To Be Known . . . Completely!

Kate says…

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!)

So that’s Webster’s definition, I define intimacy as: to be known completely! And where marriage is concerned: to be known completely in a Biblical One Flesh way.

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!

Hu?

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

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10 Responses to To Be Known . . . Completely!

  1. Great post, once again! For me, the last two paragraphs are very powerful.

    In our weakness, our brokeness, we are made strong, through Christ Jesus. The battle rages on against us, especially our marriages. A Christian marriage is as you point out, a type for our relationship as believers to Jesus. When Christian marriages fail, Satan wins, he can show the world through those failed marriages that our relationship with Jesus is temporary also. That is a total lie!

    We really need to obtain the marriages you so faithfully minister about, to experience true joy and to bear witness of God's love and faithfulness for us…for ever!

    I pray for your ministry, your person and family everynight Kate and Brad, God bless you for your faithfulness to His message and plan.

  2. Thanks Stan! You are so right, there is a huge battle going on for marriages today! Understanding and seeking intimacy with our spouses is a huge key that we feel so many are missing! We are praying for you too! God is good and thankfully, in control!

  3. For me being completely known (I like the no fences idea too) is only half the equation. Yes, it is an important and pre-requisite half, but still only half. I like to add "and yet loved and accepted just as you are." That second half not only adds to the sense of intimacy and trust, but it makes it sustainable for the long term.

    So my definition of intimacy goes something like "Being completely known and totally loved."

    Thanks for the great post and for letting me add my two cents…

  4. Hey Scott! You are very right and thanks always for sharing! In my mind and heart they are one in the same. But there is a great need to emphasize that while on this One Flesh journey to intimacy, that being loved will always be a part of intimacy! Because being known, means we experience the "not so fun stuff" about our spouse as well as their amazing qualities! Thanks for sharing that, we always greatly appreciate your thoughts, insights and experiences!! Scott is a fellow marriage blogger friend and someone we admire greatly! Be sure to check out Scott's amazing marriage blog at http://www.surrenderedmarriage.org

  5. I have a nit to pick with this. I agree with the totally loved aspect. And yet to be totally accepted as you are I think needs to be split further. We are called to love the sinner and hate the sin. I can accept that a person is human, broken and sinful and yet at the same time not accept the sin, be it an addiction, or a behavior or personality problem, like narcissism or abuse or whatever.

    In my mind, intimacy says that I know you. I know this issue. I accept that this is where you are now. I will walk with you through this. And yet I cannot support or condone an underlying component.

    Too often in our society we are chastized for not accepting everyone exactly as they are and yet as Christians we are called to both care about and protect ourselves too (love another as yourself implies you value yourself on par with the other) and to speak truth in love as to the nature of sin.

  6. Hi Kate and Brad, This is probably a question rather than a post for the web site… you kindly contacted me before Christmas and prayed for my wife Cate and me for which I'm very grateful. Things have improved a bit and Cate has broken a bone in her foot so we have more time together for a while!!! (Romans 8:28 is my favourite all-purpose verse).
    We went for a walk this afternoon and said almost nothing to each other. I'm just not used to breaking down the fences and speaking about intimate things. She doesn't like sex much but is willing to do it for my sake but it doesn't feel very meaningful without the knowing and loving aspects.
    My questions is this: even after 21 years of marriage I just don't know what to say to her!!!!!. We only really talk about family and practical stuff which is Cate's department. I feel annoyed that we're not talking about relationship stuff and so don't say much which makes it worse…
    I suppose I would like a list of starter questions or comments I could use. I should probably go and try to think of some but I would be interested to know whether you have any thoughts.

    Also, I hope you don't mind me being really finnicky for a moment but I've got a thing about apostrophes. Unless the rules in the US are differenmt from the UK you don't put apostrophes on plural words, just on possessive words. So "Blog's We Love" would be "Blogs we Love", for instance. That's got that off my chest. Thanks for listening and God really bless you. I'm sure your pattern for marriage is the one God wants us all to have.

  7. Davyp, Thanks for writing! I would encourage you not to have a list of starter questions, for they would all seem forced and probably not connected to the environment at the time you are talking. Have you ever had someone read a letter they to you, it is always a bit awkward, because the letter was written at a different time and place then when it was read. I fear the same would happen with any list of questions you could create.

    I'm going to toss back that great verse for you in my advice. Paul says in Romans 8:28 that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God, and are called according to his purposes. I would rely and depend on this, find time in the next several weeks to devote yourself to purposefully drawing closer to God. If you aren't spending time alone with God do it, if you are, then find a way to add different elements to it. Think meditation on a specific verse, listening more, maybe even fasting…. Here is the blessing. As you draw yourself closer with our savior then you will find him working for the good of your marriage. Draw close to him and you WILL draw closer to Cate! The only thing you have to do is allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through you as you do!

    Thanks for the heads up on the apostrophes! You are correct! I try to catch them, but guess I missed that one!

  8. Brad, I really wanted a list of questions!!! However your thoughtful response gives me huge hope that God is interested in us developing intimacy. I feel very encouraged. Thank you so much.