I’m sure we can all agree that serving our spouse is important to a healthy marriage. We may serve through doing our part around the house. We may serve by making time for their hobbies and interests. We may serve random acts of kindness. I wanted to write today about a different way of serving your spouse, perhaps one that you’ve never considered as “serving” them. It’s one I didn’t think of as service until the last few years.
Imagine you see someone hungry. They have a real physical need. Worse, they can’t meet the need on their own. It only makes sense to serve this person out of compassion. How would you serve them? There’s only one way. Feed them! Bring them food, invite them to a restaurant, cook for them, etc. They don’t need a hug They don’t need a new smartphone. They don’t even really need prayer. They need food, nothing else will do.
What if it was someone you knew?
Now, what if that person you saw was your own spouse? They have a real physical need. They can’t meet it on their own. But the need isn’t hunger. This very real physical need is for intimacy. The need is stronger in some and weaker in others, but it is real.
And for those committed to monogamy, there’s no other way to meet this need than their spouse. They don’t need to talk to a friend. They don’t need to read a book. They don’t need to go for a walk. They need their spouse, nothing else will do.
So, what do we do?
Recognizing the need for intimacy as a healthy, natural, God-given, real need can help us take a step in the right direction in serving our spouse. It allows us to have compassion. It should motivate us to reach out in love and meet a need that only we can meet for them.
Physical intimacy can be a comfort to a hurting spouse. Whether it’s just been a bad day, or there’s been devastating news, bonding with your spouse can be a mercy. It allows your spouse to connect with another human being in a unique way. It allows them to be wrapped up in tenderness when needed. It can give an outlet to frustration through the passion of love-making. It can even be a way of releasing tension within the marriage itself.
When I began to see this facet of our love-life, it had a great impact on our marriage. There were times that I may not have really been in the mood, but could see that Keelie needed comfort, or passion, or release. I’ve decided to serve her by initiating contact during those times.
I have also found great enjoyment in this truth myself. Keelie has reached out to me in times when I was particularly downtrodden and used intimacy as a merciful act of kindness and love. What a wonderful gift that we have to give to our spouse!
Have you ever thought of physical intimacy this way? Have you ever considered it an act of kindness? Perhaps even an act of mercy and grace? What would you add? Let me know what you think in the comments.
If you liked this post, be sure to check out the one I wrote:
Does My Spouse’s Body Belong to Me?