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How to Create Emotional Intimacy

Dr. Chris and Alisa Grace pose for the cover of The Art of Relationships Podcast.

What is emotional intimacy and how do we create it? Emotional intimacy is the confidence that one can be emotionally vulnerable and still find acceptance, understanding, and support. In today's episode, Dr. Chris and Alisa Grace share four key components of emotional intimacy: safety, longevity, affection, and communication.

Speaker 1: Welcome to another Art of Relationships Podcast. We are grateful for listeners like you. Let's get right into it. 

Alisa Grace: Hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of The Art of Relations Podcast. I'm Alisa Grace, and I'm joined by my handsome husband, Dr. Chris Grace. And it's brought to you by The Center for Marriage and Relationships at Biola University. So Chris, the last couple of podcasts, we've been delving a little bit deeper into emotions. So we talked about emotions 2.0, about getting those deeper, being able to label deeper emotions. And then we talked about setting emotional boundaries in our relationships, whether it's friendships, or dating, or even with coworkers. So today, we wanted to take a little bit deeper look at: What do we mean when we talk about emotional intimacy? What does it mean when we talk about creating an environment or a climate in our relationship of emotional safety? Because that's really foundational to having a healthy relationship, so to be able to feel safe and feel connected and intimate with another person. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. Man, what a big topic, right? Emotionally intimate with somebody else, that idea of feeling safe or emotionally intimate. You could think about this, and just answer this question. When do you feel emotionally close to somebody else? Or you could put it this way. Make it personal. Right? So for listeners out there that want to think about emotional intimacy, you've joined in this podcast, when do you feel emotionally close? And you can say this, "I feel emotionally close to another person when they what?" When they love and accept me unconditionally, when they practice healthy communication, when they validate my feelings.

Alisa Grace: That's a good one. 

Chris Grace: Yeah, if they're curious about me.

Alisa Grace: If they're open and they share vulnerably with me.

Chris Grace: Yeah, if they give me, I don't know, positive affirmation like, "Oh, that's a good point. Good thought." Or I think one of the big ones, if you have fun and laugh together. Right?

Alisa Grace: I thought you were about to say, "When they give me cookies." Remember the YouTube video of that little kid that's just like talking to his mom, "I love you, Mommy. But I don't like you when you don't give me cookies. You don't give me cookies." So sometimes when I say something a little snarky to Chris, he looks at me and he goes, "Lis, you don't give me cookies." 

Chris Grace: That's a great little clip of a boy.

Alisa Grace: That's so cute.

Chris Grace: That is really funny. Yeah, and I think when you start to talk about, what does it mean to be emotionally intimate or safe with somebody else, it really is on the positive side. How do I cultivate this and make it something really fun and interesting? And we know what relationships do. Right? They're very strong predictors of our happiness. David Myers is a great psychologist out there. He's written an introductory psychology book that's the number one book in the entire world, in the world of psychology, anyway. It's adopted at every university I've ever been to, from Berkeley and Yale, wherever you go, man, they're using Myers psych book.

Alisa Grace: [inaudible].

Chris Grace: Yeah. And he's really good at research in different areas, but one is in happiness and friendships. And he says there are few stronger predictions of happiness than a close, nurturing, equitable, intimate, lifelong companionship with one's best friend. So emotional intimacy, don't get the wrong idea that this is only in a marriage, or this is only in a dating relationship, or if you're engaged or whatever. Emotional intimacy is something that we can share even with a best friend.

Alisa Grace: Your roommates.

Chris Grace: Your roommate. And how do we do that? How do we do it well? In marriage, of course, it's extremely important, and people who say that their marriage is satisfying and emotionally intimate, that is, they find their marriage, and they're still in love with their partner, it's satisfying and emotionally intimate. They rarely report being unhappy, or disconnected, or depressed. So it's the same idea, whether it's a friendship, or marriage, or a dating thing, so at least there's the emotional intimacy out there, and there's a couple of points that we probably ought to talk about. So how do we find and have relationships that are at that level, something that are important to us, emotionally intimate and safe? 

