Friday, March 22, 2013

Intimate and Unbroken Fellowship

This week's post is coming later than usual. I apologize. It has been a challenging week. This is a two-fold message. The first part is a preview of a post coming soon.  
The second part is a rewrite of an article I wrote in June 2011 and shared by email with couples on my mailing list then. I found the article while I was looking back to where I started from.

It is two years since I started writing actively.

A series of events these past couple of weeks ignited an appreciation of how God blesses us with gifts to be used for His honor and glory. As I reflected on how far God has brought me in this journey — writing to Enrich Lives and to Inspire Hope,  I considered my small beginnings, I could not but give thanks to God Who does not despise small beginnings.

I appreciate God for the gift of writing and what God has chosen to do with it in my life and in the lives of those He brought my way. My heart overflows with gratitude for the many helpers He brought my way in the process. I will put a hold on this for now until I bring you "Right Where You Are."

I was extremely blessed in the course of meditating and researching on a topic I was writing on a couple of years ago, that is, “The Promise (gift) of His Abiding Presence." It was about dwelling in God's presence, and having an intimate and unbroken fellowship with Him, our Saviour Jesus Christ and the Holy  Spirit.

Whilst reflecting on this subject, it was clear to me that God also designed and desired that couples should have an intimate and unbroken fellowship with one another and together with Him.

Building an intimate relationship requires closeness — dwelling in each other’s presence. Closeness deepens emotional intimacy, which is a God-given desire in every woman. I can attest to the deep longing of every woman for a deep emotional intimacy. Sometimes, this may be challenging for many reasons including distance especially for couples who have to live apart. But even in such circumstances, couples can still creatively maintain a degree of closeness that keeps their relationship vital and their fellowship unbroken.

In the series I ran last month — Couples Or Co-Tenants, we can infer that it is possible for one to be lonely in marriage even though you live together. So being physically together or sharing same space, though an essential ingredient, does not guarantee close and intimate relationship.

It is what you do together, how you share time and space in fellowship with one another, that ensures a deep and intimate relationship.

© Duccio |
Growing close together like an ivy beautifully entwined around a tree amplifies the degree of intimacy we ought to seek in our marriage. It is at this intimate proximity, when all the fences are down, we identify and lovingly close up the cracks in our relationship.

Jim Mueller wrote in Incredible Intimacy: “Over the last several years, our marriage has evolved into a deeper partnership, with increased trust, confidence and security. Our communications and conflict resolution skills have improved. We selflessly serve each other, always looking for creative ways to express our love and foster romance.”

Take note of these key phrases:
  • Our marriage has evolved into a deeper partnership
  • Increased trust, confidence and security
  • Our communication and conflict resolution skills have improved
  • We selflessly serve each other
  • Always looking for creative ways to express our love and foster romance
Sit back for a moment and ponder a little bit on these facets of your relationship with your spouse. How have you fared? Can you identify one or two areas where you can improve and do better? I hope this will motivate you to take your fellowship with your spouse to a deeper and more intimate level.

The more you dwell in God's presence, the more you will desire that the life of God flow through you into your marriage, the more you will desire the purpose of God fulfilled in your marriage. The more of the life of God flowing into you from an intimate fellowship with God, the more you will submit to His leading to honor Him in your marriage as in every other sphere of your life.

I honestly do not believe that it is possible to have an intimate and unbroken fellowship with God and it will not reflect in a desire for a deeper and more intimate fellowship with our spouse. I urge you to check the temperature of your fellowship with God and of your relationship with your spouse, and challenge you to seek after an intimate and unbroken fellowship.

Today, I want to encourage you to have a yearning for a deep, intimate and unbroken fellowship that will keep your relationship vital and vibrant. Don't settle into the rot of stale monotony in your marriage. Be determined to do all in your power by the help of the Holy Spirit to create an atmosphere that will improve your closeness to your spouse.

Ultimately, the closer you and your spouse draw to God, the closer you are drawn to each other. The closest thing to heaven on earth, after your fellowship with God, is a rich and vibrant relationship with your spouse to the extent that both of you can jointly sing: "Your Presence is Heaven to me." 

What can couples do to improve how they share time and space together? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.

I share with you Your Presence is Heaven To Me by Israel Houghton.

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