The primary purpose of marriage is companionship. Another way of saying that couples are to share all things openly and honestly. Intimacy is much more than physical. When Peter tells husbands, 1 Peter 3:7, to “…live with your wives in an understanding way… and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life…” he is referring to intimacy. Some translations say “dwell with your wife.” The word “dwell” in the Greek language is a word which is more about how you live together rather than where you live together. It is found only in this verse in the New Testament. We must “share” our lives with our wives in intimate ways. It’s all about an equal partnership. One commentator put it this way: “Husband and wife share enjoyable experiences and frightening ones; they share drudgery and ecstasy. A child is given to them; they stand in amazement by its cradle, and later when it takes its first step from its mother’s to its father’s arms. If one of them is ill, the other does the work of both. If unemployment comes, they learn to economize and discover ways of dealing with the situation together.”

It’s all about living life together. The same commentator goes on to say, “Husband and wife share not only the past, but the future too—their joint plans and hopes and anxieties, and the joint uncertainty of not knowing at morning whether they will be together again at evening. God holds them together in his hand. Such is marriage.… This love, this bond, is used again and again in the Bible as the only simile adequate to express God’s love of man and his covenant with his people.”

In my experience, men often become consumed with their careers, hobbies and extra-curricular activities in life; often at the expense of intimacy with their wives. Children can become the center of married life as well, robbing the couple of the God-intended intimacy. Another commentator says, “To guard against that danger husbands must shoulder the responsibility of dwelling with their wives—not their children, not their vocations, not their hobbies—at home. Only then will the intimacy with which they began their marriage be there for a lifetime.” Real intimacy is not just physical. It involves sharing our emotional and spiritual lives with each other as co-laborers in our walk through life together.