25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— 30for we are members of his body. 31"For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Emotional Intimacy is usually the first one (out of emotional, spiritual, physical and recreational) to go…we get busy and quit talking…then we don’t know each other anymore and wake up one day wondering who is this person I’m married to.
We also don't grasp how our misgivings and misunderstandings about our gender can stifle emotional intimacy.
Two questions cross my path in various forms from various individuals. These questions reside at the core of our souls.
The first is for men, 'Do I have what it takes or am I enough?' For women, it is 'Am I lovely or do you think I'm beautiful or do you see the light in me?'
These questions line up with what God calls us to in scripture, Ephesians 5:33 each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. It isn't that women don't want to be respected and men don't want to be loved, it is just that respect is a higher need for men and love is a higher need for women.
Ultimately, we need to find the answer to these questions in God, yet how our spouse answers these or how we perceive he/she answers these questions is also vital. The following questions may help you in the redemption of your gender. Take the time to know yourself and also pay close attention to what you believe your spouse's response will be and what he or she actually says.
Men How would you like to be shown respect? When have you felt believed in by your wife?
Women How would you like to be cherished by your husband? When have you felt special in your husband's eyes?
Both How can you communicate daily, in small simple acts and words, that you value and respect your spouse?