Alisa Grace: Well, I think the first thing we've got to do to unpack it is to maybe really define it. And so this researcher, [Berbie] defines relationship safety or emotional safety. He says that it's the confidence that one can be emotionally vulnerable and still find acceptance, understanding, and support.

Chris Grace: Yeah, that's really good. I can be vulnerable. I can tell you this is ... It's even being vulnerable, imagine that, Alisa, with your kids. It's hard to be. You can set an emotionally safe environment, if you can be vulnerable with your kids and say, "Man, you know what, I messed up," to recognize I did something wrong and I'm really sorry. Please forgive me. I messed up. And I think that kind of vulnerability is not weak, it's strong. But it sets a great, healthy relationship that has this interaction safety as well. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah. I love that.

Chris Grace: So apologizing sets a great emotional intimate setting, and it's very safe. Right? So you can be vulnerable, you said, and still find acceptance or understanding and support. What's another way it can be safe, do you think?

Alisa Grace: Well, I think one of the things ... Let's look at the components of emotional intimacy or emotional safety. Really, we're talking about four different components there, being interaction safety, then expectation of longevity. And number three would be affection, and number four, constructive conflict and communication. Right?

Chris Grace: Right. And so there are different ways then that safety or intimacy comes into play, and I think that idea, Alisa, first of all that first one, it's safe. And so an unsafe thing would be when you have these what people have called the four horsemen of the apocalypse. You have these negative patterns of interacting. That's not safe. So you can define safe and emotionally intimate by its negative or its opposite. What's not safe? When do you not feel safe? And I think one of the patterns that should stand out is if another person expresses you a lot of criticism. Alisa, let's talk about some of those ideas. So what is criticism?

Alisa Grace: So criticism would be calling into question someone's character. So it's not just that you left a mess in the kitchen, but it's that you're lazy. You meant to do that. You just think I'm going to clean up everything. You expect me to do all the work. That would be criticism. So it's not just a valid complaint, but it's actually calling into question your character.

Chris Grace: Yeah, and attacking them and blaming them. Right? And so that's criticism. I think the worst one is contempt. You know you're not in an emotionally intimate or safe place if you feel criticism, or you're attacking, or someone else is attacking who you are. But if they're intentionally being insulting to you, name calling, or hostile, humor, what do you think? I mean, contempt is a bad one.

Alisa Grace: Oh, that's a bad one. What's the physical sign that someone is experiencing the emotion of contempt? It's like when they roll their eyes. Right?

Chris Grace: That's right.

Alisa Grace: It's like, "Oh, boy. Here we go. And look what I have to put up with. Oh, gosh." And they just roll their eyes. That's a perfect red flag for contempt.

Chris Grace: Yeah. So again, we're defining what's emotionally safe and intimate by the opposite. Right? You feel criticized, or you're critical, or you feel contempt. 

Alisa Grace: Another big one would be John Gottman, the researcher that coined this phrase, the-

Chris Grace: Four horsemen.

Alisa Grace: Four horsemen of the emotional or relationship apocalypse. Another one is defensiveness. Oh, boy, that one can just really eat away. And defensiveness would be the lack of taking responsibility in the relationship for when things are hard. Right? It's always you blame it on the other person. It's always their fault. Well, I wouldn't have been sharp and snarky if you hadn't forgotten to pick up the dry cleaning the way you were supposed to. Well, the only reason I'm acting this way is because it's your fault. You started it. And so it's that constant deflecting the blame off of yourself, refusing to take any responsibility, and just casting it on to the other person.

Chris Grace: Lis, you've got to get over the fact that I forgot to do that. You just-

Alisa Grace: You always say that. You never take responsibility. That's another one, is always and nevers.

Chris Grace: Yeah, making excuses. And then sometimes what ends up happening during these kinds of things too is a person, if they're feeling these things, they oftentimes just withdraw. They run away.

