Yes, sex feels good, and it’s one of the perks of marriage. But, sex will not sustain a marriage. You must think beyond the flesh if your marriage is going to withstand the tests of time. In addition to sexual intercourse, there are two other types of intercourse in which married couples should engage if they plan to live happily ever after: emotional intercourse and spiritual intercourse.
Merriam-Webster defines intercourse as “communication or dealings between individuals or groups; interchange of thoughts, feelings, or bodies.” We all know what sexual intercourse entails. And many couples, if they didn’t have pre-marital sex, can’t wait until the wedding night to experience it. I don’t blame them. God created a good thing when he created sex, and He gives us permission to enjoy it within marriage.
Nevertheless, if you ask a couple who has been married for longer than 5 years (maybe even less), they will tell you that sexual intercourse is good, but it is not good enough. Emotional intercourse and spiritual intercourse are just as important, maybe even more so.
This is a sharing of heart and mind. Maybe you have seen a couple who has been married awhile, and you notice that they complete each others’ sentences. Or, they can just look at each other and instantly understand what the other person is feeling. Couples who have emotional intercourse just “get each other.” They realize, too, that it’s better to be open and vulnerable in a relationship than closed and suspicious. When you have emotional intercourse, you don’t mind shedding tears together. You enjoy cuddling and kissing without taking it to the next level. You take time for dinner dates and enjoy each others’ company. Emotional intercourse involves laughter, lots of laughter; tears, lots of tears; and forgiving, lots of forgiving. So many people have been abused emotionally that they are afraid to have emotional intercourse with their spouse for fear of being hurt again. But, if you are going to have a long and joy-filled marriage, you have to seek help and heal from emotional scars of the past. Because, in all honesty, there will be times when you just don’t feel like sexual intercourse, but the emotional intercourse will sustain you until the feelings for sex return.
Spiritual intercourse has to do with being equally-yoked with your spouse; or, in other words, being in agreement about the importance of God, His word, and your reliance on Him in the marriage. Spiritual intercourse looks like a couple praying together, worshiping together, giving and serving together, praising together, reading the Bible together, and so on. Whatever you do to grow closer to God and to each other is an aspect of spiritual intercourse.
Spiritual intercourse, in my opinion, is the most powerful kind of intercourse because it’s the closest to God, who is a Spirit. When your physical bodies are tired or just unable to engage sexually, and when you’re too angry or hurt to speak to each other, you can call on your spirit to remind you why you fell in love in the first place.
A lot of relationships have problems because they start off heavy with the sexual, skim the surface of the emotional, and rarely ever reach the spiritual. Or, if they do touch on all 3, they fail to nurture them consistently. And when you don’t nurture something living, it dies. Which is the precise reason why it’s important to have this discussion and to be intentional about growth and balance. More of one type of intercourse and none of the other is not good either.
So, a worthwhile discussion to have with your significant other is about the importance of these 3 types of intercourse. Which one do you need more of? Which one causes you the most anxiety? How do you rank them? Whatever you all decide as a couple will be unique to your union. No two marriages are same. What is similar, however; is the fact that sexual intercourse will not sustain a marriage. You must bond beyond the flesh if you want a marriage that stands the tests of time.
BMWK — What is the importance of these 3 types of intercourse to you? Is there another type of intercourse we can add to the list? Please share.