Sensual and sexual intimacy plays a pivotal role in the success and the survival of a marriage.
Sensual intimacy is instrumental in making your marriage partner feel more loved and less alone. In addition to providing trust, sensual intimacy may also overcome fear—fear of abandonment, fear of rejection, fear of loss of independence, and even fear of memories of past sexual abuse.
To nurture trust and to overcome fear, express and nurture sensual intimacy:
Holding hands together while walking.
Affectionately touching different parts of each other’s body.
Hugging each other more often.
· Saying: “I love you” and kissing each other as much as possible.
Sensual intimacy should be expressed not just in the beginning of a love relationship, but throughout the whole journey of a marriage. Sensual intimacy is always genuine; if not, it can’t and won’t be expressed continuously for the years to come.
Sexual intimacy, on the other hand, is the engagement of two lovers in foreplay to rekindle the sexual chemistry for sex performance. The truth of the matter is that without sensual intimacy, there won’t be sexual intimacy; even if there is, the sexual intimacy won’t last too long. The reality is that many still seek sex without intimacy. But that’s not living in reality due to the lack of accountability; with no accountability, sexual crimes become prevalent, destroying marriages and love-relationships.
The truth of the matter is that sensual intimacy may still survive and thrive without the sexual intimacy—the explanation is that the sexual intimacy may mitigate due to health issues and hormonal changes.
So, to nurture your intimacy or that of your marriage partner, whether sensual or sexual, it’s important that you do the following:
Acknowledge the importance of emotions and personalities in intimacy, while respecting their differences in each other. Try to bring about some balance and compromise .
Initiate mental transformation of what’s wrong and what can be done to address it, that is, the feelings and the needs of each other.
Give up your control of your marriage partner. Also, show your own vulnerability with honesty and openness.
Avoid your criticism and stop blaming your marriage partner. Remember, criticism only leads to defensiveness, while aggressiveness
to distancing. So, stop saying: “That’s annoying!” to your marriage partner all the time.
Given the importance of intimacy in a marriage, especially over the long haul, you and your marriage partner should work together to nurture each other’s intimacy, both sensual and sexual. The effort should be joint and continuous for the rest of the marriage journey.
Life is never a bed of roses; it always has some thorns that may come in different forms, such as death and dying of loved ones, financial failures and unemployment, health issues, alcohol addiction and drug abuse problems, among many others.
But one of the most devastating adversities that affect marital bliss is adultery, a betrayal of trust and a break in the bond of a marriage.
Adultery, which isn’t uncommon these days, occurs when a married person engages willingly in a sexual relationship with someone other than the person to whom he or she is married.
Disposition and vulnerability
Given that adultery occurs in 25 percent of married couples and 40 percent of unmarried couples, do your best to avoid adultery in your marriage by doing the following:
Don’t distance each other both emotionally and physically. That explains the importance of the continuation of sensual and sexual
intimacy throughout the marriage journey.
Don’t nag and criticize each other in public or even in private. They only foster negative emotions leading to adultery.
Don’t spend too much time hanging around with friends who don’t know your spouse.
Don’t disclose the secrets of your marital life at your workplace or with your close friends. Your disclosure or “secret-free” mindset
may only encourage marital unfaithfulness not only from yourself but also from those around you. So, avoid “emotional adultery.”
Don’t commit adultery with your eyes, because your eyes are gateways to your soul.
Jesus had rightly said about “visual adultery”: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that
anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to stumble,
gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”
Don’t commit adultery with the emergence of technology: sexting and sending explicit photos through social media platforms.
Remember, having “no physical contact” may transcend into real-life adultery sooner or later.
Don’t “threaten divorce” with your spouse—ironically enough, it often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
The bottom line: Engaging in adultery is playing with fire; the thrill isn’t worth it because it inevitably gets yourself burned.
So, nurture each other’s intimacy, both sensual and sexual, continuously.
So, restrain your pride or help to restrain that of your marriage partner. Pride is often a dear friend of unfaithfulness.
Tiger Woods, one of the world’s most famous and wealthiest golfers, was caught with his dark secrets of infidelities and lies in 2009. At first, he vehemently denied and even concealed them. But, eventually, he was more forthcoming and apologetic to his fans and his family at several press conferences:
"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. . . I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. . . I was unfaithful, I had affairs and I cheated. What I did was unacceptable. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation and kids all around the world who admired me."
But Tiger Woods’ serial adultery and cheating made it difficult for his wife to accept his sincerity and true repentance. They were divorced in 2010.
Maybe in one of his statements to the public, Tiger Woods was telling the truth of adultery:
“I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled, and thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them.”
Tiger Woods was awakened to the reality of accountability. With fame and money, he thought he could get away with anything. That was his self-awakening, but it came with a hefty price—a stain on his legacy.
The purpose of a married couple is to glorify God in everything they say, do, or accomplish, and to be an expression of sacrificial love, grace, mercy, and justice to everyone—especially to each other and their children.
Adultery is a conscious and deliberate act to do just the opposite of what a marriage commitment requires. Adultery is prevalent because it has become the new “norm.” According to many, adultery is just a sin, not a crime, and everybody commits sins of some sort anyway. But adultery is a sin directly against God, who creates the marriage, joining the two as one. So, committing adultery is lack of accountability to God, and is unforgivable without judgment and repentance.
King David’s adulteries
In spite of his efforts in seeking God’s wisdom, King David also demonstrated the darker side of his sin of lust.
One night, King David saw Bathsheba, the wife of one of King David’s generals, bathing on the rooftop. Succumbing to his own sin of lust, King David sent for Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. To gratify his lust, King David even purposely sent the general to the war front to have him killed so that he could marry the general’s widow.
King David eventually married Bathsheba. Although penitent for his sins, God punished King David, and their firstborn son died.
King Solomon’s adulteries
King Solomon, the second son of King David, despite his profound human wisdom, violated God’s standards of sexual purity. His decision to disobey God and marry foreign women with their different gods led to his own idolatry. As a punishment for his sins, God divided Israel, and Solomon suffered bitterness and emptiness at the end of his life.
The difference between King David and King Solomon is that King David always lived in the presence of the Lord. So, King David always turned back to God with remorse and repentance, while King Solomon only distanced himself from God with no contrition and remorse.
So, living in the presence of the Lord always reminds you of your own accountability to Him, without which you will do anything and everything, thinking that you can always get away with it. The truth of the matter is that God is always just, and His presence is in whatever you do.
Always live in the presence of God. Always let God guide you along your marriage journey. Always let God overcome your enemies of pride, lust, and deceit.
Copyright© by Stephen Lau
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