"Faithfulness." I suppose the word might sound old, boring, and vanilla. Maybe the couple eats at the same restaurant every week and they order the same thing. "Why try something new instead of going back to old faithful?" They don’t need to see the menu. "I’ll have the usual." Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it?
Yet, in a marriage, the word "faithfulness" may actually be what creates the environment for a wonderful life together. A part of that wonderful life includes a couple’s intimacy — sexual intimacy. Faithfulness is a word that finds its color and shape in the very character of God. Now that character is anything but boring. After all, he demonstrated faithfulness through thick and thin. Through the lives of men and women in Scripture, he demonstrated over and over that he would be fully present with his people. Such a constant presence freed his people to abandon themselves to his care, his love, and his will.
A part of faithfulness in marriage is the commitment to mutual service. We can either voluntarily serve and give to our spouses or we can be self-centered. Most of us are well acquainted with this one.
Far too many couples zero in on their "sex life" while they ignore their "life." Most of the time, what would bless couples is to focus on the way they treat one another throughout the day. After all, the most intimate moments of marriage are really a by-product of the way we are treating one another all day long.
- Are we tender with one another? Tenderness all day long goes a long way toward enhancing the most intimate moments of marriage.
- Are we considerate with one another? Consideration is love with its eyes open toward your spouse.
- Are we gracious with one another? Men and women feel safe and secure with spouses who never seek to embarrass or humiliate.
Tenderness, consideration, and graciousness create a powerful atmosphere in a marriage (and family) where the faithfulness of a man and woman to one another is a constant. In such an atmosphere, married people find the freedom to experience real intimacy with one another. Marital sex becomes something very powerful that only matures over time.
Where do you begin as a married man or woman? You might pray about these qualities in your own life: faithfulness, tenderness, consideration, and graciousness. You might pray that God might help you be aware of moments where these qualities are slim if non-existent in your life with your spouse. No, this doesn’t solve everything. However, don’t underestimate the power of this kind of love.