Wired for Intimacy
“Wired for Intimacy” is a fascinating book written by William Struthers, a noted Christian neuroscientist who teaches at Wheaton College.
Struthers explains how the male brain reacts to and is changed by entering into sexual behavior—a dazzling and intricate process.
I love the title, Wired for Intimacy. It evocatively describes the promise and hope God packaged with His gift of marriage. Because of the way we are made, husbands can strongly bind with wives (and wives with husbands). The monogamous sexual union is reinforced by the pleasure they share as they are intimate with each other.
As Struthers shows, this is not just an emotional bonding—it involves complex neurological and chemical systems throughout our body. It may be what God was referring to when he declared husband and wife to be “one flesh” (Mark 10:8).
Surveys and studies back this up. Google it yourself to see: Married sex is better.
The goal: Marriage
We cannot comprehend the way that our neurological wiring; our chemical and hormonal processes and emotional and reasoning capacities are all fully engaged as we enter into marriage. It is as the writer of Proverbs wrote: The way a man romances a woman is among “the four things” that he could not understand (Proverbs 30:18-19).
Nevertheless, entering into a marriage is a huge leap of faith and will confront us with things we cannot anticipate. The surprise factor is always there including illness, ageing and setbacks that are a part of every life. Yet, when the marriage bond is secure, these negatives do not shake what we have.
That is why there is nothing more beautiful than an elderly couple that has spent a lifetime together, bonding and becoming one. Some functions may not work as they once did, but the myriad bonds that they have established become so strong that the need for many other things does not seem to matter.
Like being joined to Christ
Married life is meant to be a deeply multifaceted and satisfying experience—one that can sustain a couple over a lifetime. In fact, the marriage union is the closest thing on earth to the kind of relationship God seeks to establish with us. Our intimate union and relationship with Christ is like being happily married to Him. His desire is that we “may belong to another, to Him who has been raised from the dead” (Romans 7:3-4).
Lust—adultery in the heart—is the great destroyer of marriage and of the wiring that brings about intimacy. For that reason, we must overcome lust. It corrupts (Ephesians 4:22), as we will explore in an upcoming post.