was very good.” Love changes us. It nurtures our growth and helps us recognize our worth. When two people adore one another with such an obvious love, “it is very good.”
- When Eric and Emily committed to “have and to hold from this day forth, for better or for worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish…,” “it was very good.” Such a commitment proclaims a faithfulness and love that advances the kingdom of God. That “is very good.”
- Speaking of the kingdom of God…when this young man and woman wake up to serve one another in little ways throughout the day, they become ambassadors for Christ and this “is very good.”
- Each time they speak a word of encouragement to one another they act as God’s mouthpiece. And, that “is very good.”
- Every time they lovingly sacrifice their own desires to meet one another’s needs, they will shine like lights in the darkness. That “is very good.”
- When they speak of one another with loving affection (which they often do), they speak the very words Christ speaks of His Bride; and, that “is very good.”
- When, because of their love, they accept one another’s influence, they have born witness to the humility of Christ. (Need I say it?) That “is very good.”
- When other people see their in love a reflection of Christ’s love for His Bride (the Church), “it is very good.”
When Eric and Emily chose to “leave” their mother and father in order to “cleave” to and “become one flesh” with each other, they reenacted that sacred moment when God created a man and woman in His image. They set themselves apart as witnesses of His love and creativity. And, that “is very good.”
When Eric and Emily chose to forsake all others and cling to the one they have chosen, they advanced the kingdom of God through their faithfulness, love, sacrifice, and service. And, that “is very good.”
Yes, Eric and Emily, we truly enjoyed your wedding and the message you proclaimed through your marriage…a message of hope, commitment, and love. And, “It Is Very Good.”
“A man falls in love through his eyes, a woman through her ears.”–Woodrow Wyatt
If Woodrow Wyatt is right, men and women have different keys when it comes to love. A key to a man’s love begins with his eyes. If this is true, you can use this key to increase intimacy with your husband. Dress nicely now and again rather than always slumping around in your “comfy clothes.” When you go on a date, pick out clothes that you know appeal to your husband. You likely did this while dating. Why not keep it up after you’re married? Make an effort to put on nice clothes, fix your hair, and smile admiringly at your husband on a regular basis. It will go a long way in unlocking his love.
A key to a woman’s love begins in her ears. Use this key to gain intimacy with your wife. Speak words of appreciation and adoration for your wife. Encourage her often. Verbalize your feelings of love on a regular basis. Let your words reveal your fondness and admiration for your wife. Speak words of love and affection, appreciation and adoration, fondness and admiration daily. This will unlock her love for you in amazing ways.
These keys have a flipside. They can create intimacy when used properly; but, on the flipside, they will create disdain if misused or ignored. Wives, if you make no attempt to look nice for your husband, he may begin to think you don’t care. He will feel unimportant because you “dress up for work, but never for him.” He will feel as though you rate him second to all those activities and places for which you dress up. He may even begin to feel disrespected. He may feel cheated and deceived because you “dressed up when we were dating but now you don’t care enough about me.” A man who feels disrespected will begin to drift to those places where he feels more respect. Don’t let this happen in your marriage. Use the key of his eyes to keep him close.
Men, if you neglect to speak words of affirmation and admiration to your wife, she will begin to doubt your love. She will feel unappreciated and unloved. She may even begin to feel worse about herself, inadequate and filled with self-doubt. If you call her names or call her character into question through the words you speak, she will begin to despise you. Her disdain for you will grow with every negative comment you make. Eventually, love will die. Don’t let this happen in your marriage. Speak words of love and tenderness. Use the key of her ears to keep her close.
Of course the eyes and ears are not the only keys to love. But, they do provide one key you can use to deepen the intimacy with your spouse and strengthen your marriage. The nice thing is…you hold the key!
All children desire this gift, but very few cannot articulate it. This gift will provide your children with an amazing sense of security. Although it demands some effort, it will provide immeasurable benefits to you and your children throughout your lifetimes. In fact, your children will benefit from this gift even after you have passed away. Your grandchildren can even benefit from this gift! And, only you can give this gift to your children. Sounds like an expensive gift, doesn’t it? It does carry a price; but the price is mostly measured in the coinage of effort. What is this amazing gift your children desire? What is this gift that carries such great benefits with it? The gift of having parents with a healthy marriage! Let me “unwrap this gift” a little…just to give you a peek into its benefits.
When a marriage relationship is filled with strained and succumbing to the pull of distraction, the home is filled with tension. When the home is filled with tension, children experience stress. Stress creates insecurity. A healthy marriage, on the other hand, lays the foundation for peace and harmony in the home. Children experience this peace and harmony as security. They feel safe. Moreover, children feel valued and worthy when outside distractions do not impinge on their family life. They desire to remain a part of this peaceful, harmonious home founded on a healthy marriage.