Alisa Grace: Stonewalling, he calls it.

Chris Grace: Yeah.

Alisa Grace: You want to hide. You feel attacked, so you hide behind this stone wall that you build up. And what's a key phrase that somebody might use when they're stonewalling. It might be something like, "Well, okay, whatever. Whatever. I don't want to get into this. I'm not going to talk about this. I don't want to talk about it. Forget it, whatever. Yeah. You're always right. I'm always wrong. Whatever." So that phrase, whatever, rolling the eyes, those are dead giveaways that you've got those four horsemen in that relationship.

Chris Grace: Yeah, I think that's good. I think males maybe struggle a little bit more. I think Gottman, when he did research on this, found that contempt is easily the number one factor that tears people apart. And when you get during a critical moment, what ends up happening, Lis, is there's all of these positive things that are going on, but people, they've found even in relationships in which they experience some of this criticism and contempt, they miss 50% or almost half of all the positive things that are going on. So they film these couples, they counted all the number of positive interactions. But when they asked one couple that was doing a lot of the criticizing, they tended to see more negativity. In fact, they missed 50% of the positives. And then they were shown, and they're like, "That is so interesting." I think that kind of research shows that emotional intimacy is something that's hard to work at and find and eventually get, and easy to lose. And all you got to do to lose this intimacy is show some of these horsemen of criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.

I would suggest that if that's an issue that you're struggling with any of these, they show up in all relationships, let's be honest. Everybody will have at times those kinds of things. It doesn't mean your relationship is busted, broken, and forever doomed. It just means that you don't want it to take root. Right? I mean, you don't want these things to go deep and start grabbing on and holding onto a ledge. And then all of a sudden, it just starts to take over. And so to keep these things from going very deep is really what we're saying. It's not the presence of these things. Everybody at times deals with them. It's them going too deep. 

Alisa Grace: And I think one other aspect that we just mentioned that has to do with this interaction safety is also physical safety. Talk about that a little bit, Chris. What would be some signs of a relationship, besides the obvious? Well, maybe we even need to talk about the obvious. But when we talk about physical safety, we're talking ... Well, again, let's cast it in the opposite. When is it not physically safe? Well, when there's any kind of violence or name calling, screaming, hitting, or even pushing, keeping someone from being able to leave, like you're grabbing onto them, or you're locking them in.

Another thing would be destroying their private property is not physically safe. That's a form of physical abuse, or threatening to reveal a secret about them, or maybe some compromising photos that you might have. That's also a situation of a lack of physical safety. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. It's lack of physical and emotional safety and it's a form of abuse. I think any time you're in a relationship in which those start, there's only really one word, and that's run. Get away. To be in a relationship with somebody who shows any form of those kinds of abuse, Lis, now if it's in a marriage, and it just starts to come out, I really do think ... We have a podcast on this, go listen to it. In fact, it's on this topic of abuse in relationships and what to do, how do deal with it. Tim Muehlhoff actually just has spent a lot of time working on this, Dr. Muehlhoff, and so go look at that. So I think, yeah Alisa, that could be a breaking of a relationship vows and this connection with another person. And you just cannot be in a relationship like that. You have to separate out and take it very seriously.

Alisa Grace: Right, exactly. Okay, well, let's move on and let's get to the more positive aspects of emotional intimacy, emotional safety. And I love this. That second one that we mentioned was an expectation of longevity together. Our friends that you just mentioned, Tim and Noreen Muehlhoff, I just love them because they talk about how whenever they have conflict, they say, "We really better figure this out, or the next 60 years is going to be really long." And I love it when they say that because that is the implied expectation of longevity, of a future together. We are in this. We are going to be here in this relationship for a long time, so we better get this worked out.

