The Four “C’s” Of Intimacy

by Dr. Peonita Harris, Psy.D., LMFT, CSAT / in , ,

Let’s admit it. Between appointments, scheduling needs, caring for the children and family time, it can be difficult for a couple to share intimate, uninterrupted time together. For most couples, getting in the groove of the every day can come at the expense of a fulfilling sex life. Addressing these four “Cs” is the first step in moving into deeper intimacy with your spouse.

  • Commitment: We throw this C word around a lot, but do you and your spouse actually know what you mean by it? One of the first things I ask every couple I work with is how they define commitment. You’d be surprised at how different the answers I get can be! We all make the vow, “till death do us part,” but what do we do in those in between times. Is commitment just about holding on for dear life until the end? Conversation Starter: Ask your spouse or future spouse how you can show them you are committed. Go the extra step to talk about how that applies to your spiritual lives as well.
  • Communion: A quality relationship doesn’t just happen. It happens because two people spend time together. We were created to be in communion with one another and with God. The premise of the scripture Genesis 2:18 is so that man would not be alone. We each bear the image of God in how we were created. Being in communion with another who bears the image of God is God’s divine plan for you. There has to be time spent with another image bearer so that both parties can feel safe to be known. Without this step of communion (communing with God together and with one another) knowing becomes uncomfortable and shallow.Conversation Starter: How well do you know your spouse or future spouse? How do you see God’s image in them?
  • Connectedness: Satisfying sex is not a foreign concept to the Bible. In Proverbs 5:18-19 it states, “Let your fountain be blessed and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. May her breasts satisfy you at all time; may you be intoxicated always by her love”. The Song of Solomon also mentions satisfying and intoxicating sexual experiences. When reading these passages of scripture, it becomes clear that sex was never intended to be a separate element of our person or behavior. Through yielding and self-expression, being known becomes the opportunity to find oneself in God and in your spouse or future spouse. A well-known psychologist, Erik Erikson’s definition of intimacy is “to know and to be known – to lose oneself and find oneself in another”. This definition indicates a deep level of knowing and connecting. It is important to note that you are losing AND finding yourself in God and in your image bearer, which takes away the shamefulness (Genesis 2:25). Conversation Starter: Are you free to express your God-ordained sexual needs to your spouse without feeling ashamed?
  • Caring for Self: Sometimes we forget that a marriage is a union of two individuals. A healthy marriage requires two healthy people. Health isn’t just physical—sure, our physicality is important. But don’t miss the emotional and spiritual aspects of health as well. Sometimes, it can take seeing a counselor, or even a trusted friend, and getting insight into how you are doing in those areas.Conversation Starter: Do you and your spouse or future spouse have a consistent self-care plan?

We were not meant to walk any journey, including our marriages, alone. If you are interested in support and tools for improving your relationships, I would love to work with you.

Rev. Peonita Harris has been an ordained minister for over 15 years. She has experience in leading women ministries and pastoral counseling ministry. Her goal is to embrace the uniqueness of each client as she assists them to discover and live out their divine purpose. That is why she decided to pursue education in counseling, and is currently a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She has many years of experience in working with blended families and families in transition, as well as working with women struggling with sexual trauma, and couples recovering from infidelity, substance abuse and sexual addiction. Rev. Peonita also works with clergy families and couples surrounding balancing spiritual commitment and family responsibility.

Middler, L.P. (1993 and electronically 2012). Erik H. Erikson and Intimacy vs. Isolation. Critical Mass Publications.

All Scriptural references were taken from the King James Version of The Holy Bible.

About the Author: Dr. Peonita Harris, Psy.D., LMFT, CSAT

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