Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sex, Intimacy or Both?

Last week we asked if it was "Love or malaria?". Today I ask if it's sex or intimacy?

It's early on a cold Saturday morning, seems like everyone on your BBM list has the pm "weather for two" hubby holds you gently and your lips touch but instead of letting go and giving in, your mind wanders to the bills, the kids, the bills, your ageing parents, the bills, cooking, the bills, school fees and those bills. It's over! You get up, tie the last born to your back and start sweeping the house.

It's a cold morning (it doesn't have to be a cold morning), Hubby holds your hand and you ask him about that business deal he is working on. He suggests things you could do to help your project for single mums in church. As you look into the eyes of love, you hold his hand and speak a Psalm of victory over him. "...You welcomed him with rich blessings and placed a crown of pure gold on his head..." He bows his head and whispers "Amen" at the end of every sentence"

Genuine intimacy is the unique bond between two people that links them together emotionally, spiritually and sexually, they become soul mates. The meshing of these elements forms the cornerstone of a monogamous relationship. It also explains why without it there is a higher possibility of infidelity. suggesting that successful and healthy relationships require more than sex to function.

Sex is a delicacy. It is an important issue in marriage The Bible instructions on marital duty in 1 Corinthians 7:1-6 allows no excuses for low libido in either husband or wife.

This is actually embedded in our culture as Africans our mothers prayed for their husbands, praised and pronounced blessings over them. When he succeeded in his endeavors it was seen that her "legs were good in his house". Women from Rivers State were taught how to please a man. For many couples, sex is like a glue.The right use of it can actually promote marital harmony while the misuse can mar the marriage. It is described as the tonic of marriage. It revamps the stamina of men and gladdens the hearts of women too. It plays vital roles in marriage e.g. it enhances good communication between husband and wife. Sex is also a destroyer,where misused, abused and mismanaged. One must take extreme caution because sex has such an extraordinary power even though this generation makes it look like its ok to have sex with anyone as long as you both share chemistry. We must adopt the perspective that marriage is more than the flesh. Jews practice something called Family Purity.

Basically, for about 12-14 days each month, Jewish husbands and wives avoid sex (remember there is a week in a month that the woman would be passing through the red sea) . They don’t physically touch--but they touch each other emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. At the end of each period of separation the wife purifies herself by, immersing herself in the water, as a spiritual prelude to the return of physical intimacy.

Ok, obviously this is not for everyone but it does remind us that there is more to intimacy that is not physical. Physical intimacy is healing and brings a closeness that absolutely nothing else can be compared to, but inspiring each other, worshiping, fasting together, as well as merging our concerns and goals and bringing them before God together, are all form of intimacy that strengthens a marriage also.
As human beings, we are hard-wired to crave a special sense of intimacy with another human being. That is why people who are in a sexless marriage feel lonely, sad, depressed and emotionally unfulfilled; it ain't easy. Attaining "genuine intimacy" as defined above is laborious and demanding. It amounts to a re-creation of both parties. Letting go of well-entrenched behavior and being more open minded. But the result, after unrelenting attention and efforts by both parties, is grand and enviable!

Ijeoma Olujekun

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