SCC Blog

October 8, 2017

Inhibitors To Intimacy In Marriage

Genesis 2: 24 – 25

Pastor Sola Mabogunje


Intimacy can be defined as close familiarity of friendship between two people. The word intimate actually means to make yourself known to another person. It is also refers to the feeling of closeness achieved as a result of such a revelation. The word intimacy could also be spelled in-to-me-see. The achievement of intimacy between two individuals is a process in which two of them progressively reveal themselves to each and receive acceptance, understanding and love in return. It has the capacity to build our self-esteem and improves our productivity.

As human beings, we crave making ourselves known, and we feel alone when no one knows us. We desire another person to pay attention to us and consider us valuable and that does something to our self-esteem. It seems intimacy makes us whole. 

Marriage is about sharing everything. Everyone in marriage desires that person he or she can experience intimacy with. The more couples share with each other, the more intimate they would be. Deep calls on to deep.

In marriage, intimacy represents both physical and emotional. The two are very important; and you can’t have one without the other. To have one is imbalance. It is also true that when the emotional one is in place, it helps in securing the physical but if the emotional one is suffering, it would impact the physical intimacy.

The intimacy between Adam and Eve as described in Genesis 2: 25 – and they both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed – provides us with knowledge as to some of inhibitors in marriage.  The operative word here is “they were not ashamed”.

The word ashamed describes a feeling of inferiority or unworthiness we experience. It describes the painful emotions cause by consciousness of guilt, shortcomings and improper behavior in the past. It comes from a feeling of lost of approval or respect.

If you are ashamed of part of your life, it would be difficult to reveal that part to your spouse, so that you don’t suffer rejection. Hence you withheld that part.  Adam and Eve had none of that. There was nothing they were ashamed of. They had no fear of rejection or inferiority. That was a relationship of total intimacy. And this exactly how God designed we enjoy marriage.

It is therefore vital to deal with these inhibitors in details so we can enjoy our marriage. These inhibitors can be classified into two: internal and external inhibitors.

Internal inhibitors are those within us; feelings of guilt, shame, pass hurt, low self-esteem, inferiority etc. Sometime these predate your marriage. We all come to marriage with baggage; something from our childhood. Sometimes it could be as a result of broken relationship in the past then you develop wrong belief system.

Often the problem may not really be the other person but your interpretation of their actions. If internal inhibitors are not properly dealt with, they become the lens through which you interpret the actions of your spouse. Without dealing with these internal inhibitors, you would find it difficult to enjoy intimacy in your marriage.

To overcome this internal challenge is to expose your heart to God. When we receive love from God, we start to feel whole again. I John 4: 19 says, we love because God first loved us. You cannot give what you don’t have. Express yourself to God in prayers in your language and let Him shower His love on you. Intimacy with God will help your intimacy with your spouse.

External inhibitors include:

  1. Those things or people we seek e.g. job, career, parents, children, business etc
  2. Poor communication patterns. Without communication there can’t be intimacy. It is said eighty-five percent of relationship is communication.
  3. Unresolved conflicts. There will always be conflicts in marriage but when resolved properly aids intimacy
  4. Lack of empathy
  5. It eats up any trace of intimacy left. But a man who commits adultery is a fool. He brings about his destruction. He will suffer disease and disgrace and never be free from the shame (Proverbs 6: 32 – 33 ERV)

To overcome the internal inhibitors, one, apply the golden rule: do unto others as you want done to you. Second, accept your spouse as they are and celebrate your differences. Third, have fun together regularly. Fourth, establish the building blocks of intimacy: understanding, trust and openness.

A good marriage is not really a promise but a product of obedience to the laws that govern it. If you break the laws that govern marriage and you will face the consequences regardless of your belief system. Bible says Good understanding gives favour, but the way of transgressors is hard (Proverbs 13: 15).



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