“Passion is the quickest to develop, and the quickest to fade. Intimacy develops more slowly, and commitment more gradually still.” – Robert Sternberg
I said in the message on Sunday that sex is more than just a physical act. And real intimacy is more than sex even though many people equate intimacy with sex. The two have become somewhat synonymous in our culture. This is what results from people believing that sex is proof of love and intimacy. Many of us men require sex as proof of love and too many women have consented to sex in the hopes of love. And too many people view and use sex as a means of reducing our loneliness. We all long for intimacy, and physical contact can appear as intimacy, at least for a moment. But the physical act of sex is not intimacy because the emotional and spiritual connection we seek with the other person will not be there.
Real intimacy is not found through just a physical act. Jesus said, “and the two shall become one. . . ” and I believe He meant more than just the physical. A married couple can share their bodies, but do they share their heart? Sex is a God created vehicle for physical expression between a husband and wife, but is not the source of intimacy. No matter how hard you try, no matter how often you try, if real emotional and spiritual intimacy does not exist before sex, it will not magically appear after sex.
Real intimacy can seem like the Abominable Snowman, you see the tracks, or the indications of its existence, but never the thing itself. That is because real intimacy is hard to achieve but it is worth the effort. Real intimacy makes us feel alive and connected like someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there. Real intimacy means we look outward without any expectations, or needs or wants. Because we can miss out on true intimacy when we predetermine what we think we should see when we examine our life, heart, personality and walk with God. If we focus on what he or she is not, we could easily miss what he or she is. When that happens, intimacy is undermined because intimacy flows out of feeling wholly accepted just the way we are.
Perhaps you are looking at your life and wondering how you can improve the intimacy in your marriage or in other relationships. This is necessary because I believe real intimacy also requires that we know ourselves. Our spouse cannot see our fears, dreams, hopes and desires unless we let them in. I know that giving our spouse that type of access is not easy. It can be a risk, not to mention being uncomfortable exposing the deepest parts of ourselves. My advice is to do it slowly as you build trust with your spouse.
And while you are on this journey don’t forget the importance of intimacy with God. God made us, He intimately knows us better than anyone can. With God, we can experience intimacy in an indescribable way. Intimacy with God through His Son Jesus has been the most rewarding and life-changing thing I have ever experienced.
My hope and prayer through this series on the Song of Solomon is that you will first experience the joy that comes from having an intimate relationship with God and that out of that love you have experienced with Him, that you will find intimacy with a special someone that you can share this journey of life.
- How do you define intimacy? Do you see intimacy as a physical act?
- In your mind, have you achieved real intimacy?
- What steps can you take this week to improve intimacy with your spouse?
- What steps can you take this week to improve intimacy with God?
- Pray and ask God to heighten your intimacy with Him and with your spouse.