James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, said, “Some would say ‘having sex’ and ‘making love’ are one and the same, but there’s an important distinction between the two. The physical act of intercourse can be accomplished by any appropriately matched mammals, as well as most other members of the animal kingdom. But the art of making love, as designed by God, is a much more meaningful and complex experience — it’s physical, emotional, and spiritual. In marriage we should settle for nothing less than a sexual relationship that is expressed not only body-to-body, but heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul.”‘
It’s easy to understand how to connect with your wife body-to-body. Like the song goes, “Just doin’ what comes naturally.” Understanding how to connect heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul is more challenging. These deeper connections are not only possible, but essential in binding two whom God joined together inseparably.
The great “sex”pectations of our society constantly flash the message that being connected body-to-body with another is all about the pleasure that can be gained through the encounter. What if we viewed it as something much more meaningful? For your wife, making love is not an encounter; it is an experience. It’s not something that is turned on for thirty minutes and off for the other twenty-three and a half hours of the day. For her “experience” to be complete, she needs YOU to set the stage for making love by connecting with her heart-to-heart and soul-to-soul throughout the day.
Before you start rolling your eyes and shaking your head, think back to the days before you were married, before you connected body-to-body. Remember the thrill of discovery? The days when you laid the foundation of your relationship by favorite foods, connecting heart-to-heart? Finding out what makes her happy, her dreams for her future, and hopes for her tomorrows, She still wants you to share these things with her, only now on a deeper level. No longer are they just her dreams, she wants her desires to be your dreams too. And she wants YOU to share goals and aspirations that are tucked away in your heart, as well.
One of the most meaningful times of my marriage was when Art made my passion for writing and dream of being a published author, a dream he could dream with me. How thrilled I was to catch him reading my manuscripts not because I asked him to but because he wanted to. How fun it’s been for me to see “our” dreams become a reality. And, oh, how attracted I am to him when he tells me how proud he is of me. When we connect heart-to-heart, I desire to be connected body-to-body.
I also want to connect soul-to-soul with Art. Recently we determined that this area of our marriage needed to be worked on, so we decided to make it a priority to do a nightly devotion in our bed before we turn out the lights. This has been a wonderful way to melt away the stress of our day and soften any quarrels and petty arguments we may have had earlier. Reading a couple’s devotional book or God’s Word and praying together gives us a fresh perspective and helps connect us in that deeper soul level. There’s something about our home at night when the kids are in bed and we are alone reading, talking, sharing, and praying that has made our relationship incredibly intimate.
Why not take an inventory of your intimate relationship with your wife and together answer these questions:
- What is the difference between having sex and making love?
- Is there anything about our intimate life that could be improved upon?
- How can we better connect heart-to-heart?
- What are your dreams for the future?
- Do we regularly connect soul-to-soul?
- How could we make connecting soul-to-soul a priority?
- Is there anything I need to seek your forgiveness for in this area of our lives?
- What do you love most about our marriage?
These are not the kinds of questions you fly through at the breakfast table while wolfing down coffee and toast. Let me encourage you to set aside some time to get away with your wife where the two of you can be alone and uninterrupted. If finances are tight, get creative. Pack a picnic lunch and go to a quiet park in your area. If you can afford to get away overnight, trade baby-sitting with another couple or ask Grandma and Grandpa if they’d like time with their grandkids.
Art and I discovered a wonderful bed-and-breakfast that we steal away to a couple of times a year to have these types of discussions. There are no TVs, just beautifully piped-in music and lots of time for sweet conversation and connection. We leave the ups and downs of life behind as we escape to a little place we are sure must be a little like heaven. We schedule our special time in advance and determine that no matter what deadlines might be pressuring us to delay or cancel our trip, we don’t forgo this investment in our marriage.
From Capture Her Heart by Lysa TerKeurst, Copyright © 2002, Moody Press. Used with permission.