Intimacy is a subject not often discussed. It has a certain mystique about it and seems a little too personal to discuss with anyone except maybe our closest friends. Yet it’s of great importance when it comes to our relationships; it’s a quality of life we were created to desire and enjoy. Intimacy is defined as, “a close, familiar, and usually affectionate or loving personal relationship with another person.” It is probably most often thought of as the sexual aspect of marriage relationships but can also refer to emotional or spiritual closeness to another and this is the form I will be referring to. I believe that all truly meaningful relationships require intimacy in order to thrive.
It is the foundation of our relationship with God. (I am speaking of spiritual and emotional closeness to Him). I have only begun to understand this in the last 10 of my 30 plus years of walking with Him. Though I’m certainly no expert on the matter, I have learned a thing or two these last 10 years that may be of help if you struggle with it like I once did.
True intimacy requires trust. It involves being open and vulnerable before another and this typically necessitates some level of trust in that person. To the extent that we have issues with trust intimacy will be greatly hindered if not impossible. God created us for the purpose of communion and fellowship with Him – He created us for an intimate relationship. He knows us completely because He made us (see Psalm 139), and He wants to reveal Himself to us so that we can know Him as He truly is.
The fallen state of this world and our own souls make it difficult to trust other people and especially God. After Adam and Eve’s sin, they and everyone since have lost the true knowledge of God. Their intimate walks with Him in the Garden gave way to the shame of realizing their nakedness, the fear that led them to hide, and the control that caused them to cover themselves from their once beloved Creator and Friend. Later, jealousy led one brother to murder another. Trust was shattered.
Past and present hurts also play a big role in hindering trust, particularly feelings like guilt, shame, and condemnation. Only God can set us free from these lies and the bondage of distrust that seeks to destroy our connection with Him and others. We must be willing, by His empowering grace, to let Him search our hearts and show us the hurtful ways inside us. Only when we allow Him to bring us face to face with the truth can we become free.
This was at least in part, God’s reason for sending His Son to take our place, bearing the weight of our sin and imparting His life through the Spirit. He is that serious about wanting intimacy with us…ponder that for a while. If you struggle with intimacy He wants to liberate you to truly know the freedom that comes from being loved by Him and loving Him in return. There is nothing else like it – it is the very reason you exist.