Relationships that lack intimacy are often characterized, by a lack of trust, poor communication, secrets, and hidden emotions. Relationships that lack intimacy often do not last. There comes a point where every serious relationship must withstand the dreaded test of time. We should ask ourselves, “is my relationship strong or effective enough to last a lifetime? What does it take?”
Intimacy is an essential part of any relationship withstanding the test of time. However, the enemy is not time, but selfishness, which is revealed during the testing moments of relationship over time. Selfishness is self-centeredness. It is all about me. Selfishness is the main culprit to developing an intimate relationship. Selfishness is self-concern and self-protection, that causes us to be reluctant, hesitant, and overly cautious, about opening ourselves up to another person in personal intimacy. No love there and therefore no true intimacy.
The opposite of self-centeredness is intimacy. The single greatest need in relationships today is intimacy! Relationships are starving for intimacy. Intimacy is far more than romantic idealism. Too often couples have a fear of intimacy. It is true, Intimacy can be intimidating! This is characterized as – the fear of sharing a close emotional or physical relationship.
Strangely, people who experience this fear do not usually wish to avoid intimacy, and may even long for closeness, but frequently push others away or even sabotage relationships. This is truly regrettable. Maybe you are in a relationship where your partner seems to avoid intimacy. What can you do? Understanding Intimacy allows us to “move beyond fear.”
The word “Intimacy” is derived from the Latin— referring to a close friend with whom we have “moved beyond fear,” to reveal our innermost thoughts, feelings, and actions. Fear might be described as, “life for self.” As stated, selfishness or self-centeredness is the opposite of intimacy. Moving beyond fear to experience intimate relationship is to reveal oneself for another’s benefit and not for self-fulfillment.
Let me give you some examples:
Intellectual intimacy is the ability to share your thoughts and ideas with another.
Emotional intimacy is the ability to share your innermost feelings with another.
Sexual intimacy is the ability to share yourself sexually.
Experiential intimacy is the ability to share experiences with another.
If you find yourself lacking intimacy in a personal relationship, ask yourself, (ask God) what is the reason for your fear of intimacy? Do fear rejection? Do you fear how your partner will think of you? Does your partner have legitimate reasons for their hesitancy to relate to you? Do they regard you as critical, judgmental? Or unable to keep confidence, unloving, untrustworthy? Without a trusting sense of unconditional love, a person will shy away from personal intimacy. When an individual expresses the accepting and compassionate character of JESUS, others will be open to personal intimacy with such a person.
Relational knowing is more than a mere casual acquaintance. To experience intimacy is a willingness to be open in transparent trust. As previously stated, Trust and transparency are essential to intimately knowing another person. The more we trust someone, the closer we allow ourselves to become transparent with them. Trust and transparency must first be developed in our relationship with Christ before it may be experienced with another whom we love. Too many have assumed responsibility to develop intimacy apart from God.
The Good News is that Christ is the initiator of intimacy, Yes, intimacy is derived from Him. Learn to trust and be transparent with Him, and you will know how to be appropriately intimate with others. That is my prayer for you today, that you will experience Life As God Intended. An Intimate relationship with God which will be lovingly expressed to others.