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Friday, February 15, 2013

Turkey Hill Water Tower, Columbia PA, 2/14/13
Yesterday we passed this water tower in Columbia PA which also serves as a huge billboard for Turkey Hill Dairy. Throughout our travels, among the sights that draw our interest, most especially Stephen, are colorful water towers such as this beautiful one in northern Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley along I-81.

Marriage series: This week we have shared a series of messages with the main points based on Gary Chapman's book, "The Five Love Languages". In doing so we have used the outline of the five languages, featuring a different one each day. We want to provide messages that will strengthen marriages. However most of these points apply to all relationships.

"Physical Intimacy"

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"When Isaac had been there a long time, Abimelech king of the Philistines looked down from a window and saw Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah" (Genesis 26:8). "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband" (1 Corinthians 7:3).

Growing up we never talked about physical intimacy in our home. My parents were very private about this and based on discussions with others my age I suspect most in my generation were raised similarly. Of course at that time the entertainment industry was under strict guidelines and on TV we watched shows like Andy Griffith, and still do.

Now we are nearly 50 years after the sexual revolution of the sixties and people are far more candid about this subject matter which to some degree is a good thing but it has also resulted in an explosion in immorality. In the news recently is a church day care center in California with reports of very, very little children having sex with one another!

The Scriptures likewise are rather discreet about the physical dimension of marital love, using the term "know" to encryptically describe the act of marital intimacy. Of course we also have the frank acknowledgment of moral failure such as David and Bathsheba.

Today's first verse recounts a moment of some type of intimacy between Isaac and Rebekah leaving room for some imagination. Most modern versions use the word "caressing", although the KJV states "sporting" to translate a Hebrew word that suggests an intimate relationship.

Apparently they were seen while engaging in some type of intimate act! This was after they had been married awhile. In chapter 25 they had their twin sons who by now were grown and Esau had sold his birthright (Genesis 25:27-34). Since Isaac married Rebekah when he was forty and Rebekah was infertile for awhile I would suppose he was at least in his sixties or even older at this time!

The main purpose for this verse was to show that Isaac had deceived Abimelech in presenting Rebekah as his sister. Even in that ancient period when Abimelech, the king of the Philistines, saw them he recognized their "caressing" was an expression of marital intimacy. But the secondary implication is the normalcy of physical intimacy between a husband and his wife.

The second daily verse is from a chapter in which the Apostle Paul gives instructions regarding marriage. The daily text states, "The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband." The "marital duty" in context is referring to sexual intimacy. Clearly the Bible affirms the proper place for this love language in marriage.

Gary Chapman writes, "In a culture which worships at the altar of sex, the Christian must take care not to over-react and view sex as something sinful. The truth is that Hollywood did not invent sex. A holy God, totally separate from sin, made us sexual beings. We must not relinquish the sanctity of sex because some have exploited it. Sex is not the trademark of the world; it bears the personal label, “made by God.” However, we must be quick to say that God gave us the ‘owner's manual’. In God’s plan sex is reserved for marriage. Within marriage, sex bonds us together, body, soul, and spirit."

But this "physical intimacy" love language isn’t just about the bedroom. Hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, kissing and thoughtful touches on the arm, shoulder, or face—can all be ways a marital couple express their love for one another.

As we conclude this series on love languages we pray for all the marriages of our readers and that indeed the marital bond between husband and wife will be strengthened and honored by all.

Be encouraged today,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Praying manDaily prayer: Father, we thank You for the first time we met our spouse, the romance that ensued, the steps that led us to say "I do" and the journey we walk together. We're thankful for the love that continues to grow as we tend to each other with kindness, affirm one another by our words and deeds, spend time working and playing together, serve each other in accordance to our needs, and the celebration of our sexual intimacy in the way You intended through the matrimonial bonds of our marriage. We are indeed grateful for the wonderful fulfillment we find in a loving spouse. Amen. 

Here are "The Five Love Languages" we have dealt with this week:

1) Affirming Words  Monday's message
2) Quality Time  Tuesday's message
3) Thoughtful Gifts  Wednesday's message
4) Cooperative Service  Thursday's message
5) Physical Intimacy  Today's message

Valentine's Day, 2/14/13
Valentine's Day Celebration at Red Lobster

Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources

"The Gift"  Video   Jim Brickman, Collin Raye, Susan Ashton

"Love Will Be Our Home"  Video  Susan Ashton

a message to Stephen & Brooksyne

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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