The Secret to Becoming Soulmates - ebook
FIND OUT WHAT GOD CAN DO FOR YOUR MARRIAGE
Dr. David Clarke teaches you how you can experience the most passionate, meaningful love possible between a man and a woman.
In this book you will learn:
- How to permanently energize your emotional and physical closeness
- How to get past the obstacles that prevent you from connecting as a couple
- How to create deep, lasting intimacy
The Secret? Spiritual Bonding.
Follow Dr. Clarke's simple, powerful, 52 Day Path to putting God at the center of your marriage.
READ THE FIRST CHAPTER FOR FREE
The Secret to Deep, Lasting Intimacy
Yes, you read that correctly. I know the secret. I’m not merely trying to get your attention. I’m not exaggerating. I’m telling you the absolute, rock solid truth as I have experienced it in real life—as a Christian, as a husband, and as a clinical psychologist.
My beautiful and wonderful blonde, Sandy, and I discovered the secret to real intimacy. It wasn’t easy and took a while, but we found it. Here’s what happened.
1997 Was Not a Good Year
In 1997, Sandy and I were fifteen years into our marriage. Because Sandy couldn’t keep her hands off me (or was it the other way around?), we had four children, ages twelve, ten, seven, and three.
Life was, to put it mildly, chaotic. Sandy was a stay-at- home mom. She left the home only to cart the kids around and buy food, clothes, and other things for them. And buy gas, so she could drive the thundering herd of Clarkes to school and all their varied activities.
I was busy with my practice, seminar ministry, and book writing. Somebody had to make money for the six of us to survive.
Sandy’s job was more intense and demanding. I freely admit, I didn’t have the skill set or the stamina to do her job.
We Lost Each Other
One day in 1997, Sandy and I stopped long enough, sat down, and had a conversation about our marriage. We admitted that, somewhere along the way, we had lost each other.
Neither of us was talking divorce or even thinking it. We still loved each other. But we weren’t in love anymore. The spark, the passion, the intimacy, had left the building.
Our marriage was, at best, okay. We didn’t get married for “okay.” “Okay” does not even rise to “good” for a relationship like marriage. Okay was not going to cut it for us.
So, we brainstormed ideas about how to get our intimacy back.
The Light Came On
The answer was right in front of us. In fact, the answer was inside each of us. Both of us were Christians, which means we had a personal relationship with God through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. We attended church every weekend. We served in the church. We were in a small group of young couples who attended the church. We each
had a daily, personal quiet time with God in which we read the Bible and prayed.
But we agreed that our spiritual lives were separate. We were on parallel tracks that did not intersect. We were not sharing with each other our personal experiences with God. There was a wall between our two spiritual lives.
I had a relationship with God, and Sandy had a relationship with God.
But we did not have a relationship with God together.
“We Need to Bond Spiritually”
That year, 1997, Sandy and I decided to begin a process of spiritual bonding. Here’s how we define spiritual bonding:
Consistently placing God—the God of the Bible—at the very center of your relationship, and growing closer to Him as a couple.
As we developed our spiritual bond, we realized a truth that we should have known all along: God is the secret to a deep, lasting intimacy in marriage.
As we grew closer to God—together--we experienced spiritual intimacy. And spiritual intimacy is the best and deepest kind of intimacy. But it doesn’t stop there.
Our spiritual intimacy gave us back our emotional intimacy, our ability to talk and connect in conversation.
Our spiritual intimacy gave us back our physical intimacy, our ability to make love. (No more kids came on the scene, though, because I manned up and got fixed.)
The truth is, our new emotional and physical intimacy were better in our marriage than ever before.
Spiritual Bonding Will Work for You, Too
This small book is largely the story of Dave and Sandy’s experience in spiritual bonding. It didn’t happen quickly. It wasn’t easy, and it took time to build a strong spiritual bond.
But it has been worth the effort! A thousand times over!
We didn’t rush the process. We took a longer, relaxed and gentle path to spiritual bonding. We took baby steps. This book is a series of 52 baby steps.
This approach worked for us, and we believe it will work for you two as well.
I’ve been a clinical psychologist in practice for over thirty years. My primary concentration is couples. Saving and improving marriages is what I do.
My approach is hands-on and practical. I don’t recommend a strategy until I know it works. Spiritual bonding works every time it is tried by a couple.
My writing partner is my dad, William Clarke. He has a master’s degree in marriage, family and child therapy and was a practicing therapist for decades.
Dad was married to my mom, Kathleen, for sixty-four years. Mom is now in heaven. Dad and Mom built and nourished a strong, spiritual bond over the course of their marriage. They were working on their spiritual bond right up to the day God called my mom to heaven.
This Book’s Target Audience
With one hundred percent certainty, my Blonde and I believe that spiritual bonding is vital to every couple. No matter your circumstances. No matter what is happening in your relationship,
- married or unmarried
- one spouse a Christian, the other not a Christian
- both spouses Christians, but one not growing spiritually
- the marriage is okay but not intimate
- one spouse content, the other unhappy and lonely
- marriage is in crisis
The lifeblood of every couple is intimacy. If you do not spiritually bond, you will lose that vital ingredient. If you do spiritually bond you will create together the best kind of intimacy and keep it for a lifetime.
