What Are the 7 C’s of Marital Intimacy?
What makes a lasting marriage? Is it love? Is it being so similar you agree on everything? Or is it the opposite, an opposites-attract scenario? Is there a formula you can follow to ensure a long, happy marriage? What about a checklist of requirements you and your spouse have to meet to ensure your relationship will work out?
The truth is, there is no secret recipe to follow, no special ingredient. But lasting marriages do have something in common: intimacy. A strong marriage has good intimacy, and that means it follows the seven C’s.
Compatibility isn’t about having the same tastes as your spouse or being in constant agreement. In fact, having some differences between you two can be good. It’s what is behind the opposites attract idea. But even then, you need to have similar priorities and core values. If some of these are incompatible, you might struggle with your relationship as you move forward.
That doesn’t mean your relationship is doomed if you have slightly different values. These are things that can potentially be worked through. It depends on the relationship, and it depends on the two of you.
A key part of a good marriage is, of course, caring about your spouse. You have to be there for your spouse when they’re struggling and show them compassion. Sometimes, listening to them and believing in them is the only thing you can do, but it’s also the best. Likewise, your spouse has to be there for you when you’re the one struggling. You have to be able to support each other. You have to care about each other. We see this calling for spouses to care for and to love one another all throughout Scripture. Ephesians 4:32 reads: “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” Ephesians 5:25 talks about how husbands are to love their wives as Christ loved the church. As we can see, there is a biblical imperative for both husbands and wives to care for and love one another.
Physical touch is important. We all need it to some extent, though it’s true some of us need it more than others. But that doesn’t make it any less important. Contact doesn’t have to be about sex either, though it can be. But it’s also about the smaller, more casual touches: hugs, holding hands, reaching for your spouse. What matters is that you don’t shy away from each other.
If you want your marriage to last, you have to be committed, and so does your spouse. When the Pharisees came to test Jesus on the issue of marriage, divorce, and remarriage he is recorded as saying: “Moses wrote this commandment for you because of your hardness of heart. However, from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.” Mark 10:9.
Commitment also involves putting in the work to make the marriage last. It’s sticking around when things get tough and persevering. It’s about facing problems together. What commitment means is that you both want this marriage to be permanent, and you’ll put in the work to ensure that it is.
One of the most important parts of making a marriage work is communication. You have to be able to stay on the same page. You need to be able to talk to your spouse and have him or her understand exactly what you mean. In return, you need to be able to listen and understand what your spouse is telling you. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
And if communication is something you struggle with, that’s okay. That’s something you and your spouse can both work on. But you might need outside help for that, a neutral third party.
If that’s the case, then you might want to consider a Christian marriage counseling intensive. It might seem a little daunting but it can help you and your spouse improve your communication skills in ways that might be hard to achieve alone. And if you both want this to be long-term, then why not give it a try?
One of the key components of what it means to be in a connected marriage is to be fully known and fully loved. Connection requires vulnerability. Vulnerability is when you risk revealing your true self. Vulnerability can be difficult and even frightening because there is the possibility you will be rejected and/or abandoned. God models vulnerability especially in and through Jesus. Jesus loved even though he was rejected, forsaken, and abandoned. Likewise, for you to experience all of the joy connection has to offer choosing vulnerability is required. Only then can you be fully known and fully loved,
The most important aspect for an intimate marriage is a relationship with Christ as the center. Jesus, when asked what the greatest commandment is, identified love as the key. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. ‘ This is the greatest and first commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39.
Loving God and loving your spouse who certainly qualifies as being your neighbor is a part of what it means to have a marriage centered on Christ. Praying together, worshipping together, encouraging each other in the faith, and serving together are just a few more ways in which you and your spouse can build your marriage with Christ as the cornerstone.
Reach Out and Get Help For Your Marriage Now…
If you and your spouse are ready to experience growth and healing in your marriage please reach out. We will walk with you through the dark, broken, and scary places of your relationship that are in desperate need of grace and truth. We offer a 20-30 minute consultation to talk about your situation and how we may be able to help. Contact us by calling 623-680-3486, texting 623-688-5115, or emailing email@example.com and mention your interest in a Christian marriage intensive.
Maybe a marriage intensive is not right for you. If you are looking for more traditional weekly marriage counseling for your Christian marriage or even individual counseling to learn how to better deal with trust issues in your marriage please visit our website for Crossroads Counseling, click here.