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Avoiding Distance and Embracing Intimacy in Marriage

Relationships require a certain degree of togetherness to accomplish the purpose for which they were designed. Marriage is definitely no exception to this truth. In fact, marriage relationships require togetherness at the highest level, because marriage is an institution created by God, for His own purposes, and it is a reflection of His character, and in addition to that, marriage also plays an extremely critical role in our society. But, because of the human tendency toward selfishness, this business of togetherness is no small task, it requires a great deal of commitment, hard work, and intense focus! It is an ongoing process that seems to have no end. My experience as a pastor, life coach, a father, and 31 years of marriage has provided a front row seat to hear and see the challenges of marriage relationships and how difficult it can be to stay close to one another.

Marriage relationships are much like the four seasons of each year, they are outside the scope of your control and always changing. And so it is with the seasons of marriage, they are outside the scope of your control and constantly changing. This requires you as a husband or wife to always be committed, communicating, and adjusting. With each passing year, you know there is a Winter, Summer, Spring and a Fall coming, and you also know that it is your responsibility to prepare for the changes each season brings, whatever that looks like. In the marriage relationships we can easily fall in love with the warmth and fun of the carefree Summer season, but Fall comes, it cools things down, changes the color of the landscape. Cooler temps decrease outdoor activities and the change intensifies as each week passes. The changing weather can sometimes accentuate you and your spouse’s differences in preferences. Winter brings a coldness that she hates but he loves, or she hates and he loves. One is melting and the other… freezing, yet the dwell in the same house and sleep in the same bed. These are milder versions of some of the differences couples have to work through, but there are much bigger ones, like parenting, sexual expectations, friend and family norms, and other things, like finances. These issues create stress and strain in marriages, hindering intimacy, challenging communication, compromising commitment, and before long they begin to create distancing. So, you must fight, not with each other, but you must fight for intimacy, fight to get closer, and closer, and even closer!

Here are some questions that could lead to next steps toward Getting Closer in your marriage.

· How close are you two right now…on a scale 1(low)-5(high)?

· What’s between the two of you? What's on that list of things that are getting in the way

of your closeness?

· Who have you invited in for insight, wise input, and the authority to speak into your


Here are a few good questions to ask your spouse.

· What do you want for us this year? What are you hoping for in our marriage?

· What do you need from me this year? How can I help you and how can I help us?

· How are you praying for you personally? What’s on your wish list…things you want from


What if you set a date on the calendar toward the end of the year for a follow up question?How are we closer than we were earlier this year. What positive behavioral changes can we celebrate?

Do your best to stay close in your marriage so you will stay together!

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