Build intimacy. Ask God to help both you and your spouse be transparent and open with one another so you’ll enjoy the freedom to know and be known. Make sure you’re each experiencing intimacy with God, since you can’t be experience intimacy with each other until you each are close to God first. Communicate with God often through prayer, and communicate with your spouse honestly and openly each day. Confess your own selfishness whenever you recognize it and ask for mercy and forgiveness whenever you need it. Ask God to pour out His love for your spouse through you and make you an agent of positive change in your spouse’s life. Over time, work to regain trust that has been lost in your relationship. Develop stronger emotional intimacy by expressing love, respect, and appreciation to your spouse more often. Build stronger intellectual intimacy by learning how to listen to each other well and discussing ideas in ways that respect each other when your opinions differ. Develop stronger sexual intimacy by working together until you both find mutual fulfillment in your physical relationship. Stay committed to each other, refraining from looking outside your marriage for sexual fulfillment. Communicate often and openly about your sexual needs and desires. Look out for your spouse’s best interests in other areas of your lives, too, to grow the kind of love you need to fuel a healthy sexual connection. Build stronger spiritual intimacy by encouraging each other to become more like Christ every day. Pray together, talk about what God is doing in each of your lives, study the Bible together, and serve God together through your local church and in other ways as He leads you. Dream together about the future, and ask God to make His dreams for your marriage come true.

Published January 14, 2008

Adapted from Now You’re Speaking My Language, copyright 2007 by Gary Chapman. Published by B&H Publishing Group, Nashville, Tn.,           

Gary Chapman has traveled extensively around the world challenging couples to pursue healthy, growing marriages. Since 1979, Gary has written more than 20 books. His book The Five Love Languages has sold 4 million copies in English alone and has been translated into 36 languages. He has also appeared on several television and radio programs and has his own daily radio program called “A Love Language Minute” that can be heard on more than 100 radio stations across the United States. In addition to his busy writing and seminar schedule, Gary Chapman is a senior associate pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he has served for 36 years. Gary and his wife, Karolyn, have been married for 45 years, have two adult children, and two grandchildren.