Over the years, I have been asked how is it that my husband and I have been married for so long and are still very much in love. In other words, what is the secret sauce for a great marriage? First, I would say that for us it is our faith in God that has been the foundation for our marriage. He is the bedrock and centerpiece that has kept us in the midst of our ups and downs. One of my favorite scriptures is Ecclesiastes 4:12(b) which states “a cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart” . For us, this scripture means that with God and our willingness to work for a happy, strong, and thriving marriage, it cannot be easily broken. All marriages take work and I believe it will work, if you work it!
However, in addition to our faith, we have also discovered that there is another very important ingredient to creating a successful marriage. SO WHAT IS THE SECRET SAUCE FOR A DELICIOUS MARRIAGE? The secret sauce is INTIMACY! Intimacy is nurturing each other in those places that no else knows about. It is where deep sharing takes place between you and your spouse that allows you two to be real and to become transparent and vulnerable. In other words, it is where both of you become “NAKED” and “NOT ASHAMED”!
The main ingredients to experience this kind of intimacy are what I call “ESP”. ESP stands for emotional, spiritual and physical intimacy. These three ingredients are key for the making of a very delicious and satisfying marriage!
Here is a description of ESP:
EMOTIONAL INTIMACY – is the heart to heart exchanges of feelings, thoughts, and actions that allow for equal expression and acceptance from both partners. It is being able to feel safe and to know that what is shared will not be used against them.
SPIRITUAL INTIMACY – is joining the deepest part of each others inner self or spirit to spirit. This is not only where the “love affair” of the spirit relationship in marriage abides, but it give the meaning and purpose to the “Why” of marriage. It also provides the essence of life to the relationship because it is connected to the Creator of Life.
PHYSICAL INTIMACY – is the giving and the receiving of sexual love and affection in a satisfying and fulfilling way.
So what are some “Tips and Ideas” for adding more ESP in your marriage?
Tell and show each other that you love one another everyday.
Make a commitment to listening to one another without interrupting.
Learn each other’s Love Language to make sure you fill up the emotional bank. (Read - The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman)
Pray with and for one another daily.
Go on a spiritual retreat or get away together.
Read a couple’s devotional together.
Have sex often!
Describe what you love about each other’s body.
Give a great body massage from top to bottom.
You can find more tips and fresh ideas in my book ~ The ESP Marriage: Develop True Intimacy in Your Marriage by Building a Powerful EMOTIONAL, SPIRITUAL, and PHYSICAL Connection.
REFLECTION: It has been said that Intimacy means “Into-Me-You-See”. What are you willing to let your spouse see regarding who your really are?
SUCCESS ACTION: Think about what you want your marriage to look like 5, 10 or even 30 years from now. Discuss and decide with your spouse what you are willing to do to have to have a strong ESP Marriage?
So you want to have a “Mmmm, Mmmm Good” marriage that is long lasting and fulfilling, invest in each other now by pulling out those ingredients that are within your heart to serve up a tasty delight of intimacy!
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