Let's Get Intimate
What comes to mind when you hear of the word intimacy? In my experience, I have often heard the word intimacy be synonymous with sex. But what if using sex and intimacy interchangeable was actually devaluing true intimacy?
Not all sex is intimate, however good sex is, of course, intimate. Intimacy might not look like sex scenes commonly portrayed in the movies or what you dream up your honeymoon to look like, but even still intimacy is better. Often these depictions of sex are a cheap imitation, they leave us with false expectation of what sex looks like, and on the rare occasion that sex does look like the Hollywood scene we’ve been exposed to, we might be left wondering why it wasn’t as satisfying as we expected. The problem is we are too easily satisfied with the act of sex without the striving for intimacy.
Intimacy takes time and work. Some psychologists say that good sex doesn’t even start to happen until five years into marriage. It has been said before that sex is a lot like wine, it only gets better with time… why is that? The more life you do with your spouse, the more fuel you have for intimacy.
I’m willing to bet if you pondered on your own marriage or asked a married couple about the most intimate moments they have shared, the answer would not be a sexual encounter. I would bet the answer would be a moment of connection, a moment of support, or a moment of knowing one another. For some marriage, sex is not possible in some seasons for various reasons. Does that leave them without intimacy? No, intimacy is found in the connection of walking alongside, comforting, working together.
I can be brought to tear when I think about the most intimate moments in my marriage. If you were to ask me that question in front of my husband, he would immediately know my answer. He would expect the tear. He would be in the moment with me. Why? Because he knows me. He lived the experience with me.
Our most intimate moments have been learning one another, celebrating with one another, and grieving with one another. To be intimate means you are fully known and fully accepted. . In The Meaning of Marriage, Tim Keller wrote “To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.”
The beauty of marriage is the covenant with your husband or wife. There is safety in a covenant. Only in covenant with one another, can intimacy take place. Only in covenant can a argue all night and still go bed saying “I love you” being assured that person is not going anywhere. Only in covenant can one be fully know and fully accepted, and only in covenant can one be naked and truly unashamed (Genesis 2:25).
If marriage is a display of the Gospel to the world, which it is (Ephesians 5:21-33). Sex is a display of the Gospel shown only between only a husband and wife. It is the safe place where a husband and wife affirm their marriage vows by saying, “I see you. I know you. I love you. And you are mine.” This is a dim shadow of the love and acceptance that comes with being in relationship with Christ. To God’s people, Jesus says, “I see you, all of your failures. I want you. I love you. Come be seated at my table” (1 John 3:1; 2 Samuel 9:13).
In a world that equates intimacy with sex, it is crucial to remember that intimacy is a knowing, accepting, and loving of one another. Intimacy in marriage comes with time and covenant commitment between a husband and wife, and then, the sex starts to get good!