Have you ever felt Satan’s attacks on your intimacy in marriage? I have seen this in both the emotional and the physical aspects of my marriage.
Scripture is clear about the importance of intimacy in marriage and Satan knows this. He knows the power of a truly intimate marriage and because of this, he is going to try to tear it apart.
So today let’s talk about how to stand against Satan’s attacks on intimacy.
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There are three powerful types of intimacy in marriage: physical, emotional and spiritual. All of these work together to build a strong marriage. A marriage that relies heavily on one for too long will most certainly feel out of balance.
I’m not sure about you, but there have been times where I’ve struggled to be intentional about intimacy in one of these areas.
There are times, however, where focusing on one area above the rest is important. My husband and I have had to step back from physical intimacy or emotional intimacy at times in order to focus on growth or healing in different areas of our marriage or personal lives.
We had to approach these times prayerfully in order to be living out God's call on each of our lives.
Today, I want to dive into different ways that Satan attacks these areas of intimacy and how we can be intentional about standing against his attacks in each area.
Busyness as a Barrier
How many times have you felt too busy for physical intimacy? Or how many times have you been too busy to slow down and truly connect emotionally? And I’m betting if you’re anything like me, taking time to pray and read Scripture together is so hard to make time for.
It’s okay to be busy, but Satan can take that busyness and build it up as a barrier to intimacy in marriage.
When busyness gets in the way of what is most important in life, that is when it is time to take a look at your life and your priorities and consider healthy boundaries.
Our marriages must be a priority. When this slips, Satan has a foothold. God calls us to love Him as our first priority and then throughout Scripture it is evident that loving our spouses should be next.
Marriage is the foundation for the family. It sets an example to your children and to those around you.
When the marriage falls apart, brokenness and sin enter in.
Take time to consider your priorities today. Has Satan inched his way into your marriage in this way? If he has, how can you make your spouse a priority?
When Complacency Keeps Us
It can be so easy to get settled into a routine and, as I like to call it “living life together,” that we forget to pursue intimacy with each other.
Over the years, my husband’s interests and mine have merged in many ways. We love living life together. We have fun getting house projects done, tending to the garden together, working on growing this blog and my other online endeavors and raising our little guy.
We really enjoy all of these things, but if we aren’t careful, these things become all that we enjoy together and we forget to pursue deeper and more meaningful intimacy with each other.
And while this can be okay for a while, eventually we will begin to see complacency settle onto our marriage.
I’ve seen complacency defined as “uncritical satisfaction” and I love this. We can get stuck in this lack of growth and after a while we begin to feel its effects.
Personally, I begin to feel unloved and unpursued. And if this goes unaddressed, resentment begins to take root.
When we allow our marriages to get to a complacent state, it will often lead to finding that pursuit in other areas. We all want to be pursued and respected.
Have you taken time to pursue your spouse lately? Or have you, like I have so many times, allowed complacency to keep you from the intimacy a marriage needs to thrive?
Practical Ways to Pursue Intimacy
I find that I gravitate more towards emotional intimacy than physical whereas my husband is the opposite. I think that both are equally important. Today I want to talk about how we can pursue each of these types of intimacy in marriage.
Pursuing Emotional Intimacy
We’ve struggled in this area because naturally I liked to talk a lot and my husband just didn’t. He never liked deep conversations and so when I’d really press for them, he would end up exhausted and I’d end up feeling unloved.
5 years later, we’ve gotten much better at this. I now find him initiating conversations. I believe this is because we are learning how to pursue emotional intimacy together. And I think that this is going to look different for every marriage.
It is so important to learn your spouse. Learn how they relate, what opens them up and what shuts them down. What makes them feel loved and respected.
Over the next few days and weeks consider these questions:
What makes your spouse open up?
What makes your spouse shut down?
What makes your spouse feel loved and respected?
What things does your spouse tend to talk most about?
What is your spouse’s love language?
Considering their love language, what can you do to make your spouse feel loved?
Where/what is your spouse’s favorite date?
These are just a few questions to get you started on pursuing emotional intimacy with your spouse. One thing that I have seen countless times is: emotional intimacy drives a woman to desire sex whereas sex is what opens a man up to emotional intimacy.
This is something that my husband and I must balance. At times, we must be open to pursuing one or the other first. And as we do, intimacy grows.
Pursuing Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy is so much more than just sex. There is a lot that goes into physical intimacy and this also requires understanding how your spouse works.
We have only been married 5 years and I already see amazing transformation in how well we pursue each other in this way.
There have been times, however where we have struggled with this. I have dealt with a lot of hurt from my past and this has had its impact. I’m so grateful for a husband who has been loving and has helped me to pursue healing.
If you have hurts from your past that impact your physical intimacy, I would greatly encourage you to pursue healing. I fully understand that it can seem more appealing to ignore these things, but they will impact your physical intimacy in big ways.
I think that as a woman, I often have to be more intentional about pursuing physical intimacy than emotional. It just doesn’t come as naturally to me (and that’s okay!).
It is important to have times where you both are 100% on board but at other times, one may need to put in more effort to pursue this physical intimacy.
I loved the book The 5 Sex Needs of Men and Women as a great reminder of specific things that men and women both need as you pursue physical intimacy.
As women (especially as moms), I think it is important to remember that we have to set aside time to allow for this physical intimacy. We have to be ready to stay up a little later or find ways to make ourselves feel attractive so that we can be in the right mindset. And as men, I think it is important to remember that your wife needs to feel pursued. A little romance probably won’t hurt 😉
Physical intimacy, like emotional, is something that we must pursue together. If you are struggling with this, consider talking about it with your spouse. Here are a few questions that can get your conversation started:
How can I make you feel more loved?
What can I do to help you have more time for physical intimacy?
What makes you feel pursued or romanced?
Are there any hurts that are standing in the way of physical intimacy? (this one is a lot more sensitive and personal, so it may be something to ask yourself or ask only if your spouse is comfortable)
Pursuing Spiritual Intimacy
I am addressing this one last, but I do believe it is a powerful foundation to all intimacy.
Spiritual intimacy is often something we put off. It’s easy to forget about or not make time for because we can often get caught up in our personal spiritual walk and forget to pursue God together.
Some of the ways that we can pursue spiritual intimacy are:
Pray for each other
Pray together - even if it is just a few minutes a day
Read Scripture together - even if it’ just a chapter a day
Satan is going to attack intimacy in your marriage. He is going to try and web his way into at least one of these areas. The biggest thing you can do to prevent it is to be aware and to pray that God would reveal him at work in your marriage.
Ask God to remove the veil that Satan hides behind and to give you gentleness as you work through this with your spouse.