Here at OFM we are always throwing around the word “intimacy”. I get the sense from those we talk to that this word is very misunderstood and a bit baffling! There are times we may think we know what it means and then times we are so utterly confused.
What is Intimacy Anyway?
To get a bit of clarity I looked at several definitions of the word intimacy:
Intimacy: A familiarity or closeness; a close or warm relationship; a feeling of being intimate and belonging together; the absence of fences. (I really like that one!)
We know the definition, but why does it matter so much? I think the word intimacy is our way of wrapping up in one word, a relationship between a husband and wife that God truly wants us to experience. In Ephesians 5, Paul compares the relationship of a husband and a wife to that of Christ (husband) and the church (wife). Christ is seeking intimacy with us as His children, always! He wants us to know Him completely and for us to open ourselves to be known by Him to completion! I believe that God wants the very same thing for each of our marriages! If we are intimate and on a journey to knowing each other completely then we have a strong marriage in Christ!
So lets break it down even further, what does it mean to “be known completely”? I like the definition above, “the absence of fences”! There are no hindrances. There is openness, trust, comfort and a sense of “home” when you are with your spouse! Intimacy gives a level of comfort even when there are rough times and misunderstandings.
Intimacy or being known completely, DOES NOT mean that you will never argue, make mistakes, struggle with selfishness or have hard times. We are all human and all have our struggles. But when you reach a place where love and trust are intimate; with no fences, the connection between you as One Flesh allows you to overcome struggles. Too often we think of each other in our marriage, as two separate entities. But if we think of each other as literally connected and inseparable, then we deal with struggles differently! There is an attitude of, “We can get through this, no matter how uncertain we are. God will lead us!”
Easy? I Don’t Think So!
Why, if intimacy is such a vital lifeline in marriage, do so many marriages struggle with it? Well, we are a broken people. Broken people that can only be rebuilt and made whole again by an ever loving God! With intimacy, there is great potential for growth, understanding and beauty in our marriages. These are also the places that we have the greatest potential for struggle. Satan likes it that way and takes every chance he gets to capitalize on those things! But when we are known completely, when we are intimate with our spouse there is little room for Satan to get in!
God designed for all of our needs to be met in his plan for us. In marriage, our intimacy needs (spiritual, emotional, intellectual and physical) are met through our relationship with Jesus and our spouse. When we are committed and connected in our One Flesh journey with our spouse, there is no need to look outside of our marriage relationship for any need.
Be sure to check out part 2- “Rocky Intimacy & Intimacy Rocks“