Blowing with the Winds of Change

By Greg Smalley
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Focus on the Family

As the weather cools and the seasons change, we couldn't pass up talking about a critical component of your thriving marriage -- mutually satisfying physical intimacy.

Surprise! We’re changing things up with a brand new Date Night. As the weather cools and the seasons change, we couldn’t pass up talking about a critical component of your thriving marriage — mutually satisfying physical intimacy. This date is designed to encourage the special bond between you and your spouse that often gets lost amidst the demands of work, children and real life.

Without question, mutually satisfying sexual intimacy is one of the traits of a thriving marriage. Because they are joined as “one flesh,” husbands and wives must place a healthy emphasis on this physical component of their spiritual union.

It’s understandable that for many married couples, sex can become more of a “chore” or a matter of routine. With the demands of careers, church commitments, and child rearing, it can be tough for couples to find time for meaningful physical intimacy. Ideally, though, sex in marriage is about joy, pleasure, and mutual satisfaction. It’s a delightful “dance” in which each spouse puts the other’s needs and interests ahead of his or her own and explores ways of giving sexually to the other.

The Bible suggests that the sexual act is the nexus of “leaving and cleaving,” as described in Genesis: “For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24). This is the very essence of matrimony. Sex is the glue that uniquely unites a husband and wife and places their relationship in a category apart from all other human relationships.

Of course, it’s also important to note that there is a great deal more to marriage than just sex. Even the term “physical intimacy” can refer to more than just sexual intercourse in the narrow sense. It includes affection, tenderness, warmth, and physical touch. This point deserves to be stressed because sexual intimacy in marriage is a lifelong process. Different forms of expression may be appropriate at different stages—in youth and old age, in times of stress and times of joy, during pregnancy, childbirth and child-rearing, during and after menopause—and so on. Where pain or physical incapacity have ruled out the possibility of certain types of sexual activity, it’s worth remembering that there are other forms of physical intimacy. Physical closeness, skin-to-skin contact, even intimate conversation can be extremely fulfilling in the absence of other forms of sexual pleasure. Thriving couples approach marital sex with candor, prayerfulness, vulnerability, flexibility and a willingness to communicate at every stage of life.

Remember, always act like you’re trying to get a second date! Sometimes in marriage we forget that we need to pursue and “woo” our spouse. So dress up a bit. Be polite and open doors. Compliment one another. Be affectionate – hold hands, cuddle and steal kisses. Remember to protect your date night from conflict by cutting off any arguments and agreeing to talk about the issue at a later time.

Date Night

Step 1: Go someplace different for dinner.

Instead of visiting the same familiar locations and eating the same old food, pick somewhere new or try a different type of cuisine. Or, in light of this date’s emphasis on physical intimacy, perhaps you can take the kids to a babysitter and then “order in” at home!

Step 2: Connect with your mate physically.

If you decide to go out, pick a fun activity that you both enjoy, such as visiting a museum, going for a walk around the park, or even seeing a movie. Be sure to engage in lots of physical touch during this time—hold hands, kiss, put your arms around each other, and so on. Now, there’s obviously a fine line between appropriate public displays of affection and an outright groping, make-out session that causes everyone around you to say, “Get a room!” Don’t cross that line.

If you decide to stay at home for this date, spend the evening exploring ways to connect physically—but non-sexually—before rushing right into the “main event.” Try giving each other back rubs or a foot massage.

Step 3: Relax and unwind. Ready for a few questions?

  • After your activity, find a quiet place for dessert or coffee to relax and emotionally connect through good conversation (this is an important part of the evening even if you opted to stay home!). Answer the following questions. Be sure to keep your responses positive, uplifting and encouraging.
  • What was your favorite part of the evening?What is the one thing you learned tonight that you didn’t know about me before? Talk about your physical relationship. Take turns praising your mate for the physical attributes and personality traits that you most admire about him or her.
  • Ask questions such as, “Are there ways we can be more intentional about connecting physically—but non-sexually—during the week?” “What aspects of our sexual relationship do you find the most pleasurable?” “How can I be more giving toward you during sex?”

Step 4: Home Sweet Home

Whether you left the house or stayed home, spend time planning your next date. Think about additional ways you can enhance your sexual intimacy in the days and weeks ahead. Then, it’s up to you what happens next. Have a great final adventure!


Click Here to Download the PDF Version
.

© 2012 Focus on the Family.

Share:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author

Greg Smalley

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as the Vice President of Marriage at Focus on the Family. In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. Prior to joining Focus, Smalley worked for the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown University and as President of the …

You May Also Like

Thank you [field id="first_name"] for signing up to get the free downloads of the Marrying Well Guides. 

Click the image below to access your guide and learn about the counter-cultural, biblical concepts of intentionality, purity, community and Christian compatibility.

(For best results use IE 8 or higher, Firefox, Chrome or Safari)

To stay up-to-date with the latest from Boundless, sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter.


If you have any comments or questions about the information included in the Guide, please send them to [email protected]

Click here to return to Boundless

Focus on the Family

Thank you for submitting this form. You will hear from us soon. 

The Daily Citizen

The Daily Citizen from Focus on the Family exists to be your most trustworthy news source. Our team of analysts is devoted to giving you timely and relevant analysis of current events and cultural trends – all from a biblical worldview – so that you can be inspired and assured that the information you share with others comes from a reliable source.

Alive to Thrive is a biblical guide to preventing teen suicide. Anyone who interacts with teens can learn how to help prevent suicidal thinking through sound practical and clinical advice, and more importantly, biblical principles that will provide a young person with hope in Christ.

Bring Your Bible to School Day Logo Lockup with the Words Beneath

Every year on Bring Your Bible to School Day, students across the nation celebrate religious freedom and share God’s love with their friends. This event is designed to empower students to express their belief in the truth of God’s Word–and to do so in a respectful way that demonstrates the love of Christ.

Focus on the Family’s® Foster Care and Adoption program focuses on two main areas:

  • Wait No More events, which educate and empower families to help waiting kids in foster care

  • Post-placement resources for foster and adoptive families

Christian Counselors Network

Find Christian Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Psychologists, Social Workers and Psychiatrists near you! Search by location, name or specialty to find professionals in Focus on the Family’s Christian Counselors Network who are eager to assist you.

Boundless is a Focus on the Family community for Christian young adults who want to pursue faith, relationships and adulthood with confidence and joy.

Through reviews, articles and discussions, Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live.

Have you been looking for a way to build your child’s faith in a fun and exciting way?
Adventures in Odyssey® audio dramas will do just that. Through original audio stories brought to life by actors who make you feel like part of the experience; these fictional, character-building dramas use storytelling to teach lasting truths.

Focus on the Family’s Hope Restored all-inclusive intensives offer marriage counseling for couples who are facing an extreme crisis in their marriage, and who may even feel they are headed for divorce.