Let me ask you this: Which part of your marriage relationship do you believe will develop the deepest intimacy?
Here are your choices:
- Spiritual connection
They each have their place, of course, but all things considered, spiritual connection with your spouse will create a deeper, more meaningful connection than the other two areas.
Here’s why. The benefits of spiritual intimacy naturally spill over to the other two areas, but not necessarily the other way around.
Spiritual intimacy is at the root of what it takes for couples to “become one.” That’s a truth that traces all the way back to Genesis when God created man and woman in His own image (1:26). Like Adam and Eve, we weren’t designed to commune only with one another. Our intimacy was intended to flow out of our mutual communion with God.
Love is directional. It moves. It’s meant to be expressed outward toward others, not inward toward ourselves.
That’s why God’s purpose for marriage isn’t primarily about making us happy, although a good marriage will certainly contribute to our happiness. Marriage is designed to help us be less selfish, to teach us how to direct our love outward, and to serve our spouse as Christ loved and served us. And with a divorce rate among believers similar to couples outside the church, those purposes may be something we haven’t completely understood how to live out in our own lives.
We can do better.
Pastor Craig Groeschel puts it well when he says: “If you want something different than what everyone else has, you have to do something different than what everyone else does.”
The question is, how do we do that?
We’re discussing that with Craig on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Connecting with Your Spouse for a Lifetime.” Craig is the founding and senior pastor for LifeChurch.tv, one of the country’s largest churches. He’s a great communicator and has a unique and fun way of getting his points across.
Like this idea for couples I’m sure will get your attention. To build different levels of intimacy into your marriage, focus on these three areas: face-to-face, side-to-side, and belly button-to-belly button.
Face-to-face time is meaningful discussion with each other. Sharing feelings, getting below the surface, being vulnerable with one another and really exploring each other’s hearts.
Side-to-side time is doing things together. Maybe it’s going to the gym or talking while you’re out for a walk. It’s about sharing common interests.
Belly button-to-belly button time… Well, I’ll give you three guesses what that one might be about.
And, of course, the foundation for each of those relationship connectors is spiritual intimacy with God.
By the way, Craig’s staff at LifeChurch.tv founded the popular Bible app YouVersion. If you’re not already familiar with it, you’ll be interested to know that Focus on the Family has a number of devotionals published on the app. In fact, I have several devotional series of my own to choose from. I hope you’ll check them out.
But first, enjoy our conversation with Craig Groeschel and learn the secret to “Connecting with Your Spouse for a Lifetime.” Hear it on your local radio station, online, oniTunes, via Podcast, or take us with you on our free phone app.