Before you answer this question, let's first understand what Maximum Marriage means.
Professor Bernard Yeung (Stephan Riady Distinguish Professor and Dean of National University of Singapore Business School) and his wife, Professor Jean Yeung (Director of Family and Population Research Centre and Provost Chair of Professor of Socliology Department, National University of Singapore) made the following distinguishing remarks about Maximum Marriage in the Foreword to my book:
"In a Maximum Marriage, the husband and wife become intimate and true lovers spiritually, emotionally, sexually, recreationally, and financially. Becoming one, they strengthen, support, and protect each other in their life journey together and, more importantly, they grow together in their relationship with God."
It is a powerful and yet simple description. There are several phrases that stand out:
- become intimate and true lovers,
- strengthen, support and protect each other in their life journey,
- grow together in their relationship with God.
Let's delve into each of these expressions right away:-
Husband and wife become intimate and true lovers.
Intimacy is in our DNA. This desire comes from God who created us to intimately relate to Him. This is why we desire to have companions and friends with whom we can share close and warm relationships with. Consequently, we have deep spiritual and emotional desires to be intimate with the person we love and married. Intimacy is the key to a strong and meaningful marital relationship. Only when we have deep intimacy, then can we be true lovers.
For most men (who are honest), the word intimacy conjures up only one thing - SEX. Relax men, you are normal! You see, in order to be obedient to God's command to "be fruitful and multiply" we need to pro-create. And to pro-create, we need to have sex. But men need to know that sex is not an end in itself. In a strong marriage, where both husband and wife are spiritually and emotionally connected, sex (the act) crowns that relationship and binds the couple together even stronger.
Almost all women will tell you that intimacy means a totally different thing - for them, it is to be emotionally connected. Sex comes after that. And she is absolutely right because God created her to be man's suitable companion, a soul-mate to make his life complete. When a woman feels emotionally safe with her man, sexual intimacy is her gift to him.
For this reason, intimacy encompasses more aspects than we usually care to consider. Intimacy not only revolves around our desire for sex and emotional support, it also touches our spirit. Additionally, to become true lovers, include intimacy in your recreation and in handling your finances into your relationship. Then you can have a Maximum Marriage for life.
To strengthen, support and protect each other in your life journey.
Recently, a man who is married for just over 3 years expressed that his wish for his marriage is to "do life with my wife." I asked for clarification and he offered a smashing one.
"I can do life on my own, do my own things and do them with my friends. I can be happy doing that. But I want to do life with my wife and do it successfully for the rest of our lives together."
What an amazing expression of a vision for marriage. I really like the verb "do". He chose that word deliberately over "live". He doesn't want to just live life. He wants to do life together with the one he loves. Do is a strong action word!
The only reason to become intimate and true lovers is to do life together for as long as both shall live. And in this, having a Maximum Marriage means purposefully working together to strengthen and support each other constantly and consistently. More importantly, it is to protect your spouse through the storms of life.
To grow together in your relationship with God.
Back to the first word on intimacy - God created us to be in intimate relationship with Him. As soon as a couple realizes that their marriage is not only between themselves but is a three-party affair with God, they are on their way to a Maximum Marriage. When husband and wife believe and revere God individually and as a couple, they will be pulled upwards and inwards. The closer each is to God, the closer they are to each other.
If you want to have a Maximum Marriage, this is the first thing you must do - let God in as the Anchor Party in your marriage. The "do" things are: pray together, read His word together, minister together.
Let me conclude with another apt comment by Professor Yeung:
"A Maximum Marriage is a sweet and blissful love. It is not inborn to our nature, but rather is to be cultivated."
You can have a Maximum Marriage. Start cultivating it, right away!
To discover steps to cultivate a Maximum Marriage, get Steven's latest book at www.maximummarriage.net .
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