A post by J at Hot, Holy & Humorous and another by Julie over at Intimacy in Marriage got me to thinking about intimacy in marriage and, no, I don’t just mean sex. In our last post I shared this definition for intimacy:
Intimacy is the act of allowing someone to truly know the real you.
When we’re talking about sex we’ll say “sex.” We won’t use “code words.” We’ll say what we mean and intimacy isn’t just physical.
Last time we talked about physical and emotional intimacy. Today we’re going to discuss how I believe these two affect our spiritual intimacy by looking a Jesus’ parables.
I know you’re asking, “What does the parable of the talents have to do with marriage?” I think the real question is, “What isn’t the parable of the talents about?” For example, how would you answer God if He asked you, “This is the person that I gave you as a blessing, how have you blessed them? How have you shown them love?”
To answer for myself, in my last post I talked about my wife and I and a unfulfilling cycle that we were on in our marriage. Neither of us were having our intimacy needs met by the other and that was affecting, in many ways inhibiting, each of our ability to meet the others needs. It goes like this, “How can I open my heart to someone that cannot share their body with me freely?” “How can I share my body with someone that cannot share their heart with me freely?” Now, at that point in our marriage, how could I have answered God’s question? Were we good and faithful servants or was lazy and selfish servants?
There are two verses that I think apply hear as well.
1 John 4:20 (NASB)
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.
There is a link between our horizontal (earthly) relationships and our vertical (heavenly) relationship. How can you be more intimate with God that you cannot see than you are with your spouse that you can see?
Romans 5:8 (NASB)
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
We shouldn’t wait for our spouse to change before we make sacrifices. In fact our change could be the impetus to change that our spouse needs.
It seems to me that for that vast majority of us our spiritual intimacy (vertical intimacy) can only be as strong as our strongest horizontal (earthly) intimate relationship. In other words, for the most part we can be no more intimate with God than we are with the person with whom we are the most intimate. I think the majority of us are fooling ourselves if we believe otherwise. If true, that in and of itself should be enough to motivate us to work on all aspects of intimacy within our marriage.
(Be looking for part three on intimacy)