This video segment is one of five presentations in the “Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Intimacy” seminar. There will be four more seminars in this series covering the subjects: foundations, communication, finances, and intimacy. As those presentations are ready they will be posted on this blog.

NOTE: Many people have asked how they can get a copy of the seminar notebook referenced in this verbal presentation. Summit members can pick up a copy of the notebook in the church office. For those outside the Summit family, you can request a copy from Summit’s admin over counseling at (please note this is an administrative account; no individual or family counsel is provided through e-mail).


GCM-Intimacy01 from Equip on Vimeo.

Plumb Lines: These are the “sticky” statements that capture the core messages of this chapter.

  • Understanding and safety precede love and affection
  • One of the most important things you can do for your children is love your spouse well.
  • Romance is more about intentionality and engagement than grandiosity and epic moments.
  • It takes a mature man and woman to enjoy a romantic marriage.

Memorize: I Corinthians 13:1-3 (ESV), “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.” As you memorize this passage reflect upon these key points:

  • “If I… gain nothing” – We can do everything we typically think of as love and still gain nothing for our marriage.
  • “Speak” – Eloquent and affirming words can be a blessing, but if they are detached from love they accomplish little.
  • “Understand”–Reading books, attending seminars, or studying male-female differences are not the key to marriage.
  • “Faith… remove mountains” – A positive outlook and extravagant serving do not produce a great marriage.
  • “Give away all” – Sacrificial gift giving without love does not send the message that you hope it will.
  • Question: If these actions are not what defines love, then what is? Your marriage depends on the answer.

Teaching Notes

 “It is possible to feel you are ‘madly in love’ with someone, when it is really just an attraction to someone who can meet your needs and address the insecurities and doubts you have about yourself. In that kind of relationship, you will demand and control rather than serve and give (p. 76).” Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage

“Love seduces you in a way that honors you and does not turn you into an object of autoerotic satisfaction (p. 173).” Paul Tripp in What Did You Expect?

“Adults forget how to frolic and tickle and squeal with delight. Lovemaking can include much lighthearted laughter and simple fun. Play may be more necessary than passion sometimes (p. 185).” Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex

“It is so easy for me to drift back to believing that I am the center of gravity for all my relationships, including the vertical one I have with God. Nothing squashes rejoicing like that misbelief (p. 211).” William P. Smith in Loving Well: Even If You Haven’t Been

“When you think about it, you’ll notice the way you treat your spouse reflects the way you treat God. The same things that cause distance in your relationship with God calls distance in your relationship with your spouse (p. 3-4).” David Powlison in Renewing Marital Intimacy

“I have never met a parent who could truly understand how much kids affect a sex life until they are into the experience. From the fatigue of early infancy, to the demands of an active toddler, to the interruptions of elementary days, to the late nights of a teenager—parents must deal with the confusing variables the children present to their lovemaking (p. 59).” Doug Rosenau in A Celebration of Sex

“Unless your marital relationship is in good condition, sex doesn’t work (p. 235).” Tim Keller in The Meaning of Marriage