What God desires for us is that we be transformed in the marriage relationship—that we, with each day, would look just a little bit more like Him because we spent the day with our spouse. Wow! I know for us many days did not exactly end with this type of result. The exciting news is that when we are functioning out of what God planned for us, we experience deeper and deeper levels of intimacy both with Him and each other. This is a great motivator to change and do things differently, especially when we grasp what intimacy is. Genuine intimacy goes beyond the soul mate idea. Our culture, Christian culture included, promotes the idea that we "find" our soul mate, when in fact what God had in mind is that we "become" a soul mate.

Do you want that in your marriage? Do you want to know more about God's idea of intimacy and what it means to be transformed and have a transformed relationship? That is our heart for you and your marriage. In the next chapter we'll see that God created us for intimacy, and we'll look at the components of intimacy.

You may think that "happily ever after" can't happen or that "content ever after" is the best you can hope for, but we know that God wants great joy for us in marriage, more than mere contentment. He desires for us to be vibrant, Jesus-emulating human beings in love with each other. He wants us to demonstrate to the world that marriage works, and it works because Jesus died on a cross for us so that we might have life, and life more abundantly! Jesus does bring the happy into the "ever after."

Small Beginnings

  1. Identify the disappointments of the "ever after" in your marriage. What were your expectations when you got married?
  2. What are some differences that seem to plague your relationship? Are there differences that you enjoy?
  3. What are some of the issues in your marriage that you hide from or have decided not to address?
  4. Do you tend to blame your spouse for the problems in your marriage?
  5. How much is Jesus allowed into your relationship? How can you begin to change the level at which He makes a difference?
  6. How can you become a better soul mate?

Excerpted from:
 Mad About Us by Gary J. Oliver, Ph.D., and Carrie Oliver, M.A. Copyright © 2007; ISBN 9780764203619; Published by Bethany House Publishers. Used by permission. Unauthorized duplication prohibited.