“Drink waters out of thine own cistern and running waters out of thine own well… Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth… and why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, and embrace the bosom of a stranger?” (Proverbs 5:15-20).
God’s plan is for the husband to face the world as the provider and protector of his family. When he is bruised, God has also provided him a sanctuary–the arms of his loving wife. A husband must look forward to coming home to the keeper of the nest and the protector of the family atmosphere – his wife.
His wife was to be his chief source of support and his main encourager. As in Proverbs 31, she is to find her fulfillment through the home and through the success of her husband. His accomplishments are really due to the efforts of both of them.
Within this loving atmosphere, true mutual support and true intimacy can develop. In this setting, the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of both can be met.
Today, in most marriages, both spouses are out working and no one is making sure there is a sanctuary, a nurturing atmosphere for the entire family. When both come home stressed out to face an evening of housework, there is no emotional energy left to nurture the wounded spirit of the other. Therefore, little misunderstandings go unresolved and both withdraw within.
When our emotional needs are not met at home, there is a temptation to look for someone at work who will listen to us and who seems to understand us.
Sharing the intimate frustrations of our marriage with a member of the opposite sex may lead to an intimate relationship based upon fulfillment of emotional needs. Emotional relationships may then lead to physical intimacy. Coffee breaks shared with caring strangers are not harmless. A touch on the hand and a friendly hug can turn into a raging sexual affair.
A number of years ago, after one of my seminars on this subject, a brother came up to me and shared his story. He was active in the church–in fact he was in charge of the music ministry. One night he had to work late at the hospital where he was an administrator. When he was ready to go home it was already dark so he offered to walk his colleague to her car in the parking lot. He told me that she just took his arm — and he lost it and an affair began. He told me of the anguish of having to face his wife in the Pastor’s office. He prayed through and his wife forgave him — but his ministry was never the same.
With the majority of our Christian mothers and wives now in the job market, it is no wonder that twenty percent of our Christian marriages are on the verge of divorce. With both married partners working, we may be meeting the financial needs of the home to the starvation of the intimate emotional needs of both.
Remember: “The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment.” Luke 12:23
Are you meeting the intimate emotional needs of your partner? If you are not, do not be surprised if someone else is. Remember, emotional intimacy precedes physical intimacy.
Are you actively attempting to share more than the house with your spouse? Never take your partner for granted.
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