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Hi everyone, my name is Brian Holt and this is my lovely bride Amy. We live in a small suburb north of Dallas and have been married for 17 years. We have three children ages 15, 13 and 7. 
 
For several years now I’ve worked full time as a pastor of a church while Amy has split her time between homeschooling our kids, serving as our church’s volunteer coordinator and working part time in the evenings.
 
Like many couples, we live very busy lives and have found ourselves struggling to balance time for both emotional and physical intimacy. We have found that our lifestyles have strained our connection with one another. This has added stress to our marriage and our ability to parent our children. Through wise counsel and God’s word, we’ve had to put boundaries in place so we can maintain a level of emotional intimacy that is healthy for our marriage and a great example for our children. 

 

TRANSPARENCY

CENTRAL TRUTH:
True emotional intimacy is the ability and desire to know your spouse and to be known.  
 
KEY VERSE: Romans 5:8
but God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.


BRIAN:
I’m a go-getter and I know that if I’m not careful, I will work 80 - 90 hours a week. As a pastor, I feel led to help and serve those around me and I find myself helping people who are in deep emotional stress. Those people come to me because they believe that I’m the guy that has it all together with no issues of my own. That, of course, is not the case at all. I have plenty of “junk in my trunk” and I certainly don’t have it all together. I’m so thankful that I have Amy because she knows the “junk” I personally struggle with and yet, she loves me unconditionally. She encourages me daily and she truly follows Romans 8:1, that “there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” 


AMY:
We’ve never been a couple to “play games”. Ever since we started dating we were straight forward with our feelings, both the good and the bad! We have worked hard at understanding one another’s emotions and worked even harder at sacrificing each others personal emotional needs for the sake of the other. We’ve done this at times when it seemed our whole world was crashing in on us. Of course, it’s during those hard times that we had to be completely vulnerable with each other. I believe, however, that the more vulnerable we’ve been with each other, the more we have grown in our marriage. That vulnerability has helped us create a safe place to share whatever feelings we have and still feel supported and loved. We still may disagree but we are open with each other without any fear of rejection or lack of grace. 

 
BOTH:
Throughout 17 years of marriage we have grown the most by allowing each other the freedom to be who we are without rejection or humiliation. We have grown and worked hard to put our marriage first behind our relationship with Christ. Because of Christ’s ability to willingly accept our “junk” without condemnation, we are able to look at each other with complete grace and understanding. We both love Psalm 103:10-11 “He does not punish us for all our sins; he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.”(NLT) It’s this model of marital love that we should all have for our spouse. 


ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURE:
Galatians 6:2
Colossians 3:13

CHALLENGE:
What would it take for you to get “real” with your spouse and be completely vulnerable? To know and to be known? Perhaps you need to prioritize your relationship with God and your spouse? Our challenge is to create that safe place to share with each other any and all feelings without any shame or guilt. 

CREATIVE CONNECTION:
Take a moment this week to be intentional with your spouse and dig into some deeper questions about your relationship. Go on a walk around the neighborhood or local park and ask the following questions: 

1. How did you feel loved by me this past week?
2. What does your upcoming week look like? 
3. How would you feel most loved & encouraged in the days ahead? 
4. How would you best feel pursued in sex/intimacy this week? 
5. How can I pray for you this week?

These questions come from an awesome blog called Today's Letters. Tim & Emily Loerke are a couple who have modeled well what it looks like to grow in emotional intimacy. Check out their blog through this link here

For more resources on MarriageHelp.org regarding EMOTIONAL INTIMACY, click on this link.  
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