And the Two Become One Flesh: True Intimacy in Marriage

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During the follow-up sessions of the Creighton Model program, I ask my clients 2 questions.

  • What is genital contact?
  • What is sexual contact?

This often results in puzzled looks from the woman or couple.  Their response is usually “isn’t genital contact and sexual contact the same thing?”

This is a common misconception, especially given how sexually driven our culture has become these days.  In our culture genital contact and sexual contact mean the same thing.

But, is that the truth?  Is that how our sexuality was intended to be lived out?

The answer is found in how we view intimacy.  Our culture would have us believe that genital contact is the only way we become intimate with our spouse.   We hear in movies or tv shows how a couple was intimate with one another.  They are referring only to genital contact.

If our culture is correct, and you only have to be physical to be intimate with someone, then prostitutes experience intimacy on a daily basis. 

This idea of intimacy sells man and woman short.  It is a shallow view of sexuality and how God designed it to be.

Our sexuality is so much more than just our genitals.  I have talked about how our sexuality is Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative/Communicative, and Emotional/Pyschological

True intimacy comes from being emotionally vulnerable to the other person.  When I think of my own marriage, I think of how my husband knows the good, the bad and the ugly about me.  He knows things about me that no one else knows. 

He knows things that I do not want the rest of the world to know.  I share my most intimate thoughts, feelings and dreams with him.  This is very difficult to do.  Bearing your soul to another requires openness and trust.

I feel more vulnerable when I bear my soul to my husband than when I am naked in front of him.  The opportunity for rejection of my feelings and dreams is much more frightening to me.  When the love, acceptance and support come instead of rejection, we experience a new level of closeness.

This new level of closeness results in a more profound physical experience with one another.  When we experience our spouse’s support and love outside of the bedroom, the physical love-making experience becomes that much more enjoyable.

Our sexuality is meant to be self-giving.  This self-giving transcends the bedroom when we give of ourselves emotionally and bear all of ourselves to our spouses.  Likewise, when we accept our spouse for who they are and where they are at, we are loving them with our whole being.

When we give of ourselves in all aspects of our marriage and fully accept our spouse, then we are experiencing the intimacy that God intended for us as a married couple.  God wants us to experience the level of closeness and bonding that reminds us of the words “and the two become one flesh”. 

This is our goal.  Will it be attained overnight?  No.  We take baby steps every day to build this level of intimacy.  We are a work in progress.