Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A good barometer for a marriage

Steve: For some years now Deb and I have run an annual seminar at King’s entitled Sex, Romance and God. For married couples only, it takes place on a Saturday morning providing protected time for couples to think about their relationship and to talk together, as well as giving Deb and I the opportunity to address the subject of sex and romance in marriage far more openly than would be possible on a Sunday morning. Some of the questions we have faced have been challenging, some have been fun! When we first ran the seminar we had to repeat it the following Saturday in order to meet the demand!

It goes without saying that sex is just one aspect of marriage – but it would be our observation over our years in pastoral ministry that the quality of a couple’s sex life provides a good barometer for the health of the marriage overall. Where a couple are not communicating, or have problems in one part of their relationship, it is almost guaranteed that the problem will be quickly reflected in the bedroom.

As part of that seminar we spend time looking at the differing needs of men and women when it comes to maintaining intimacy in marriage – as a broad generalisation (and there will always be exceptions) women tend to need to feel emotionally connected in order to be physically intimate whereas a man finds emotional connection through sex. Interestingly, men are wired in such a way that they are often more emotionally open after sex. It is important that men and women understand how they each approach the matter of closeness and intimacy and how each defines and expresses it. Communication – both talking and listening - are vital in this understanding.

Two books I would recommend in this area would be:

- Sheet Music by Dr Kevin Leman
- The Five Sex Needs of Men and Women by Gary & Barbara Rosberg