Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Relationships Take Work Series (Developing Trust & Intimacy)

This is the fifth in the series of several posts I am writing on relationships, in particular, marriage relationships.
To read the other posts go here

In today's post I am covering two vital and necessary principles of marriage: Trust and Intimacy

The Need for Trust

 "I am black but lovely, O daughters of Jerusalem, Like the tents of Kedar, Like the curtains of Solomon. Do not stare at me because I am swarthy, For the sun has burned me. My mother’s sons were angry with me; They made me caretaker of the vineyards, But I have not taken care of my own vineyard" (Song of Solomon 1:5-6).

Everyone wants acceptance. Low self-esteem can hinder the confidence in oneself.  Relationships enable a person to see him/herself from a different perspective. Loving relationships enable a person to look through the other person’s eyes at his own life and get a more accurate picture.

The elements of trust include:
¨ An acceptance of each other the way they are
¨ A perpetual stream of kind words
¨ Exchanges of affectionate words
¨ A man’s selective choice of the woman
¨ A treasuring of her above all others
¨ A surrender of self to become ‘one’ with the other
The seeds of trust that are planted early on must continue, even through spring showers, summer storms and bleak winters. If you can so treat and serve your spouse before your marriage, you can afterwards too. The depth of intimacy, however, can and should grow.
Key elements to a growing relationship:
  1.   Humility: Accept my faults and apologizes.
  2.   Appreciation: Receives love as undeserved.
  3.   Accepted: At peace, unthreatened, calm and joyful. 
  4.   Responsive: Responds to love by loving gestures.
  5.   Trusting. Believes the other person really cares .
  6.   Secure: Delights in partner’s love and affection. 

The Path toward Intimacy

 “My beloved is mine, and I am his.”         (Song of Solomon 2:16)
“I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Solomon 6:3)
“I am my beloved’s and his desire is for me.” (Song of Solomon 7:10)
(1)  Intimate marriages are not foremost about us. As long as we focus on what we have or want, our old identity (self) is showing through. In marriage our focus on self must be lost. We must put away ‘our own’ life. Just as the “He is mine” faded away, so we no longer talk about rights and make demands. Marriage is not about us getting our fair share or rights. One great step toward intimacy comes when there is a loss of focus on self. It is only then that we can focus on what God has called us to do: serve the other.
(2)  Intimate marriages are about devotion and focused care for the other. There is a response mechanism that goes beyond our mere responsibilities–the rules. There is a thrill about serving each other in the capacities in which God has called us. Yes we are serving our spouses, but there is a deeper commitment to making them greater people. There is the sense of God’s calling to better our partner through our acts of devotion.
(3)  Intimate marriages are about seeing that there is nothing greater than being caught up in the other’s love. It takes different forms for man or woman. The man delights in loving his wife unconditionally. The wife takes great joy in the awesome knowledge of his love for her and responds with a deeper devotion. They are different and yet the same. In both cases great fulfillment comes through the other’s commitment.

 A few words about physical intimacy:
 The meaning of ‘oneness’ can be  understood by the words used to describe physical intimacy or the sexual union. The Hebrew word yadah has many usages including: to know, learn to know; perceive; find out and discern; discriminate, distinguish; know by experience; recognize, admit, acknowledge, confess; consider and sexual union.

"Now the man had relations (literally ‘knew’) with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a manchild with the help of the LORD" (Genesis 4:1)

What should the sexual relationship be like? Physical intimacy must be built on the foundation of a good marriage relationship, and not shared prior to the commitment of marriage. We are not just speaking of consent or willingness, but a heart united in the ‘knowing’ of each other. The couple reveals their soul to one another, something that cannot be reversed or undone.  It is a part of you that you cannot take back from or give to another, without repercussions. It is a deeper and more beautiful expression of the union they already have. This is why it is so important to wait to consummate the relationship until the marriage vows are made. Without that eternal commitment, the physical sharing becomes just a goal or selfish action.

