Practice the art of sex well. Develop and maintain a healthy sex life. Keep in mind that sex is about much more than a physical connection between you; it also involves an emotional, mental, and spiritual connection. God designed sex to be the pinnacle of the expression of a married couple’s oneness, so the true art of sex is learning how to develop real intimacy with each other. Don’t neglect your sex lives, because sex is a very strong yearning that needs to be expressed in healthy ways, and depriving each other of sex for long periods of time may lead you or your spouse to express sexuality in dangerous ways, such as by becoming addicted to pornography. Talk openly and honestly about the best ways for you each to express your love for each other through sex, and then try your best to do so. Do all you can do to remain physically attractive to your spouse, such as keeping your weight at a healthy level and maintain good hygiene. Work on your communication outside of your bedroom, since improving your overall relationship will improve your sex life. Regularly show affection to each other in non-sexual ways, so when the time for sex comes, you’ll have already built a warm connection with each other.

Build unity. Work to form a partnership that is greater than the sum of its parts – a marriage union that can serve as the basis of a family that functions well – in which you can each express yourselves, respect each other, and present a united front to others. Ask God to give you a common vision for your married life together. Learn when each of you needs space for support, and then give those to each other whenever needed. You can give each other space in ways like granting time alone or postponing discussions about sensitive topics until your spouse is ready to have them. Ways you can support each other include everything from showing affection through kisses and hugs to sacrificing significant amounts of time, money, and energy for your spouse to go back to school or start a business. Encourage each other to pursue the dreams that God has given you both, and keep in mind that success for one of you is ultimately success for both of you in your life together. Set boundaries to protect each other from people who criticize you, your spouse, or your marriage by minimizing contact with them and focusing on relationships with positive people. Schedule time for rest and recreation together on a regular basis so you can keep enjoying your relationship. 

Adapted from Married for Real: Building a Loving, Powerful Life Together, copyright 2012 by Eddie and Tamara George. Published by Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tn.

Eddie George’s NFL career included four Pro Bowl appearances, first-team All-Pro selection in 2000, two Super Bowl touchdowns, and more than 10,000 yards rushing. In addition, Eddie won the Heisman Trophy while at Ohio State University and has been inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame. He is co-founder and a principal of The Edge Group. He holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Tamara George is a singer, actress, and author. Best known as one-third of the singing group SWV, she co-wrote a number of SWV songs, including “Right Here,” “It's About Time,” and the Top 5 hit “You're the One.” Her television work includes a stint on the show Survivor. Tamara holds a BA in Marketing from Belmont University.

Whitney Hopler is a freelance writer and editor who serves as both a Crosswalk.com contributing writer and the editor of About.com’s site on angels and miracles. Contact Whitney at: angels.guide@about.com to send in a true story of an angelic encounter or a miraculous experience like an answered prayer. 

Publication date: August 29, 2012