#12 – Get close, REAL CLOSE!!!
One of the BEST ways to RELISH and ENRICH your relationship is the one precious way that God commanded be shared only between a husband and wife, legally and lawfully married! WOW! What a WONDER!! And what a GREAT WAY to celebrate your marriage – getting really, REALLY close!!
This is the icing on the cake, right? A great marriage relationship, which means a couple being thoughtful, kind, respectful, and caring of one another usually means a GREAT relationship when it comes to physical intimacy. (There can be physical impairments that hinder this relationship now and then – everything from great fatigue to complete malfunction but that is usually rare and far between & to be discussed with a Dr.. But in the cases I’m talking about today, couples will find that when their everyday relationship is going great this private relationship that just the two of you share goes GREAT also!)
Sadly this is FANTASTIC aspect of marriage is one of the top 5 for causing problems in a marriage. It’s right up there with poor communication, money madness, and arguments over parenting for causing strife in a relationship! But at the same time it is easy to see why this would be the case – these things are among the MOST important in our relationships and bring us the MOST happiness. If they are not going right then everything feels really wrong!
Some ways to Celebrate and Strengthen this side of your marriage?!
(Perhaps you have some suggestions that you would like to share?! These ones come from my marriage-therapy classes in college and few family specialists I’ve heard speak since. These are suggestions I feel every couple should keep in mind when wanting a strong, joyful physical relationship!)
– Take the time, Make the time – I know this is easier said than done – but always worth it! What a great investment in your marriage! Being there for each other not only as friends and co-workers at home but as lovers – noone else but you two can be that for each other so be there for your spouse! As one marriage professor always said, “use it or lose it” – good to keep in mind! This same professor also suggested to couples frequently that they put dates on the calendar for intimacy. Sounds ‘programmed’ but gives time for ‘spontaneous romance’ to grow!
– Paying bills together, doing dishes together, sacrificing and raising children together REALLY does enhance physical intimacy! (see ‘Of Souls, Symbols, and Sacraments’ by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland) Not sure? Give it a try!!
– Talk time matters, especially for women I’ve heard. Taking time for pillow talk really is great for what can follow.
– NEVER be critical of your spouse’s body, touch, or your time together. Critical kills physical intimacy maybe even faster than it kills emotional intimacy. Just don’t.
– Instead , build on your spouse’s strengths. This same impressionable professor insisted that couples tell each other what they LIKE in order to get more of those results. It really works. He even suggested couples take a date night to imagine their own romantic scenarios with their spouse then share them with each other – build on those.
– Hard for moms to wind down and focus sometimes, take her away men! Be her hero and whisk her away to romantic dinner or romantic comedy or a downtown walk and talk or even endure pleasantly a shopping trip! Let her get back in tune with her romantic self!
-JFYI, women also need privacy, time, and a romantic setting (like a clean room, candlelight?, music?) It all helps make a great, totally bonding, joyful experience together!)
My brother, a chaplain, asked me a couple years ago, “What is the opposite of love?”
“Hate,” I quickly responded.
“No. Lust,” he firmly corrected me.
I have since then become convinced of his answer. Lust is the counterfeit, the exact opposite of love. It may look like love at first but it has exactly the opposite effect. Instead of building, strengthening, bringing peace and JOY to people’s hearts, it downtroddens, disdains, and eventually destroys relationships, especially those that are most priceless, precious and promising to us.
If we are to speak up against the greatest enemy of our day to a happy, fulfilling, fantastic intimate marriage relationship, it is pornography we must confront. Pornography is the depiction or description of the human body in such a way as to arouse sexual feelings. (ref. lds.org) All sexual relations are to be kept within the bounds of marriage. Anyone who says they believe the Bible to be the word of God must say they believe in this. Anyone who believes in a healthy, happy society must say they believe in this. Immorality, promiscuity, abandonment of women and children only brings heartbreak, poverty and disease and great decline.
