I find that most Christian men love the verse 1 Corinthians 7:5. Even if you don’t recognize the reference I’m sure that you will recognize the passage:
Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (NLT)
In Kate’s post, Emotional Lust, she took another popular verse and applied the intent to challenge wives. If wives should learn to be careful of their emotional influences and lusts, then husbands we need to learn an important lesson to.
Are you depriving your wife of emotional intimacy?
Many men would agree that sexual intimacy is a life blood of their marriage. With it removed their marriage is very tested. (If you doubt this you only have to visit the comment section of our post, The Sexless Marriage Trap) But guys, we have to recognize that emotional intimacy is the life blood of marriage for our wives. We cannot deprive our wives of the very thing that helps them to be connected to us.
I don’t like the idea of rewriting scripture passages, but I don’t think the intention of this verse would be substantively changed if it said, “Husband’s do not deprive your wife of emotional relations, unless you both agree to refrain from emotional intimacy for a time”.
What Is Emotional Intimacy Anyway?
I know that some guys reading this have absolutely no clue what I mean by emotional intimacy. I’ll admit it isn’t as easy to define as sex. There is not a clear-cut, yes it happened moment. However, it is as important to the health of your marriage.
Emotional intimacy is the deep connection you feel with another person when you take time to share your thoughts, ideas, goals, dreams and yes even feelings. I’m sure some men are groaning at that prospect, and some wives are cheering.
Here is the thing it isn’t exactly a simple thing to sit down one evening and “do” emotional intimacy. It’s difficult, time-consuming, and vulnerable.
I think many women think that their husbands are purposely hiding these things from them. They assume that we are filled with all these emotions that we are not sharing. On the other hand I think some guys feel that sharing any thoughts or emotions with their wife is putting “undue burdens” on them. So many times things simply go unsaid. Neither of these thoughts are exactly true. Guys are often not very good at identifying and communicating their emotions, and yet, they are there. (For more on that topic check out Emotional Foreplay)
Guilty As Charged?
So maybe you are reading this and saying, “Yep I have been denying my wife emotional intimacy”. I propose that there are two very different ways most men fall into this trap at some point during their marriage. There could be a lack of emotional intimacy because of a growing distance or as a result of a deliberate denial.
Distance vs. Denial
Distance happens at times in every marriage. Busy schedules, work demands, kids, sicknesses, and a million other things can come at times and take the time from your marriage that should be devoted to creating a space for emotional intimacy. This actually is normal, and as long as you pay attention to it, doesn’t have to be unhealthy. The problem comes when the time of distance extends beyond what is agreed upon. The key here is communication. If you know that you have a crazy busy week, then talk about how and when you are going to create time for your spouse!
The Problem of Denial
Denying your spouse emotional intimacy is a completely different thing. Purposely not sharing your heart for any reason is wrong. Look guys, this verse doesn’t say, “as long as your marriage is going great, make sure you are having sex”, so in our bit of a twist I think we can accurately say the same goes for emotional intimacy. The fact that things are difficult in your marriage is no excuse for denying your marriage emotional intimacy.
Notice I didn’t say, “denying your wife emotional intimacy”, I said “your marriage” because if you believe it or not, you need emotional intimacy too. It is a necessary for all marriages. So denying it only adds to the problems in your marriage.
How emotionally intimate is your marriage right now today?
If it isn’t as close as it could be is that because you have allowed distance to happen or because you are denying your marriage of the intimacy you need?
What are you prepared to do today to bring emotional intimacy back into your marriage?
Leave us a comment!
Photo courtesy of and © photoxpress/Pavel Losevsky