When a marriage is filled with constant conflict and on the verge of collapse, the future of the family, your children’s safe haven, becomes doubtful. Children who have doubts about the future stability of their safe haven feel insecure. As a result, they invest all their energy trying to secure the pillars of their safe haven, you. They invest their energy in your happiness and your marriage rather than investing in their own growth and development, their maturity, and their future. When a marriage is strong and disagreements openly resolved, the future of your children’s safe haven is certain. With confidence in their family’s future, children feel secure enough to explore their world and their selves. They feel safe enough to invest energy in growing their interests and their healthy future lives, which will ultimately bring happiness to the whole family.
When a marriage is in question and spouses at war with one another, children feel responsible to make peace. They assume a parental role and strive to become the one who negotiates peace between their parents. When they do not succeed (and they cannot succeed because it is beyond their ability to make peace between warring parents), children begin to feel guilty and anxious. They take the blame for their parents’ failure and unhappiness. They begin to feel inadequate since they cannot “fix” the family. They feel insecure both in relation to others (like their battling parents) and themselves (since they feel inadequate to fix even their home). In a strong marriage, on the other hand, children witness their parents resolving conflict and creating peace in the home. This peace produces a sense of security that allows “kids to be kids.” It provides a strong foundation from which children can explore, achieve, learn, and grow confident in the trustworthiness of those around them as well as a trust in themselves.
You children desire the gift of living with parents who do the work necessary to build a strong, healthy marriage. Even more, they deserve this gift. When you invest in your marriage, you give your children the gift they desire more than they even know; and, you give them the added gifts of peace of mind, a sense of security, and a confidence in themselves and their future. Do your children a huge favor. Get your spouse and wrap up a beautiful, healthy marriage as a gift for them to witness and receive.
I often speak about honoring one another in the family. However, it is just as important (maybe more important) to become a person your family can honor. In fact, if we do not become a person worthy of honor, we set the whole family up for trouble. Consider what happened in Noah’s family when he acted dishonorably. Noah was a great man; but, after the flood he got drunk, a passed-out-laying-in-his-tent-naked-drunk. His son, Ham, found him, saw his father’s shame, and exposed his father’s dishonor by telling his brothers about his “find.” Noah had acted dishonorably by getting drunk. Ham had acted dishonorably by spreading the news of his father’s shame. These dishonorable acts ultimately resulted in Ham’s descendants living in servitude to their cousins (Genesis 9:25). The dishonorable actions of a father opened the door for his son to act dishonorably and for generations to live under the consequences of dishonor. Imagine the weight of that burden on Noah. You can avoid this heavy consequence by becoming a person of honor. Here are several traits a person of honor exhibits. Read them carefully and start living a life of honor today…for your family’s sake!
- A person worthy of honor is humble. We admire a humble person. A humble person listens and accepts correction, allowing him to grow in character. He believes that others have important contributions to make and, as a result, listens carefully and takes those contributions to heart.
- A person worthy of honor is gracious. A gracious person gives his time and energy to help and support those around him. A gracious person forgives. He accepts that others make mistakes and patiently corrects misunderstandings. A gracious person accepts others in spite of any mistakes or misunderstandings. A gracious person is a person worthy of honor.
- A person worthy of honor shows kindness to others. A person of honor does not need a bumper sticker proclaiming “random acts of kindness.” Everyone around him observes his kindness and receives the benefits of his kindness. Acting in kindness is second nature to him. He loves to hold the door open for others, allow others to go first in traffic, or speak words of encouragement to the downhearted. Kindness is his modus operandi.
- A person worthy of honor accepts correction and discipline. An honorable person humbly accepts his own shortcomings. He realizes his imperfection and admits his mistakes. As a result, he not only accepts but cherishes the correction of others. He realizes that correction helps him grow and become a more honorable person.
- A person worthy of honor speaks the truth. We know we can trust the word of an honorable person. He does not tell even white lies. You can completely trust the person of honor because he has no hidden agendas. He lovingly speaks the truth.
- A person worthy of honor keeps his word. His “yes” is “yes” and his “no” is “no.” When an honorable person promises to do something for you, you know it will get done. He does not make idle promises or promises he cannot keep. This adds to our willingness to trust a person of honor.
- A person worthy of honor works to provide for himself and his family. An honorable person does not trick others to make a gain. He does not connive and conspire to get ahead. Instead, he works hard. He works hard in response to his love for family. He works hard so no one has to carry the burden of caring for his needs. He works hard for the joy of helping others in their time of need.
- A person worthy of honor is generous. An honorable person gives to others with no expectation of return. He gives simply for the joy of giving. This does not mean he gives frivolously. He shares from his abundance with those who have need; but, he does so wisely, as a good steward. He not only shares his material wealth, but he shares his time and effort as well.
- A person of honor stands firm in his beliefs. He is not easily swayed. You know where he stands and what he believes. There is no guessing or fear about what he believes or how he will act. He is open and firm. Although he stands firm in his beliefs, he does not become rude. Instead, he remains firm in a loving and polite manner.
To build a family of honor, become a person of honor. Practice these nine attributes to become a person of honor. Your family will honor you and thank you…and you will enjoy the benefits of an honor filled family for generations to come.