What do I think of Scott Means’s book published by HMM Resources, LLC? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
This is a short book. You could conceivably read it in an evening. When the lights went out at a recent Super Bowl party, since I don’t care about the game except for the commercials, I spent a lot of time on my Kindle going through this book. Like I said, it is short, but short does not mean that it does not contain valid information. This is actually a very helpful book.
Looking at my notes, I find I have several notes which means there were several points I wanted to mention. There is no way I could mention all of them. The basis of the book is that every couple really wants intimacy. Now we have to be careful about that term. If we use it wrongly, a lot of people can misunderstand it. Guys, for instance, don’t often think as much in terms of emotions. They still want intimacy and it’s more than sex. They want to be wanted and desired by their wives and know that their wives see them as the man. Wives often want a place that is safe and secure and to be loved for who they are.
Means teaches us that we are all on the path to intimacy or separation every day by the actions that we do. Naturally, no one is going to bat 1,000 every day. Still, we should be on the watch for how we treat one another. Are we accepting or rejecting one another? Is it possible that many marriages consist of just excellent roommates?
The reality is the drift takes place naturally if we don’t do enough to sustain the relationship. If your husband seems to get angrier a whole lot easier and be more impatient for it, there’s a reason for it and you might need to look back at what you’re doing. If your wife is withdrawing from you and not wanting sexual intimacy as much, there’s a reason for it and you might need to look at yourself.
All of us should be doing that anyway, but these things don’t just happen out of nowhere. They come for a reason and sometimes, it’s the little things that we have been doing. A woman can reject her husband in ways that she might not even recognize. A husband can do the same with his wife. These are often called bids where the other person wants to know how they rank to the other and many times, the answer is “Not much.” Not that that’s intentionally said, but that is what happens.
Means tells us that intimacy is to be fully and completely loved. You are also to do this without each of you losing who you really are. The man is still to be fully a man. The woman is fully a woman. It is their differences that make them a good combination.
Intimacy when done right is what keeps us from being excellent roommates. Intimacy in marriage makes it unique from every other relationship you have. Marriage is not meant to be a so-so relationship where you just go through motions. It’s meant to be one of joy where the two of you are happy with each other and delight in each other.
Means tells us that we will have intimacy to the degree we’re willing to be transparent and vulnerable. Can we really share who we are? Sex is the ultimate physical expression of this as two people being naked and intimate don’t have much more that they can share with one another physically. It would be a mistake to limit it to that. You can have all the passion you want in the bedroom, but still not have total intimacy. Intimacy includes every aspect of your life. It is physical, emotional, sexual, and yes, spiritual.
Shame is often the barrier to this. When we have shame, we hide part of ourselves from the other. Shame is a blocker to your spouse’s love and thus the enemy of intimacy. By all means, you are not perfect, but a loving spouse can love you and accept you even in your imperfection. Grace is the solution to this. Grace is a key to intimacy.
Which means guys, as Means says, grace is the love that you have to show if you really want that wife of yours to ‘get naked’ with you. It will be hard for her to bare her body to you if she doesn’t think she can trust you with what’s in her soul. A lot of guys want that passionate sexual relationship, but they don’t want to put forward the work to have it.
That also means spouses need to give each other the benefit of the doubt. What they do, they do out of love. A man hates to be nagged, but maybe sometimes he should try to see it as his wife wanting to love him so he can be the best he can be. A wife will often complain that sex is all her husband thinks about, but maybe she should see that that is how he best experiences love.
For the women with that, Means also wants you to know that sex is for you. Many a woman has been told that she should just act like she enjoys it and that it’s really something for the men. Women who think like that are cheating themselves and denying themselves a joy that is rightfully theirs. They are denying themselves the joy of their husband’s full love which is something that will also build him up and dare I say it, but the more a woman participates in sex with her husband, the more she will desire it.
Too many spouses make the move of withholding love in some way until their spouse changes. Now there are some rare exceptions I think this is justified. If your husband is watching pornography, then I can understand saying no to sex until he starts working on that problem. Most of us aren’t talking about those. We’re talking about withholding as a form of vengeance. Men can do this too. Not necessarily with sex, but often through other things their wives love. (Like I’m going to help you out around the house!) Both persons should seek to outgive the other. If the other person isn’t doing what they should be doing, that’s on them and for them to work out with God. You are not their Holy Spirit.
Doing this will also mean knowing how your spouse wishes to be loved. My wife’s love language is gifts. She often thus wants to buy me something as an expression of her love. It’s nice, but it doesn’t mean the same to me as when I buy her a gift. Meanwhile, my love languages are words of affirmation and physical touch. If my wife wants to make me feel loved, a little touch can often be all that it takes to change my mood. Don’t love how you want to be loved. Love how they want it.
Also, don’t keep score. It makes it seem like you two are working on a contract instead of a covenant. I will do X when you’ve done Y. You should do this for me. You owe it after all that I’ve done for you!
Instead, we should just be striving to be the best spouse we can be. We can’t change our spouse. We can influence them and we will, but we should always be working on ourselves. How can we be better for that person we’ve promised our lives too? Is there any other person we should work on the relationship with more?
If any competition should take place aside from friendly competition if both of them like to play games, it’s the competition to outdo one another. If your husband wins, you win. If your wife wins, you win. Take joy in what brings them joy, provided it is something that is truly good for them. A wife should not take joy in her husband’s porn.
Try to view things also as privileges. You get the chance to serve one another. You get the chance to love one another. Love is not meant to be a duty. It is meant to be a privilege.
Keep in mind that I have highlighted just some of the points in this wonderful little book. I really recommend married couples get it and go through it together if possible. This is a short read again, but it will be a read that you benefit from.