This is the second in my series on intimacy. Go here to see where this started and get a complete list of the related posts in this series.
I mentioned last time that men and women tend to look at intimacy differently. In general, and I know I’m stereotyping a little here, men think of sex and women think of romance. Of course it’s not really that polar. Men and women probably think of both sex and romance when it comes to intimacy, but the mix between the sex component and romance component is probably pretty dissimilar.
The thing is, whether you think more of sex or romance, if you limit your thinking to those two areas then you will limit your progress on the Path of Intimacy.
The first choice you must make to get on the Path of Intimacy is to first forget about sex and romance. Huh? Yep, forget about ‘em – at least for now. While these may be meaningful destinations further down the road, they can actually distract you from making the necessary choices that start you on the journey to deeper intimacy.
What’s the first choice to make when you want to get going down the Path of Intimacy and get off the Path of Separation? Choose to get naked. And no, I’m not talking about sex again.
I’m talking about transparency. I’m talking about being naked without shame. Do you remember this little passage of scripture?
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed Genesis 2:24-25
Yeah I know a lot of people think this is just talking about sex, but they’d be looking at it way too narrowly.
This verse is talking about two becoming one in every sense, spirit, soul AND body. It’s talking about being real and bringing the fullness of yourself to your marriage, the good and the not so good.
You can’t have fake intimacy
It’s a non-starter.
So start down the Path of Intimacy by first choosing to get naked, to get real, to bare your heart. Bring your strengths and share your weaknesses. Be open with your hopes and dreams as well as your doubts and fears. Communicate with integrity about your successes as well as your shortcomings. Help your spouse love you by teaching him or her the things that delight, excite and inspire you.
Being transparent with one another is the only way to create an environment where intimacy can thrive.