Physical intimacy between a husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. Not only is it one of the highest forms of expressing love and unity, it is also how we bring children into our homes. For these purposes, sexual intimacy should be reserved for a husband and wife who are in love and are fully committed to each other and to their family.

Roughly once a year my wife and I get the chance to attend a free marriage enrichment seminar. These seminars are organized by military chaplains in an effort to help strengthen the marriages of soldiers. Over the years, they have provided us with valuable tools that have fortified our relationship. During these seminars, you learn things from how to communicate better with your spouse to how to improve your sexual relationship.

In his seminar, "Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage," Mark Gungor shares five ways to improve the quality of physical intimacy in your relationship.

1. Exclusivity

The world will entice you to believe that having more than one partner is cool, acceptable and has no negative consequences. This is a lie calculated to destroy the reality that a unified and happy marriage is based on respect, trust, love and exclusivity. You will not have a happy marriage or a satisfying sex life unless your spouse is the only person with whom you fully share yourself.

2. Privacy

Creating an environment that is free from interruption, distraction or wandering eyes is important in keeping the mood. In order to fully enjoy sexual intimacy in marriage, you need to be able to spend some time alone together. Keeping your sex life sacred and private will help you build a deeper level of trust and respect for your spouse.

3. Time

When it comes to sexual arousal, I have heard the analogy that men are like microwaves and women are like crock pots. Gentlemen, to truly please your wife, ensure that you remember to turn on the slow cooker. Let things cook for a while. Ladies, gently remind your husband that you need some time.

4. Foreplay

Foreplay and time are closely linked together. This is an opportunity for men to be creative as things heat up for your wife. Try little things that show your love for your spouse. An unplanned passionate kiss, a loving glance and kind words are things that you can do throughout the day to build up the suspense.

5. Romance

Now that you are married, the romance does not have to go away. Flowers, love notes, nice dinners, dates and some romantic time alone will help to keep the fire burning in your marriage. By being romantic, you can show your spouse how much you still care.

Improving sexual intimacy in marriage will strengthen your relationship. Spend time learning and practicing these five principles. Participating in sexual relationships with anyone other than your spouse will not improve the quality of your sex life, it will destroy it. Treat intimacy with your spouse as something sacred and private. Give your partner time, remember the importance of foreplay and don't forget to be romantic.

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