Years ago, John, a recent college graduate, asked Dr. Gary Chapman and his wife if he could move into their home for one year and observe their family. John’s family of origin had been toxic, and he wanted to experience firsthand what a healthy marriage and family looked like.
Dr. Chapman’s first reaction was to say no. Was their family healthy? He and Karolyn’s first years of marriage had been characterized by selfishness, hurt, and brokenness. It took them years to learn how to listen to each other and to serve each other selflessly.
In the end, after a time of prayer, Gary and Karolyn opened their home to the young man. Over the course of that year, Gary realized that he and his wife’s early marital struggles had been transformed and redeemed for good.
Dr. Chapman is with us on our Focus on the Family Broadcast “Five Ingredients You Need for a Healthy Family” to offer practical insight for creating a healthy and nurturing environment for your family.
Specifically, he explains five key steps to intimacy:
- Intellectual intimacy. Share your thoughts. Our minds operate all day, every day. To obtain intimacy, we must reveal some of these thoughts to each other.
- Emotional intimacy. Share your feelings. All day, every day, we feel feelings. To obtain intimacy, we must reveal some of these feelings with each other.
- Social intimacy. Spend time together and share about events that happened while you were apart.
- Spiritual intimacy. Open your souls to each other. Share personal thoughts, experiences, feelings, and interpretations of spiritual things. Attend church together. Pray together.
- Physical intimacy. Share your bodies with each other. The husband must learn to focus on his wife’s emotional need for love, and she must understand the physical aspect of his sexuality.
Before I close, I’d like to extend an invitation for you to become a special partner with us through our monthly “Friends of Focus on the Family” program. When you do, I’ll send you a copy of Dr. Chapman’s book Five Traits of a Healthy Family: Steps You Can Take to Grow Closer, Communicate Better, and Change the World Together as a way of saying thank you for touching others with the love of Christ. You’ll also receive member-exclusive benefits. To make your pledge, or for more information, click here or call 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459).