I grew up in a traditional East coast Canadian household. Meaning, you’re never too open, and you’re excellent at surface talk, but never reveal too much (the British roots helped with that also). Add to that the fact that I was in a military family, and you move every few years.
You have to learn coping skills.
If you never let anyone in, then you will never be hurt.Tweet
Or at least that’s what we tell ourselves.
Meanwhile, there is a longing in us just to be known–for someone to feel, think, and be with us. It is a deep longing that as much as you run from it, it sticks to us like a shadow.
I’ve come to realize this isn’t just a “me” thing. We all do it. Few have overcome it. While it’s downright frightening to open up our hearts and lives and draw near to someone else, it doesn’t change the fact that we are desperate for it.
Intimacy isn’t a sex thing.
Intimacy is a human thing. God has created us for interconnected relationship. We need brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends, neighbours; we need relationships just as we need water.
We often spew the surface film over social media and blogs. However, there is something about intimacy that extracts the darkness that can so easily consume and can infuse light in its place.
While the typical Christian cliché is that God is “closer than a brother” (Prov 18:24), we need to take a step further still. We must rely on God! So true. However, we need each other. Paul equated it to a body, Paul and Jesus to a family, and Peter and Paul to a house. Bodies have lots of parts, and those parts are very much in an intimate relationship with each other. I’ve had various injuries, and you realize just how interconnected your body is. It is also true with a family. As much as we may love, like, or dislike our family, we need one (whether that be genetically or relationship). Just how in a house all the pieces connect to support each other to stay strong, so we must also.
The Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Galatia, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
No one can carry your burden with you if you don’t first invite them into a relationship. We must trust people. We must invest in people. We must allow other people to invest in us.Tweet
Your intimacy issues are no ones but your own. Donald Miller points out, “It’s the one thing we all want, and must give up control to get.”
If we need–if we starve for it–then we must risk it. We must step into vulnerability. Yes, you might get hurt from time to time, but the wholeness you welcome will revolutionize your life. As Emmett from Lego Movie 2 says, “It’s easy to harden your heart, but to open it, that’s the hardest thing to do.”
Intimacy is hard.
Check out the resources used in this post
The New International Version. (2011). (Ga 6:2). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Donald Miller Scary Close.p.98
Lego Movie 2