Chapter 5: Blend Four ingredients for Marital Closeness

Chapter Summary

  • Give plenty of suggestions for spiritual, emotional, and physical intimacy (pg 39)
  • Encourage couples to continue or start praying together; if children – with/for them too; even praying as a couple over kids while kids sleep –quietly, of course
  • If want help with date ideas, lots of websites and could use TBI 52-Week Plan
  • Like a good recipe, marriage closeness includes these four ingredients, at least:
    • Affectionate Caring – heavy emphasis on Top Ten, Each top 3, how to
    • Vulnerable Communication – we’ve been trying to enhance this, MSM
    • Joint Accomplishment – Doing the IE class, sacrificially involved in what interests the other without playing the martyr
    • Mutual Giving (putting your spouse before yourself).  This is when it gets fun; as the two individuals give to meet the needs of the other without reservation or strings attached.  This is the way Jesus loves but is now flowing through each to the other.  Much of the time this kind of love is one-way.  When it happens both ways at the same time – Mutual Giving!
  • The “extra assignments (Pages 45 – 48) are good but may not be doable – couples may not have time for extra work.  Can be used as Next Steps for couples after IE class


Small Group Questions

  1. How does attempting to meet the Ten Intimacy Needs help build Affectionate Caring into your marriage?
  2. Why is Affectionate Caring important?  When you don’t at least attempt to meet the needs of your spouse, what does that communicate to him/her?
  3. In what ways has Vulnerable Communication been enhanced through this IE study?
  4. When is the best time for you to Vulnerably Communicate with your spouse?
  5. What are some examples of Joint Accomplishment you and your spouse have done?
  6. What are some things you could do together in the future?
  7. What does the “mutual” in Mutual Giving imply about this ingredient?
  8. How would the atmosphere of your home change if you and your spouse practiced Mutual Giving?  What impact would this have on others, potentially?