In my last post, I wrote about three relational ingredients to gain satisfaction in life, coactivity, distance and intimacy. I shared this information in a talk to a group of men. Several men looked at me and talked to me after the talk because they didn’t understand the concept of intimacy except to think it was sexual in nature. In my teaching, I was saying even single people are designed to have intimacy and you can have intimacy with close friends even of the same sex. So, now let me describe/define what I believe intimacy is.
I believe we all have protective layers built around our true person because we fear if someone really knew who we are and what we have done they would reject us. So, we guard ourselves, only letting people in so far before we block them from knowing us any further. See, the only way you can really know me is if I reveal myself to you. Otherwise, there are mysteries about me that you will not know and those things create questions in you and uncertainty about who I really am. The only way a person will ever reveal their deep self to you is when they trust you. They will test you with things that are not all the way at the core of who they are to see if you are trustworthy with the true contents of their hearts. If you react strongly to lesser things you will never get the treasure of knowing because you won’t be trusted with the greater things.
Intimacy is to be known with no protective layers and to know someone else with no protective layers. To be known and to know. Hebrews 4:12 and following give a picture of this kind of relationship. The passage teaches God knows me, he sees all the way inside to my motives, it is like I am turned inside out before Him. Yet there is grace for my weaknesses and an offer that whenever I am struggling I can come boldly before Him and He will help. Jesus became man and understands, he can feel with us our struggles.
That passage can be mined for all its depth and its pattern for what true intimacy looks like. Intimacy is not sexual by nature but when a married couple experiences intimacy as I’ve described their sexual activity really becomes making love rather than just sex and goes to a different level of oneness. I hope this helps because honestly most don’t experience intimacy throughout life. We don’t know what we don’t know.