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Intentional Intimacy

Examining the Bond Between Husband and Wife

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Have you ever seen a set of matryoshka, or Russian nesting dolls? Open one of these delicate, intricately painted dolls and you will find another, similarly painted doll, and then another, and another. The matryoshka set with the most dolls ever created contained 51 dolls, the largest of which was 21.25 inches and the smallest measuring .12 inches. 

True, intentional intimacy can be a lot like opening a set of matryoshka. If you want to get to the center of who somebody is, it must be an intentional act with the goal of understanding and appreciating that person’s mind, heart, and soul.

For many people it can be very difficult to be vulnerable, to open up to another individual. However, relationships are strengthened when we are able to do so, honestly and respectfully sharing with one another. When two people take the mutual risk of sharing their most intimate selves, a special bond is created that is difficult to break.

Intimacy with God

How can we begin to strengthen our relationships with our spouses if we cannot first be intimate with God? God says that He will give us the desires of our heart. While we can’t hide our deepest thoughts and desires from God, He wants us to be open and vulnerable with Him. When was the last time you opened your heart to God and told Him about your fears and dreams? 

Intimacy as a Mirror

Opening yourself to another allows that person to know the real you—the you that may be hidden beneath layers of deflection. Being intimate means allowing someone to discover your fears, hopes, dreams, motivations, and imperfections. Many avoid intimacy because of fear of being rejected for those fears, hopes, and dreams. However, once someone knows you on that deeper level, that person acts as a mirror to your character. You can’t hide the best and worst of who you from the person you’ve decided to be intimate with. But the rewards of intimacy are worth the risks. 

The Value of Intimacy

In his book The Five Love Languages, Dr. Gary Chapman says, “At the heart of humankind’s existence is the desire to be intimate and to be loved by another. Marriage is designed to meet that need for intimacy and love. That is why the ancient biblical writings spoke of the husband and wife becoming ‘one flesh.’ That didn’t mean that individuals would lose their identity; it meant that they would enter into each other’s lives in a deep and intimate way.” Intimacy is the fulfillment of the mandate given by God in the Garden of Eden. It was God’s first gift to man.

Steps to Intimacy 

The first step to intimacy between two people is the decision to commit to an intimate relationship, knowing that you are both opening yourself up in ways that you may never have before. 

The second step to intimacy is communication. Commit to being open, honest, and kind in all communication, with the understanding that each person wants to know you and wants what is best for you. Also, commit to communicating with God about the relationship.

The third step is time. Time means two different things in your quest for intimacy. Intimacy develops over time, so sharing a committed life together builds intimacy. However, spending time together for the sole purpose of building intimacy is the most important aspect of this step. Add an appointment to your weekly calendar that will be time you set aside for this purpose. 

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