Intimacy

I have been so blessed over the last eight weeks or so to have time to read and reflect on a lot of issues that I have not given much time to in recent years.

I’m working on three different books:

  1. Character Makeover, by Katie Brazelton and Shelley Leith (this week I was working on Patience);
  2. No Other Gods – Bible Study, by Kelly Minter (focusing on getting rid of the things that I am putting before God in my life or that get in the way of His will for my life); and
  3. Becoming One, by Joe Beam (how to develop a spiritual “oneness” in our marriage).

I came across this passage this week:

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:
1. Every human craves intimacy with another human.
2. Every human craves intimacy with God.
(Becoming One, page 12)

I guess I had never thought about it in such a powerful way before. I’ve laughed at my girls over the last few weeks as they have thing for hugging and loving on their friends and telling them “I love you!”

And I know that even the preschoolers that I work with become amazingly attached when they feel that you love and care for them.

And all of us can look at the pictures of newly married couples and see the love (and passion) that they have for one another.

All of these forms of loving and caring seem like infant levels of intimacy to me. But at the root of each of them is a human being trying to satisfy that God created craving for intimacy.

This week Craig and I are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. As I look back on that wedding day 15 years ago, I remember thinking at the time that I could never love someone more than I did that day. But today, the love I had for my husband back then seems infantile compared to the love I have for him 15 years later. (Try telling that to a newly married couple!)

God created us (and our marriages) to be full of both love and intimacy. But Beam goes on to remind us that intimacy with our spouse is secondary to our intimacy with God.

You will never achieve intimacy with your mate to the level God intended if each of you doesn’t also strive for intimacy with Him….If you want the deepest levels of intimacy with each other, you must first each develop a deep level of personal intimacy with God.. (Becoming One, p. 16)

All my life I’ve always known that God must come first in my life, both before my family and before others. But seriously analyzing my life and putting that into practice is an ongoing challenge for me. In our Bible Study, No Other Gods, we have been looking at the things that function as idols in our lives.

In biblical terms, it [an idol] is something other than God that we set our heart on, that motivates us, that masters and rules us or that we trust, fear or serve. (No Other Gods, p.13)

If I think about all of the things that I cherish in my life, I have quite a list that I need to work on if I am going to remove barriers that may be keeping me from “a deep level of personal intimacy with God.” But it is a challenge that Beam encourages us to take on. Our God-created craving for intimacy will not leave us. It is part of who we are. If we do not develop a deep level of intimacy in our relationships the way God intended, then we will continue to seek other people and things to fulfill our desires for intimacy.

For me, that will take patience, courage, commitment and perseverance. I love the words to this song that Kelly wrote:

FIRST IN MY HEART
So this is love, it feels like war
To slay my Gods by the sword
Making room for you to dwell
Here inside of me, unrivaled
Though it costs me everything
Only you will be

First in my heart, first in my mind
And in everything I long for in this life
First in my dreams, first in my eyes
Before every other love that I desire

So settle in and you never mind
These trembling hands, these teary eyes
Cause I never knew it’d hurt so bad
To turn my back upon this golden calf
Let its memory fade away
Till only you remain

First in my heart, first in my mind
And in everything I long for in this life
First in my dreams, first in my eyes
Before every other love that I desire

Take these idols a million miles
From the allegiance of my soul
Fill this hunger with your wonder
Till only you will, only, only, only you will be

First in my heart, first in my mind
And in everything I long for in this life
First in my dreams, first in my eyes
Before every other love that I desire

“First in my Heart.” Words and Music by Kelly Minter. Copyright 2007. http://www.kellyminter.com/

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