If we’re not careful, we can start believing that God is a supernatural killjoy who wants to rob us of pleasure by limiting our sexual partners. However, the reality is that God wants to enhance our pleasure my limiting our emotional pain. He knows that when two human beings experience sexual intimacy with one another, they form a tight emotional and spiritual bond — a bond that brings excruciating pain when it must be ripped apart.
Marriage is designed such that this painful separation never has to take place. Granted, there are many times when we hurt each other, then we talk it over and walk through the pain together and we heal together and grow together. And throughout this sacred process, sex reinforces our relationship. This kind of sexual intimacy between spouses seeps deep into the fibers of our being, much more so than sex outside of marriage. It’s like the difference between superglue and scotch tape. If our brain is looking for a sense of permanence, safety, and security in order to experience the highest of sexual highs, we need look no further than the person whose head is already on the pillow next to ours.
Seeing our spouse not just as a companion or roommate, but as a sexual soul mate, will require abandoning our “fantasy version” of intimacy and embracing the real deal. Genuine intimacy can best be defined by breaking the word into syllables: in-to-me-see. In other words, “I will let you see into the deepest parts of me without fear or hesitation. I will peer into the deepest parts of you without judgment or condemnation. I will love you as completely and unconditionally as I love myself.”
With this mindset, we can become willing to offer our uninhibited selves completely — looking past pains, warts, scars, blemishes, distorted mental fantasies and all. Don’t feel as if you must get your act completely together before becoming vulnerable in the bedroom. Your spouse needs you now, just as you are so that they can feel the freedom to be exactly who they are. As Gary Thomas, author of Sacred Marriage, explains:
Continuing to give your body to your spouse even when you believe it constitutes “damaged goods” can be tremendously rewarding spiritually. It engenders humility, service, and an other-centered focus, as well as hammering home a very powerful spiritual principle: Give what you have.”1
1) Gary Thomas, Sacred Marriage (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing, 2000), 218.