Chris Grace: Yeah. And so if you're in especially a marriage relationship, there's that expectation of longevity, that there isn't necessarily one if you are in a dating relationship. I mean, you want to have a sense. You talk about a sense of a future together. But you have to be really careful with that in any relationship other than the one you make that vow to because, for example, even when you get engaged, that's a conditional relationship. Right? If the conditions are good and there's lots of intimacy and safety and no abuse, you can move forward. If there is any of that, you have no made that vow yet.

Alisa Grace: That's right. 

Chris Grace: And you're not in that relationship. So that idea of a sense of a future together is really reserved a little bit more I think for marriages. But in a dating relationship, or in a friendship, I think what we can communicate to our close friends and that deep sense of someone who's what we call a deep close friend is that sense of, hey, whatever you go through, I'm here. People have come alongside you, I'm sure listeners, in the past when you've been hurt, or things didn't go well, maybe been in an accident, maybe you're out of work, maybe whatever. And it's those friends that say, "I'm here with you. I'm not leaving you." That's that idea of, I'm here for you. 

Alisa Grace: Yeah. Do I think in a dating relationship, a cautionary tale might be the person who always threatens to break up? 

Chris Grace: Yeah.

Alisa Grace: Well, if you don't do what I want you to do, I'm breaking up, I'm leaving. I'm bailing. I'm out of here.

Chris Grace: Yeah. I think it's a cautionary tale because what they're doing is they're basically saying-

Alisa Grace: Manipulating.

Chris Grace: Yeah, it's a manipulation. You're really on the edge, and so I need you to shape up. Yeah, that is something you want to be careful and avoid. So emotional intimacy, then it begins with there's great interactions, what we call this idea of a fun, emotional intimacy, avoiding all of the negative chronic things. Then that idea of, I'm always going to be committed in a way to you as a friend, or in a marriage, this expectation of 60 years until we figure it out.

Alisa Grace: That longevity, yeah.

Chris Grace: Another one I think, Lis, that we could talk about is that idea of a relationship that's intimate is really marked by something close to affection. It's close to this idea of, I like being with you. I have this ... We transfer emotions to each other, very interestingly, psychologists say, with this, there's this implicit transfer of affect. And what it means is I can tell you what I'm feeling and what I'm thinking about you in an affectionate way without even always using words. And it doesn't mean you shouldn't say, "I love you and care for you." Those are very important. But we do feel enjoying each other's company oftentimes by just that spoken and unspoken affection. What do you think?

Alisa Grace: That's so true. I think an example of the maybe unspoken is when you make a mistake, the other person doesn't beat you up about it. Right? That it's being able to make a mistake without fear of being judged, or just that sense of mutual understanding and trust in each other, that sympathy and compassion that you feel for one another, or that you just genuinely enjoy each other.

Chris Grace: Yeah. It's so interesting that those relationships that you do enjoy, remember, Alisa, the idea that there are way more positive, upbeat interactions than there are negative at a certain ratio.

Alisa Grace: Yeah, they call it the ratio of five to one. Right?

Chris Grace: Yeah. More positive, upbeat interactions for every one negative, you have five, in marriages, in relationships, in friendships that are healthy and good. And that just makes sense. Right? I mean, it should be even more than that. In a friendship, there out to be five, 10, 15 fun, laughing, enjoying positive interactions for every one negative.

Alisa Grace: Right.

Chris Grace: And if it starts to go below that five to one, especially in marriages, Gottman and other researchers have found that pretty soon, you end up in this kind of negative spiral.

Alisa Grace: So what a practical way to be proactively building up your relationship. Right? Remembering that five to one. So if I have a criticism or a complaint that I need to make, boy, I better really couch it in some compliments and some affirmations, all around that. And so a great way to offer a complaint, I love this. Our friend that also works on staff with us at The Center for Marriage and Relationships, her name is Willa Williams, she's a licensed marriage and family therapist. And she says you form it in the way of a sandwich. Right? The sandwich has two pieces of bread with the meat in the middle. So what you do with a complaint that you need to make, or something that you're unhappy with, you sandwich it between two positives. So Chris, I really appreciate the way you help around the house. You're quick to go help put laundry in the washing machine and get that started. I think-

Chris Grace: And you know what, we just run out of time. No, I mean, we're out of time.

