The Craving for Intimacy God Created Us for ONEness
Sex and intimacy aren’t the same thing. Very often it is a person’s drive for intimacy that misguides him or her into sin. Do you see that seeking intimacy with God and a good marriage with your spouse are more than indirectly related. The only way to develop the godliness and wholeness that you crave is to seek intimacy with God and your spouse. Unless you accomplish that, you will struggle spiritually for the remainder of your life.
God Himself placed the desire for intimacy within each one of us. He made us with two powerful cravings that permeate or motivate nearly everything we do:
Every human craves intimacy with another human.
Every human craves intimacy with God.
Understanding those two undergirding drives within human nature gives great insight into many of our actions, both logical and illogical, holy and sinful. They explain a lot about why we do what we do. Sound simple? Maybe it should be, but it gets complicated because of the difference in men and women.
While both men and women need the same kind of intimacy, their approaches to trying to fulfill that need aren’t always the same.
Men focus more on the actions of intimacy while women tend to focus more on the feelings of intimacy. Not every man. Not every woman. But enough of each that many people find themselves unfulfilled in their search for intimacy, even though they are married to a person driven by the same craving.
Many men think that being intimate with their wives means having sex with them. Even when you remove sex from the equation, a man is still more likely to think that intimacy with his wife is doing something for her, like building her a gazebo in the backyard or bringing her breakfast in bed. For many, if not most, men, intimacy is something you do.
Women, on the other hand, are more likely to view intimacy as a feeling of closeness that may not be associated with any action at all. She wants conversation, sharing, warmth, and affection. She can feel those things just sitting on the sofa with him, daydreaming.
What is intimacy? Is it an action or a feeling?
In reality, both actions and feelings play a crucial role in real intimacy. In a sense, it’s like faith in James 2. It exists in the heart (feeling), but the only way it proves its existence is by what it does (actions). The actions aren’t intimacy; they are merely vital signs that prove that intimacy is alive. You can no more replace intimacy with actions than you can replace faith with works. But intimacy isn’t just feelings either. A claimed faith that never demonstrates itself isn’t faith at all. In the same way, a proclaimed intimacy that doesn’t express itself in actions isn’t intimacy. True intimacy means more than having an active sex life, and it means more than warm, romantic feelings for a knight in shining armor. It means investing time and effort into satisfying the deepest longings of each other. It means making a safe place to share the secret parts of yourselves – your hopes, your dreams, your fears. It means sharing in a physical union that is open and free, ranging from touching to sexual fulfillment. It means having fun with each other. It means growing together spiritually and in your own personal relationship with God. Isn’t that what you really want?
God can do anything in your marriage – no matter what it’s like right now. Just as He created our world from absolutely nothing, He can create deep, abiding, intimate love in your heart even if none lives there now.
Beam, Joe, Becoming One, West Monroe, LA, 1999. Used by Special Permission of Howard Publishing Co., Inc.