This is the blog you've been waiting for!
Well, actually it might not be...
This isn't a blog about how to have good sex in your marriage,
it's actually a blog about walking in real intimacy with your spouse
Before we go any further we need to find a definition of intimacy.
Ask different people and you will get different definitions of intimacy.
Some would define intimacy as sex.
But intimacy is much more than sex.
As we have said for years:
“If sex was intimacy, then the United States of America
would be the most intimate nation in the world.”
Yes, sex does involve a level of intimacy,
but real intimacy involves so much more.
A quick google search reveals that
are all synonyms for intimacy.
Intimacy can be described in vast and various ways
and it is so much more than sex
Our simple definition of intimacy is this: “into me, I will let you see.”
Using this definition, we can say that real intimacy is rooted in an emotional connection that leads to richer physical, intellectual, and spiritual connections.
Real intimacy is about openness, transparency, vulnerability, and a willingness to let someone else into your life so that you are deeply connected on multiple levels.
Make no mistake about it;
you were created to connect with your spouse in deep
and meaningful ways.
But let’s also be honest; intimacy is scary and can conjure up all kinds of emotions. It might make you wonder, how many marriages are experiencing real intimacy?
Our experience says the majority of marriages are NOT experiencing real intimacy.
If this statement is correct, it begs the question, why?
If we were created for connection, originally designed by God for a “one flesh” relationship (Genesis 2:24) then doesn’t real intimacy matter!
Of course, it does!
No wonder the crafty and cunning serpent came into the garden.
He was hell-bent on destroying what God had created.
He knew God created us to have a real, unhindered relationship with Him.
He knew God created us to have a real, unhindered relationship with our spouse.
Satan did (and is still doing) everything he can to stop real intimacy from happening. The gender confusion, promiscuity, and pornography industry that is running rampant in this world prove the point.
Since the fall of man; the moment Adam and Eve shifted from experiencing real intimacy (Gen. 2:25) to covering themselves with fig leaves (Gen. 3:7), we (their offspring) have been emotionally covering up and hiding.
As Genesis 3 unfolds, we discover the real enemy of intimacy in marriage. Scripture tells us “then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked."
This is an intimacy statement.
They saw each other, realized some things about one another they had never known before, and instead of embracing their vulnerability, they went into
cover-up mode. The bible goes on to say “so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.”
We do the same thing today in our marriages.
Adam and Eve, once naked and unashamed, are now covering and hiding, but not
just from themselves, they are also hiding from God. Genesis 3 tells us they heard
something. What was it? It was God, walking in the garden, in the cool of the day, looking for them. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.”
Again, scripture gives us another great intimacy question. “But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” Friends, this is not a clueless God who has lost His kids. This is a loving God longing to be in an intimate relationship with His creation, so He asked Adam the intimacy question: “Where are you?” God is trying to get Adam to respond with an “into me Lord, I will let you see” answer. But instead, Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And right there, Adam’s answer reveals the real enemy of real intimacy:
If you are going to experience real intimacy in your marriage, you are going to have
to fight against the fear that leads you into hiding. You are going to have to fight against the pull to stay emotionally covered and hide from one another. It will take risk and responsibility on both a husband and a wife. After all, we carry around our past hurts, pains, disappointments, shortcomings, and failures.
Our minds may wonder - what will they do if they really know me, my struggles, and my fears? Will they accept me or reject me? Will they use my transparency against me later? What will they do with the openness I bring them?
But to experience real intimacy in your marriage, you are going to have to push through these fears and be willing to accept the emotional risk that comes from being open. You must be willing to love and be loved.
Real intimacy involves the risk to share and the risk to receive each other’s
transparency and openness. But it is worth the risk, because real intimacy in marriage is one of the most powerful things you could ever experience.
To be a husband and wife who see one another, know one another, love one another, and embrace one another for who you are is real intimacy.
- - -
So, if you want real intimacy in your marriage, here are three choices you can make:
Be grounded in God’s love for you.
Scripture says in 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love”. The way you push through your fear is through the perfect love of Christ because the opposite of fear is his love. So stay grounded and rooted in the perfect love of God that is steadfast, strong, powerful, and true. A perfect love that is so secure for you, that you have nothing to fear. This is how a husband and wife who are grounded in the perfect love of God, walk in love and not in fear.
Walk by faith.
Real intimacy in marriage is a faith response because faith is a response to the love of God. 1 John 4:15-16 says “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.” Yes, real intimacy is risky because you don’t know how someone would respond to your vulnerability and transparency. Therefore, you are going to have to walk by faith.
Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” This is so true for your marriage. Being courageous in marriage is when a husband listens to his wife, not trying to fix the problem but embracing her courageous transparency, by hearing her heart. Being courageous in marriage is when a wife hears her husband’s courageous sharing of his struggles and frustrations and still loves him the same way. This intimate husband and wife are courageous because they have created a safe place with one another. They have openly and freely responded to one another with an “into me, I will let you see” response because they know real intimacy is more important than their fear.
Yes, you can experience real intimacy in your marriage, but it has to be more important than your fear of rejection, hurt or possible pain.
So take a risk, push back the fear and go experience real intimacy in your marriage by being grounded in the perfect love of God, walking by faith, and choosing to be courageous.
It will change everything (even sex)...
Dale and Jena Forehand are the founders of Stained Glass Ministries. They offer conferences and resources to build real relationships. To find out more about their amazing grace story of marriage, divorce, and re-marriage to one another visit their website www.daleandjena.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram as @daleandjena