Alisa Grace: Hey, I've got the rest of my sandwich I've got to build here.

Chris Grace: Let's do the top part. What's the bottom sandwich part? 

Alisa Grace: Okay, well the meat of that, the valid complaint might be, "But you know what, I really prefer that you don't dry my clothes because when you throw them in the dryer, they actually shrink. And then I can't wear them anymore. But thank you again for being the kind of husband that's even willing to do laundry. I really appreciate that, so thank you so much."

Chris Grace: But yes, yes, thank you. I hear you. And that's a great way to do this. We do have young children that are around us that could wear those clothes now. It's not a complete and total loss.

Alisa Grace: Yeah, it became a new crop top. Right? 

Chris Grace: How messed up is that?

Alisa Grace: When I think of those fun interactions, just the enjoyment of each other's company that's part of this type of affection, I think about a situation last summer where we were sitting out on our back porch and just enjoying the summer weather. It was in the middle of COVID, so we're working at home. But we were both sitting out on the back porch reading. And all of a sudden, in the quiet of the afternoon, you looked over the top of your book at me and you said, "Hey, Lis," and I said, "What?" And you go, "I'm glad I married you, kid." And I guess I kind of started laughing. I was like, "Oh, wow. Well, thanks, buddy. I'm glad I married you too." And then a couple more minutes went by, and you looked over your book, you said, "Hey, Lis." I said, "What?" He goes, "I'm glad I married you, kid." It's like, "Oh, my gosh. That's so funny. I'm glad I married you too, Chris. Thank you, I love you too." 

And I'm not kidding, five minutes later, a third time. "Hey, Lis. I'm glad I married you, kid." And I just started laughing because it was just so ridiculous. It was so silly, but the sweet part of that was that it was more than the words that you were saying, but what you implied was I like you. I don't just love you, but I like you. I like being with you. And you're the person I would want to hang out with the most. And so I frequently try to tell you that and actually verbalize that and say, "You know what, I'd rather hang out with you than anybody else." And so it's the actual verbalization of that, but also the unspoken that can be part of that third point of affection. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. I think too, Alisa, some studies that they did with affection, but it's almost like you're in sync with each other. Right? It's like you're on the same page. I love that one. They had people that were in pain, and doctors were able to ... They were monitoring their breathing and their heart rate and their brain wave patterns because maybe they were in the hospital in pain, that the more empathy that the partner showed to them, the more their brainwaves fell in sync. And what's interesting about that is that they found ... Okay, so ready? So you have a partner, a friend, somebody there that's in pain. As they're watching their heart rates, or their brainwave patterns, or even their breathing, what happens is holding the hands of a loved one can actually synchronize your breathing.

Alisa Grace: Wow.

Chris Grace: It's synchronized heart rates. And even brainwave patterns start to sync up. And so the more empathy that they felt for another person in pain, the more their brainwaves fell in sync. And here the kicker. Ready? There was a cool finding that increased brain synchronization is associated with less pain. It's as if when I'm in sync with you and I feel empathy with you when you're holding my hand, your brainwave patterns start to get in sync with mine, and that for some reason causes less pain. It's almost as if I'm sharing. It's not like the pain is going anywhere. It's as if though the feeling of being heard, understood, empathized with and loved decreases pain. Isn't that amazing? 

Alisa Grace: That's fascinating.

Chris Grace: Such a cool study.

Alisa Grace: I love that.

Chris Grace: I love psychology stuff. But anyway, Lis, let's talk about number four, maybe some other ideas of: What's an emotionally intimate, safe environment? 

Alisa Grace: Well, we said the fourth point would be that you are able to have constructive conflict and communication. And being able to approach conflict in a way that you see it as an opportunity for growth and not just necessarily a negative thing I think is super important. 

