“Real intimacy makes you feel alive like you’ve been found.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – June 5, 2022
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. Ephesians 4:2-3
In our society, the definitions of what it means to be intimate can be so confusing. One person defines intimacy as sex. Another defines it as having a deep emotional connection. One evening over dinner with a friend, we spoke about this and what it means to be intimate. She shared a cute little phrase with me to remind me of the true definition of intimacy. “It means ‘in-to-me-see,’” she said. Ah yes, it’s a blending of our heart with another’s, so we can “see into” who they really are, and they can “see into” us.
According to Dictionary.com “intimate” is defined as, “showing a close union or combination of particles or elements: an intimate mixture.”
Being intimate involves the mixing of our life with another’s, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts. This is something we all long for because it’s how God made us. We were designed to connect.
Maybe you’re wondering about sex. Granted, sex is a part of intimate expression, but it is not the “into-me-see” kind of intimacy.
In his book Soul Cravings, Erwin Raphael McManus writes:
“Sex can be the most intimate and beautiful expression of love, but we are only lying to ourselves when we act as if sex is proof of love. Too many men demand sex as proof of love; too many women have given sex in hopes of love. We live in a world of users where we abuse each other to dull the pain of aloneness. We all long for intimacy, and physical contact can appear as intimacy, at least for a moment.”
Real intimacy makes us feel alive like we’ve been found, as if someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there. Until we experience true intimacy, we will feel passed over and ignored, like someone is looking right through us.
Perhaps you are wondering how you can build an intimate relationship. In addition to accepting another person just how they are, (Note: This doesn’t mean accepting any form of abuse), real intimacy can only begin once you know yourself. Since the definition of intimacy essentially means “in-to-me-see,” how can anyone “see into” you and who you are, your fears, dreams, hopes and desires unless you know who you are and are willing to allow someone in? Experiencing true intimacy begins with being connected to your own heart and being connected to your own heart begins by connecting your heart in full expression to Christ.
Granted, sharing who we are with others is often not easy. All love is a risk. I admit, it can be uncomfortable exposing the deepest parts of ourselves. Thankfully, you don’t have to do it all at once because developing intimacy is like peeling an onion — it can happen just a little at a time while trust is developed.
“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Lord, please help me learn how to be more intimate in my most important relationship. Teach me how to share more of who I am. Help my loved one feel safe with me. May we be kind and tenderhearted with one another.
Do you feel that your mate or beloved is someone with whom you practice “into-me-see” intimacy? If not, take a step today to become closer. Contact a counselor, coach, or pastoral leader for guidance.
Ryann Darling: I Choose You
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