We would all be wise to heed this admonition, “You must not fool around with the Internet to find pornographic material. You must not dial a long-distance telephone number to listen to filth. You must not rent videos with pornography of any kind. This salacious stuff simply is not for you. Stay away from pornography as you would avoid a serious disease. It is as destructive. It can become habitual, and those who indulge in it get so they cannot leave it alone. It is addictive. (Ensign, May 1998, p.49) ”
Boyd K. Packer says, “In our day the dreadful influence of pornography is like unto a plague sweeping across the world, infecting one here and one there, relentlessly trying to invade every home, most frequently through the husband and father. The effect of this plague can be, unfortunately often is, spiritually fatal…Pornography will always repel the Spirit of Christ and will interrupt the communications between our Heavenly Father and His children and disrupt the tender relationship between husband and wife.”
Pornography is the plague of our time – killing as many happy homes and promising marriages, deadening as many hearts and sweetest of relationships as the Bubonic Plague of the Middle Ages killed people. ( That was one third of Europe’s population, or 25 million people dead in a 5 year period for any of you that didn’t remember.)
It seems people are as vulnerable to catching ‘pornographic disease’ – aimed specifically at men and the young, as those catching The Black Death in the 1300’s. Pornography, made to arouse the lust of the body, is addictive. It works by overdosing those ‘bonding’ hormones that are to be used within marriage. It not only deadens the brain but also the heart. If fed upon, it makes a natural, affectionate family relationships nearly impossible, one’s sensitivities deadened to true love. This harms the heart and home like the poison of the Plague.
Pornography is made to give intimate thrills ‘for free’ – without any thought of giving or commitment in return. The ‘price’ comes back far more painfully than debt, or even than death, as it robs one of one’s most treasured relationships – reasons for living! (This habit of take for free is also why most certainly regret follows sexual relations outside of marriage and even couples that live together before marriage see more divorces, less satisfaction and more abuse – taking for free what should be bought with lasting commitment and complete loyalty).
The Black Death that worked by making defense cells no longer recognize the enemy as bad so the bacteria cells could grow like crazy and take over everything! They said of the Plague in the Middle Ages some would have lunch with a friend and be meeting friends in paradise by evening. I fear it could be the death of individuals, families, freedoms, even our nation if we don’t recognize pornography as a great and horrid enemy and fight against it!
In some cases of The Black Death would dissolve the lungs. Scary to realize the mind and heart are dissolved in cases with pornography and only a ‘flea bite’, one look toward it, can infect it’s victim. It is indeed the plague of our day.
“Pornography is not some titillating feast for the eyes that gives a momentary rush of excitement. [Rather] it has the effect of damaging hearts and souls to their very depths, strangling the life out of relationships that should be sacred, hurting to the very core those you should love the most.” (Gordon B. Hinckley)
Is there any hope for us as this disease swirls about us?? (We are all exposed to it in someway by some means it seems.)
As I talked with my daughter who had just studied The Black Plague in history class we discussed how long it lasted, how awfully it killed. In Constantinople, according to ancient historians of Justinian days it killed 10,000 people a day! In 1665-66 it plagued London and 1 in 5 residents died. So how did the world overcome the disease? The answer was “good sanitation and pest control” and now the great blessing of “anitibiotics”.
The Black Death is still around, last flair up was in Africa in 2003, but it has been kept at bay by keeping cities clean and keeping pests out, by life-saving antibiotics. I feel the same would be the answer for saving ourselves and families from the sorrowful losses caused by pornography – keep the pests, or pornographic pictures or material out, and keeping our minds and homes clean. Lastly, apply antibiotics when needed – my daughter suggested that is ‘repentence’ turning back to God and good and being healed through the miraculous power of Christ’s atonement. I felt she was very wise for age 12.
I loved this simple statement, “Strangely enough, it may be that the simplest and most powerful prevention and cure for pornography, or any unclean act, is to ignore and avoid it. Delete from the mind any unworthy thought that tries to take root. ” (Boyd K. Packer)
Back with a deep breath to the refreshing thought of just you and your spouse being true to each other!!
CELEBRATE your marriage!- treasure, cherish, and relish the chance to BE CLOSE, REALLY, REALLY CLOSE to the spouse you’ve promised to love.
Good luck with that!
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