Chris Grace: Yeah. So to be able to have constructive conflict and do it in a good way reminds me of James 1:19. Right? Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. And what a great way to be able to do something. So we talked about this on a previous podcast. Go back and listen to that if you want. It's on that idea of, when we talk about emotions 2.0. What are those? And how do we identify them? That's going deeper. Right? I mean, we can argue about me shrinking clothes all the time, or but there's something more that's deeper. And you identified the positive, hey, you're helping. But this negative makes me feel like maybe since you've done it 14 times now that maybe you're not hearing me. Even though I haven't done it 14 times, it's still enough to say, "Yeah, there's something going on deeper here." And if it were to go that long, which it hasn't, but if it did, you would think, "What's going on? I don't feel heard."

Alisa Grace: Right.

Chris Grace: I keep talking about this. And that's a deeper issue, so now it's not about the laundry. It's not about the house being cleaned. It's about this deeper issue of not feeling heard or understood. And I think for relationships, we have to go a little bit deeper. What do you thin? And learning to identify those, that's a different podcast that we did. Go check that one out on emotions 2.0.

Alisa Grace: Yeah. That was really great. And an aspect of this is being able to just treat each other with respect, to be able to speak openly with each other about your thoughts and your feelings, the positive, as well as the negative. To be able to express your wishes, your hopes, your desires, and not criticize each other, not correct each other all the time, to celebrate each other's accomplishments and successes, that's really important.

Chris Grace: Yeah. And this where you're really good at this, man. I think there are, I can tell you at least 10 people who love and have told me they love telling you good news because you're always so excited about them. Yeah. And they say things like, "I got a raise." Oh, my gosh, that's so exciting. Or yeah, I got a phone call back, or a text from that boy I really like. Oh, my gosh, I'm so happy for you. That's so exciting. People love telling you things, Lis, because you do so good at celebrating their accomplishments and successes. And that's setting up a very emotionally healthy boundary and emotional intimacy. Right?

Alisa Grace: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Absolutely. Chris, let me ask you this. It's really easy for us to sit here in a clinical setting in the studio and talk about, oh, hey, when something bothers you, just share your emotions, how you're feeling about it. 

Chris Grace: Right.

Alisa Grace: Or if your partner or someone else shares something that you've done that has hurt their feelings, you just want to paraphrase it back to them. Well, gosh, that can be really hard when you're in the heat of the moment, when you're in the heat of that conflict. How do you have the wherewithal to be able to be a good listener when all you want to do is defend yourself and say, "That's not true. You're misinterpreting that. That's not what I said at all"? Where do you get the emotional wherewithal and self control when you feel like you've been misjudged, when your kids have disobeyed you for the umpteenth time, when your toddler, you've been with your toddler all day long, and they're just having a meltdown in the grocery store? Where do you get that inner strength to be able to do all of this?

Chris Grace: Yeah. I think for our listeners out there that are busy, tired, overwhelmed, stressed, I think what ends up happening is you really do need to start in prayer. You start with a pause. You take some time away, even if it's 15, 20 minutes, even if it's an hour. And then just kind of talk to the Lord about this and share your anxious thoughts with him. And even as the Psalm, we talk about Psalm 139 so often, but have God search you. And what's really going on here? I'm feeling this or feeling that. And I think once you identify some of the things going on in your heart, and you can change the offensive way in you, I think what ends up happening is you start to see things maybe from a different perspective, but especially, Lis, you calm down a little bit your heart. And you're able to start to hold down those emotions. We talked about in one podcast, the idea of the amygdala, when we label our emotions, they calm. They move to the frontal cortex a little bit. And so that deep need to express this anger and this hate and this hurt, or disappointment.

Alisa Grace: Or to forgive.

Chris Grace: Yeah. And then another one is at that point, we can begin to learn. What does it mean to not just calm my heart, check out any offensive ways in ourselves, and then I think in that process, we learn to ... How do I treat another with respect and kindness? Call out, like you said, use the sandwich approach. And then learning what it means to be forgiving because we've been so greatly forgiven ourselves. 

