Thriving Marriages = Ways to Increase Spiritual Intimacy
Ways to Increase Spiritual Intimacy
Date: 1/6/2021 3:28:38 AM ( 50 d ) ... viewed 205 times
Thriving Marriages 7 Ways to Increase Spiritual Intimacy
So, how do you win over lust for the sake of your spiritual and marital health?
Here are the basics:
Own the responsibility for your choices and agree with God about the sinful nature of lust. Confess it and claim the forgiveness God promises in 1 John 1:9.
Take an inventory of your past for sexual abuse or premature exposure to sexually explicit material and ask God to give you peace and break the bondage that those experiences still hold on you.
Open up to a godly friend – one who will love you without judgment but also be honest with you without reservation. Confession to God brings forgiveness, but confession to others is required for healing.
Talk to your spouse. Whether it’s an affair, a p o r n o g r a p h y addiction, or out-of-control lustful thinking, she deserves to know. Intimacy is the goal of marriage, and it’s impossible without honesty and transparency.
Get counseling and/or coaching depending on the severity of the problem. There is never shame in seeking the healing help of others.
Commit to purity. Repeatedly. Claim the freedom and victory that are yours in the atoning sacrifice of the cross, in the power of the resurrection, and in the company of the Holy Spirit.
Take the escape. God promises in 1 Corinthians 10:13 that he will never allow more temptation than you can, in his power, withstand. And, he will always make a way for you to escape. Always.
Runaway from sexual temptation. Don’t fight it. Don’t subject yourself to it or open the door for it. Runaway! You’re strong only when you lean into God’s strength, and he delivers you by providing a route of retreat.
Cultivate a softened heart toward people, especially women. Re-humanize the women you encounter by remembering they are souls loved and cherished by the Father.
Stay close to Jesus. When you draw close to God, he will draw close to you.
By the way, it’s entirely possible that your lust is toward other men. Everything I’ve said still applies. The desire and attraction, even for someone of the same gender, isn’t sin in and of itself. But when the temptation comes to dwell or to act on those thoughts, take the escape and stay committed to transparency with the people close to you who will love and protect you.
A Word to Wives
Wives are, more often than not, taken by surprise when the lust issue comes up. Most women think differently than most men and your initial reaction will likely be a question along the lines of, Is this my fault?
I understand why you would ask that question.
It’s easy to feel that it’s a comparison issue. But it’s really not. To hear this from the heart of a man – of a husband who has had this very tough conversation with his own wife: It’s NOT your fault.
It’s not about how you look. It’s not about how much sex you have or don’t have (again, if this were the problem, single men are toast). It’s about his choice to allow his desires to grow into lust.
While it is not your fault that your husband struggles with lust, you can help him, if you choose to show grace (and I hope you will). How?
Listen to his confession.
Hurt. It’s okay to hurt. Don’t ignore it.
Be honest about how it all makes you feel.
Set some boundaries with sexual intimacy to protect your feelings, while you work through it.
Talk to someone – a female friend or a counselor.
Ask God to heal you, over time.
Forgive him. Not for his sake, but for yours. And remember how much God has forgiven you.
Forgive him again when the resentment creeps back in – and it will.
Expect honesty and transparency. Expect him to be accountable for his behavior.
Love him, unconditionally. This is the hardest part, but it’s what you must do if your marriage is going to make it.
The conversation about sexual lust brings most marriages into valleys and shadows for days, weeks, or months. It’s not easy. It won’t be solved by this blog post, but maybe this is a starting place. As you walk through the valley remember this: there is hope. There is always hope. There is a Savior.
His name is Jesus. He died for the sexually impure and his grace makes us clean and whole again. Keep running to Jesus!
This article on sexual lust originally appeared here and is used by permission.
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