Over the last month, I have been discussing the different aspects of SPICE & Marriage. Dr. Hilgers created SPICE as part of FertilityCare to remind us that our sexuality is multidimensional and has many aspects beyond just the physical act of intercourse.
Our sexuality is Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Creative/Communicate and Emotional/Pyschological.
This week I will discuss the Intellectual aspect of SPICE.
People often think of growing intellectually as individuals. Some may go back to school for an advanced or even new degree. Some may choose to read books on a subject they are passionate about. They may seek out books that help develop a new skill or fine tune a current skill.
But, how does one grow intellectually together as a couple?
My husband and I both love to read. We take time to discuss books we have read individually and share ideas we have gleaned from these books that might help the other.
There have been times when we have chosen a book to read together and setup times to discuss it.
Reading a book together helps keep us accountable to finish the book and to help us gain insight from our each other about what we are reading. We have chosen prayer books, lives of the saints and more recently, books on marriage.
We also discuss current events or what we are passionate about. We talk about our personal and professional dreams and goals and how we plan to reach them.
I love hearing about what my husband is learning in his career and he is very supportive and encouraging with my personal and professional goals. When we take the time to talk about these things, we are no longer individuals with dreams and goals, but a team.
Marriage Encounter is another great resource to help us grow in this Intellectual aspect of SPICE. Marriage Encounter is a retreat for couples that provides tools for better communication. The couples work together to learn new skills that, if incorporated, can greatly improve their marriage.
Family Planning is another area of Intellectual communication that is important in marriage.
Dr. Hilgers recommends couples discuss their priorities with regard to how they plan to use the FertilityCare System. This could apply to all couples, no matter what form of family planning they are using.
Important questions married couples should be asking:
Do we use a family planning method that is respectful of both of us?
Do we use a family planning method that is the healthiest option for us?
Do we use a family planning method that is in line with our faith?
Do we use a family planning method that brings us closer together?
If the answer to all the above is YES, and the couple is using a Fertility Awareness Method, the couple can then ask themselves:
Do we wish another child at this time?
If not, why not?
According to Dr. Hilgers, verbal discussion between the couple regarding their intentions in using the method are very important to developing a positive attitude toward avoiding genital contact.
Understanding how the Creighton Model Fertility System is respectful of our bodies and us can intellectually be supportive to the use of the system and to the decisions to avoid genital contact. This can be accomplished through reading the Creighton Model FertilityCare System User Handbook.
Some other great resources for understanding how a Fertility Awareness Method is the best choice for married couples are books such as:
Life Giving Love by Kimberly Hahn
Good News About Sex & Marriage by Christopher West
Holy Sex! By Greg Popcak
I highly recommend these books to read together and discuss as a couple. Sometimes, learning these things together and talking about them can help bond a couple and solidify their family planning intentions.
As you can see, the Intellectual aspect of SPICE can bring dialogue and reciprocal respect to a marriage. This can then lead to shared responsibility and self-control.
Make time to grow together Intellectually as a couple.
What are some ways you are living out the Intellectual aspect of SPICE? Would you like to learn more about the Creighton Model FertilityCare System and how it can benefit your marriage?