Alisa Grace: Oh, I love that. Makes me think of Paul. I think it was in Second Corinthians when he's talking about ... When he's saying that things I ... Or maybe it's Romans. I'm sorry. I don't have the reference, scriptural reference off the top of my head. But when Paul was saying, "The things I want to do, I don't do. And the things I don't want to do, I do. Oh, wretched man that I am." And how many times have we been in that state of mind in our relationships? Things that we know we should be doing, we just don't. Or it's like we just can't muster up the will to do it. When you're hurt and you're angry, you not only don't want to forgive, you don't want to want to forgive. You don't want to ask the Lord to help you be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to get angry. Right? 

Because I am just hot right now. I am just ticked. I am upset. And I just don't even want to ask the Lord to help me do that. Well, I love, I have three scriptures that are go to for me in this situation. The first one is Romans 8:6, and it says this, "If the flesh controls your mind, it leads to death." And think of that in terms of your relationship. If the flesh controls your mind, it's going to lead to relational death. However, if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, it leads to life and peace. Think of how that is implied and attributes to your relationship. 

So the first thing we need to do, I need to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to take control of my mind and my thoughts and my emotions. Just, Lord, take control of them because I am not in a good frame of mind right now. The second one is Philippians 2:13. It says this, it says, "For God is at work in you, giving you the desire to do his will and the power to do what pleases him." So if it's his will that I treat, let's say from Ephesians ... What is it? Ephesians 4:31. It says that we're to be kind, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. Well, if that's his will and he's going to actually give me the desire for that will to be tenderhearted, to be forgiving, to be understanding, to be long suffering and compassionate. And then he does the work in me to give me the power to do it. 

And then that's where the third scripture of Second Corinthians 12:10 comes in, where Paul says, "It's in my weakness that Christ is made strong." It's when I'm able to know that I can't do this healthy relationship on my own. I don't have the wherewithal. I don't have the knowledge. I don't have the ability to do it, Lord. But Christ living in me gives me the strength and the ability to do it. He does it for me. He does it in me, through me, and for me. And the beautiful thing is God delights for us to come and be able to say, "I cannot do this. I cannot be the wife that Chris needs me to be, Lord. I need you to help me. I cannot be the mother that Drew and Natalie and Caroline need for me to be. I can't be the friend that my friend needs me to be. But you can. You can do it in me and through me and for me. So I just want to give you control of my mind, my heart. And I am thanking you and trusting you that you will give me the desire and the ability to be what you've called me to be." To just really be able to live up and live out, be worthy of the calling for which you were called, he does it. 

Chris Grace: Man, that's really good. That's just really powerful, Lis, and so cool. I just have to say you just have such a great way of scripture. But really what you do, I can sense, is you just have an amazing husband. I mean, the relationship you must have with him. That man, I'm just telling you, just listening.

Alisa Grace: So easy to live with.

Chris Grace: Oh, good night. I mean, I think everybody out there's like, "Oh, I want that. How can she get so lucky?" And I just don't know why you're so lucky in that. But man, you are.

Alisa Grace: God is good. That's all I can say.

Chris Grace: God is good.

Alisa Grace: God is good.

Chris Grace: God helps me go through all kinds of hard things. Well, Lis, that's very interesting, very powerful, and very helpful and practical. So all the things that we want, we want to talk about the deep psychology, emotional issues related to relationships. How do you have intimacy? The Biblical truths that you've just shared and that we shared throughout, and then just some practical ways we go about doing that. So man, that's-

Alisa Grace: Practice those five to one, positive to negative. Right?

Chris Grace: That's it, man. That's right. You did a great job on this podcast. I love your outfit today, by the way, and the way you speak is so awesome. Your command of scripture, it is really awesome. And we're out of time, man.

Alisa Grace: I'm glad I married you, kid.

Chris Grace: Glad I married you, kid. Okay, talk to you guys later.

Alisa Grace: Bye. 

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