The married couple, then, is not just revealing their bodies to each other but their hearts as well. If a couple wants true intimacy, they need to deepen their relationship with the other. They need to ‘know’ each other in their different spheres of life.

It is unfortunate that not everyone has a truly intimate relationship based on a deep commitment to each other. Some people believe that the sexual act is for self-fulfillment. The sexual act is designed to fulfill your mate. We are to focus on the other’s needs rather than on our own. And as in all of life, as we love others, God will take care of us.

Genuine love is greatly needed in bed. Patience, kindness, and forgiveness will create wonderful times together. Only with God’s love, can the husband be willing to go without sex if necessary. Only God’s graciousness will allow the wife to open her body to her husband even if he has recently treated her unkindly. The husband is not to rush for his pleasure and ignore her needs. Women respond more slowly. So husbands need to take things slower so that he can focus on her needs. The wife must also be aggressive in pleasing her husband. They need honest and true conversation combined with cushions of love to reach the maximum feelings of delight.

We are here to serve: our spouse, our children and others. We need to rigorously live by God’s standards rather than our feelings. The only way to start going that way is for you who are responsive to God to begin being fully faithful to your spouse. Make no excuses. Pray and fast if needed. Step by step, as our hearts unfold, the beauty of marriage blossoms.

Sharing the many blessings God has bestowed upon me! Continuing in the Joy Dare!

3 gifts reflecting
647. Reflecting on Matthew 5:5 - Blessed are the meek!
648. Reflecting on Proverbs 3:5-6 - Trust
649. Reflecting on Isaiah 26:3 - PEACE

3 gifts fragile
     650. A pencil starfish I recently bought.

651. A sand dollar my mom gave me, of which she picked up from a beach in Florida.    
652. A seahorse from a vacation we went on several years ago.

A gift cloth, steel, wood
653. Cloth - A new t-shirt for this lake-loving girl(I love the saying on the front)

654. Steel - My car! Modern technology allows me so much luxury and the ability to go anywhere!
655. Wood - The solid wood structure that forms my house.

3 gifts moving: (These three are ultimately my list of "Ugly beautiful" things, too, which are the next three thing on my list)
656. My heart, as I open it more to knowing God.
657. My desire and effort to continually praise the Lord, no matter what.
658. My willingness to not be so hard-headed and resentful about God's timing.

3 gifts “ugly beautiful”
659. Admitting that maybe my goals and perception of what God wants for me are different than what He truly has planned for me.
660. Patience - I know it's a virtue, but Oh, so difficult!!
661. Putting all in God's hand and learning to lose the grip of my control over things.

3 gifts orange
662. The glow of the evening sky
663. "Orange Glo" furniture polish - smells so good when I polish the furniture with it!
664.  Pumpkins in the fall

3 gifts in dirt
665. New growth in the springtime - blooming flowers, budding trees, and green grass.
666. God's great landscape, created by rocks, stones, and small pebbles.
667. The miracle of planting a seed there and seeing it turn into something beautiful.

A gift given, made, sacrificed
668. Given - My life given to God! May He allow me to always walk in His love and mercy!
669. Made - the warm quilt that covers the guestroom bed.
670. Sacrificed - My selfishness, in order to raise a family.(Definitely worth it, though)

Linking over at these blog hops:
Multitude on Mondays (A Holy Experience)


  1. Love number 667.. yes, seeds growing- truly miraculously! Seeds of kindness, seeds of grass, seeds of faith... thanks for stopping by the Overflow! this week.

    1. Oh, I found that so inspiring, too, Alicia! Without the rich soil and dirt, we would not have the beauty we see with out eyes, touch with our hands and feet, or take in with our hearts!! So glad to talk with you!

  2. I'm stuck on the 'thrill of serving one another' phrase. I have lost that thrill and need to get it back. Thank you for this reminder.

    1. That's the thing about marriage, Shanda. It's a never ending work in progress, no matter how long you've been together! I'm praying you seek and find that thrill again, where your desire is fully in your husband and serving his needs!!

  3. Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so glad, you came by, Denise! Have a blessed and productive week!!


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