God has designed marriage to be filled with “unimaginable intimacy.”
Unimaginable intimacy. What is the first thing to come into our mind when you think of that phrase? What kind of intimacy do you dream of for your marriage? Do you know that God dreams of an even deeper intimacy for you and your spouse than you can even imagine?
That thought amazes me!
Last week we covered what it means for your marriage to have “unquenchable passion,” the first part of my website subheading:
Unquenchable Passion – Unimaginable Intimacy – Unstoppable Love
Today we’re exploring “unimaginable intimacy.” (Yes, you can guess that next week we’ll be looking at “unstoppable love.”)
What is Intimacy?
Intimacy comes from being fully, deeply known and yet truly, unconditionally loved.
That definition is true for every dimension of your marriage: spiritual, emotional, physical, financial – every part of your being and every part of your relationship. And you need both ingredients. Without the being known component, which requires openness and vulnerability, intimacy is fake. And unless you experience unconditional love in the face of being known, intimacy is unsustainable.
I did a survey a while back where I asked the open ended question, “What is intimacy?” The most popular answer, given by almost half the respondents, pointed to the physical aspect of intimacy (sex). About 40% described emotional connection, and about one in three mentioned the spiritual dimension. Many (28%) included all three. Another popular answer was oneness or closeness, mentioned by 46% of the survey takers. (Each respondent typically gave 2-3 answers, so the percentages don’t total 100%).
Surprisingly, there wasn’t a huge difference between the way men and women described intimacy, with on very notable exception. Women, by an almost three-to-one margin over their male counterparts, included terms like vulnerability and openness in describing intimacy. Interestingly, those who described intimacy in these terms, were the least likely to be satisfied with the level of intimacy in their marriages (55% dissatisfied to some degree).
My conclusion from the survey is that vulnerability and transparency, essential for being fully known, are an absolute necessity for those seeking a deeper level of intimacy. My other conclusion, obvious from the data, is the men need to do better at understanding this.
How Much Intimacy Do You Want?
It seems everyone wants more intimacy. It’s not at all surprising to me that when I asked couples to name the top three things they want to see more of in their marriage, the top three most common answers were all intimacy related. For men, it was #1) Sexual intimacy, #2) Spiritual intimacy and #3) Emotional intimacy. Women had the same three top desires, in a different order #1) Spiritual intimacy, #2) Sexual intimacy, and #3) Emotional intimacy.
I like to say that there is no ceiling on intimacy. A couple can have as much of it as they want. All they need to do (as if these were easy to do) is to let themselves be completely known and to offer each other unconditional love, affection and grace in the face of their spouse’s transparency.
What Do You Imagine?
The word “unimaginable” means difficult or impossible to comprehend. I chose the word purposefully.
Whether you imagine a more passionate sex life, a deeper spiritual connection, a greater emotional bond, or all of the above, I believe you can attain more than you ever imagined. Even if you are happy with the intimacy you currently enjoy, know that there is always more. This is a lifelong process – there is always more knowing and more loving to be done. In addition, there are always other dimensions of your relationship in which intimacy can be deepened and strengthened.
I know this is true in marriage, because it works exactly the same as our relationship with Jesus. There is always more intimacy with Him.
The path to unimaginable intimacy starts with letting yourself be known completely. I’m challenging you to ask your spouse this question, “Is there any area where you feel like you don’t really know me fully?” Then go about figuring out how you can be more transparent and vulnerable in order to let the real you be seen.