Over two months ago, I started my series on The Most Important 0.625% of Your Marriage. Along the way we have discussed a ‘theology of sexual intimacy,’ and five barriers couples typically face in their marriage related to intimacy. While there are certainly more than five barriers (i.e. lack of dating and romance), each of these obstacles to oneness can prevent us from experiencing intimacy as God intends and as we desire.
As I wrap up the series, I want to challenge you to make the 0.625% the best “less than 1%” possible. Anyone who is married knows that even if intimacy only takes up less than 1% of our ’schedule’, it weighs much higher in marital significance.
Before we discuss how to maximize the 0.625%, I have one last thought for you.
Couples often use the excuse that they are too busy to make intimacy a priority (as discussed in Crazy Busy). If we’re not careful, we will always have a busyness excuse: we just moved, I’m busy at work, we just had a baby, we have young kids, we have adolescents, etc… Be extremely cautious about consistently saying “no” to intimacy in marriage. Sex is God’s appointed way for a husband and wife to reciprocally say to one another, “I belong completely, permanently, and exclusively to you.” Sex is a covenant renewal act. Sex in marriage says I belong to you and you belong to me.
So how can you make the 0.625% great?
- Pursue Jesus and love the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor (especially your closest neighbor, your spouse) as yourself (Matthew 22:37-39). When we abide and walk with Christ, He changes and informs everything in our lives, including the way we love and pursue our spouse.
- See sex rightly. We must think rightly so that we can act rightly in marriage when it comes to intimacy.
- Address the five barriers I shared in this series:
- Work hard on your marriage. Put work in and there will be a reward for your efforts. No work equals no results.
- Identify, discuss and revise your expectations as needed.
- Communicate in the day-to-day and about intimacy. You can and should talk about intimacy with one another.
- Address your crazy busy schedule and lives. Fight and war against the busyness of your schedule. You’re busy, but you need to get busy!
- Work through any unresolved pain and sin in your past and any current addictions. If you don’t, your past can hold you back from experiencing the intimacy you and your spouse desire.
Who are the most sexually satisfied couples?
I would assume the most sexually satisfied married couples are the young couples in their 20’s. They are more fit, have more time, are stronger and more flexible and have greater endurance. They are new to enjoying sex in marriage and often there are no children or teenagers to get in the way!
Answer (and this may surprise you)? Here’s what we know about the most sexually satisfied couples: they are the ones in the most satisfying marriages. This makes total sense for the couples who are married longer and know each other. Things keep getting better, not because they’re more flexible or have greater endurance, but because of Genesis 2:24-25. They are naked with each, both physically and emotionally, and there is no shame. They know the Lord and are safe with each other. There is nothing greater in human relationships than the safety and intimacy of the one flesh relationship.
In his outstanding book, The Meaning of Marriage, Dr. Timothy Keller says, sex “is a sign and seal of our oneness with each other and with God…. It is a reflection of the joyous self-giving and pleasure of love within the very life of the triune God.” Sex is covenant renewal that says I belong completely, exclusively to the other.
I think of friends who have been married 40-50 years to one another. They have decades of knowledge about how to serve and please each other (inside and outside the bedroom), common memories, and a shared faith in God.
So… work on your marriage, communicate with each other, discuss expectations, walk through your pain and addictions, and cut stuff out of your schedule. More than anything, grow in your affection for Jesus and your spouse. The most effective way to have a great “0.625%” of your marriage is to consistently, faithfullly pursue Jesus with your spouse, not just for days or weeks, but for decades. If the first 13.5 years of my marriage are any indication, then I agree. It’s worth it.
- Out of the five barriers discussed in this series, which barrier are you and your spouse most aligned on? Which one is your biggest struggle/barrier to intimacy as God intends and we desire?
- What is one thing you can do to improve the Most Important 0.625% of Your Marriage?
Also in this series:
- Part 1 – The Most Important 0.625% of Your Marriage
- Part 2 – The 411 on the Most Important 0.625%
- Part 3 – The Law of the Farm: Will you Work Hard to Make the 0.625% of Your Marriage Great?
- Part 4 – Unmet Expectations: The Second Barrier to Intimacy as God Intends
- Part 5 – Let’s Talk About Sex: The Most Important Skill Needed for Great Intimacy
- Part 6 – Crazy Busy: The Fourth Barrier to Sexual Intimacy as God Intends
- Part 7 – How to Live in Freedom: Working Through Your Unresolved Pain or Sin