Every couple needs God’s power to deal successfully with the issues, problems, and crises that come up in a relationship between a man and a woman. When you spiritually bond, God will use your pain and difficulties to change your relationship into a stronger and more intimate relationship.
Here’s My Plan
My fifty-two devotions are divided into four categories.
Category One: How You Developed Spiritually
What your parents and others modeled and taught you in the spiritual area has everything to do with the quality of your spiritual life now.
Category Two: How You and God Can Get Closer
A careful examination of your current spiritual life can help you understand God and build a closer relationship with Him.
Category Three: How to Spiritually Bond
With a solid foundation laid, I show the two of you exactly how to form a spiritual bond.
Category Four: How to Apply the Bible to Your Relationship
The Bible has a lot to say about marriage. I ask you to read and discuss verses that contain truth that will improve every area of your relationship.
How to Use This Book
Each devotional has five sections.
- Big Idea – the topic
- Basics – a brief, personal story or teaching
- Bible – a section to read
- Breakthrough – discussion questions/action steps
- Bring it to God – a short prayer that either of you may read aloud.
My devotions are designed to be read in order, beginning with Day 1 and continuing through Day 52.
Each devotional is designed to last ten to fifteen minutes. If you get into deeper conversation about a topic, you can talk for forty-five minutes. But you don’t have to.
I don’t want you to do a devotion every day (not that you would, anyway). Fifty-two straight days is unrealistic and would defeat my purpose of a gentle, gradual, progressive journey into spiritual bonding.
You both need time to think about and process each devotion’s topic. Ideally, each devotion will lead to one or two follow-up conversations. It’s these follow-up conversations that get you deeper and are a key part of creating your spiritual bond.
Let’s say you do a devotion on Monday. You talk about that devotion on Tuesday and maybe on Wednesday. You do another on Thursday. You talk about that devotion on Friday or maybe on Saturday.
You see how it works? Slow and steady and thoughtful. Don’t be in a rush. Some weeks, you will do only one devotion, because it will generate more, and deeper, follow-up conversations.
Some devotional topics will be easy. Some will be difficult, even painful. Take your time. Be honest. Be open.
Outrageous Intimacy or Bust
I hate to tell you this, but these are your only two choices. Marriage is an either or proposition. You can choose to spiritually bond and experience outrageous intimacy. When I say outrageous, I mean a love that is way outside the normal, the usual, in a good way.
Deep. Passionate. Strong. Secure. Joyful. This is the kind of love that, through spiritual bonding, our heavenly Father will give you.
Or, you can choose to not spiritually bond and experience “bust.” When I say bust, I mean a love for which most couples settle. Weak. Insecure. Blah. Superficial. Boring. Not fun. Without God (Who is love [1 John 4:8]) at the center of your relationship, bust is your only destination.
Go for outrageous intimacy! The devotions in this book will take you there.
Let’s do this!
Big Idea Your Dad and Your View of God
Basics From the age of six or seven, I loved golf. I would spend hours in my front yard (and the front yard of our next door neighbors, the Tozian family, because I needed the space) hitting plastic golf balls with my trusty sawed-off seven iron.
When I was in my early teens, I started to play golf at actual golf courses. I asked my dad to take me golfing and he did, a number of times. This is significant, because my dad had no experience playing golf. He was an excellent tennis player, but almost certainly the worst golfer who ever lived.
You might think I’m joking. I’m not joking. Dad had only two shots: a twenty yard roller on the ground or a wild slice forty yards out of bounds. He was a good putter, but when he reached the green, his score was already ten or higher, so it really didn’t matter what he did on the green.
One day, we were playing golf and about to tee off on a hole. Just before we hit our tee shots, the course marshal drove up to the tee in his golf cart and stopped.
Every golfer knows it’s harder to hit a decent drive when someone is watching. I teed off and produced a nice drive down the middle of the fairway.
My dad stepped up to the tee and proved that God is a God of miracles. For the first time and the only time in his life, he drilled his tee shot straight and far down the fairway. As we drove off the tee in our cart, we both laughed out loud. I asked, “Dad, where did that drive come from?” He replied, “Dave, God hit that drive.”
My golf story describes my dad’s personality: Kind, gracious, and loving. He played golf only because I wanted to play golf.
Because of my dad, I have always seen God as kind, gracious, and loving.
Your dad’s personality, especially as you grew up, has a huge impact on how you view God.
Bible 1 Thessalonians 5:15: “Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”
1. Describe your dad’s personality, particularly what kind of person he was during your childhood, 0 – 18 years. Does a single word occur to you at first?
2. Name one of Dad’s positive traits and one of his negative traits. Tell a brief story illustrating each of these traits.
3. Talk about how your dad’s personality has shaped your view of God.
Bring It to God
Help me to understand that how I see my father is how I see You.
Help me to not transfer my dad’s negative personality traits and actions to You.
Give me the ability to see and experience You only for who You are as recorded in the Bible.