INTIMACY

The word intimacy is derived from the Latin word, intimate - intus – within:  It has come to have both moral and immoral connotations. Intimate means close, most inward, very familiar, one’s private or most personal self/feelings, resulting from careful study. Intimacy is the state of intimate. Its synonyms are closeness, fellowship, communion, friendship, understanding, sharing, affection, familiarity, being and belonging together personally, physically and sexually and I will add, spiritually. The only immoral connotation is illicit, immoral sexual contact.
In our day and age, we love to use acronyms… but I don’t have one for this word! What I do have is an easy phrase that encompasses the definition of the word. Intimacy - IN TO ME, YOU SEE*
Husbands and wives long to be and be known by one another, spiritually, personally, physically and sexually. Sadly, because of the worldview, its saturation and our own sinfulness, self-centeredness and selfishness we fail to  realize or are unwilling to see intimacy in all its components. Intimacy is usually first and foremost associated with sexuality. Intimacy is so much more and when fully embraced, brings so much more to our sexual encounters.
Knowing one another on a personal and physical level encompasses careful study of one another’s likes, dislikes, preferences -one’s personality style, one’s physical preferences- are they studious, do they communicate by touch (examples can be, will you scratch my back? Rub my shoulders… holding hands, caressing…). Do they like quality time or does aloneness draw them near? Are they visual or audible learners? To some words do not mean much, to others, words are everything. Are they gift givers or do they prefer to receive gifts? To study means to make note of, learn and remember, committing it to memory for intentional use. To know one another spiritually is to connect with one another about the Lord. Share what you are learning, how you are struggling, praying FOR and WITH one another.
To know one another sexually encompasses everything above and also knowing the differences between the sexual needs and preferences of men and women in general and above all knowing the difference between you and your spouse. There are several good clean books one can read on this topic, but one I recommend to every couple we mentor is Sheet Music, by Dr. Kevin Lehman.
Intimacy was created by our Holy Heavenly Father. He longs to have a close relationship with us and He longs to love others through us. In marriage it is no different. Our intimacy with our spouse and to our spouse is directly related to our intimacy with the Father. As children of the Most High, we are commanded to love one another, serve another, submit to one another, forgive one another… God is about the work of conforming us into the image of Christ. We are commanded to conform to His image. Like Christ, in Philippians 2, Paul tells us to have the same love as Christ and do nothing from selfish ambition or selfish conceit. In humility he tells us to consider the others as more important than ourselves, looking not only to our own needs but to the needs of others. That means that even in our sexual relationship with our spouse, in our most intimate knowing and being known, we are to consider our spouse first, above our self.
Do you see into your spouse or do you expect your spouse to see into you? Have you studied them carefully or do you expect them to study you? Do you give to your spouse or are you waiting for them to give to you? Are there attitudes about the personal, physical, spiritual or sexual aspects of intimacy that you need to change?
Is 30:15 reads, In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. But don’t miss the end, BUT… you were unwilling.

by Patti Calderon

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