Week 14: Intimacy
Intimacy isn’t all about sex, nor is it only between couples. What is the right place of intimacy in outreach and ministry?
“Moses went up the mountain, and the cloud covered the mountain. The glory of the Lord resided on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day he called to Moses from within the cloud. Now the appearance of the glory of the Lord was like a devouring fire on the top of the mountain in plain view of the people. Moses went into the cloud when he went up the mountain, and Moses was on the mountain forty days and forty nights.” Exodus 24:15-18, New English Translation (NET Bible)
Nearly everyone wants to belong. We want to be valued, loved, accepted. And at it’s deepest levels, that affinity and closeness builds intimacy; the nearer we draw to one another, the more we share and accept, the more our relationship has the potential to truly change who we are at the core.
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.” Genesis 2:18, New Living Translation (NLT)
It is not good for us to be fundamentally alone.
Intimacy also brings with it a deep vulnerability.
You want to grow closer to the people who are growing into church leadership, as well as the people who are making their way into your faith community. Building in space for intimacy requires great care.
Brennan Manning, in his book The Signature of Jesus, writes, “If we really knew the God of Jesus, we would stop trying to control and manipulate others ‘for their own good,’ knowing full well that this is not how God works among his people.”
How is this different from offering space for community, friendship, and intimacy to grow?
Sunday: The “Ingredients” of Intimacy
In your journal, list 10 or 12 people with whom you are in regular connection.
Try to name what kind of intimacy (emotional, physical, spiritual, intellectual, parenting-related, crisis-related, or other) you share with that person, and at what level. You could create a scale of 1 (not very intimate) to 5 (deeply intimate), and evaluate those relationships.
Journal about what “ingredients” went into giving you the levels of intimacy you share with each person. What insights can you gain about where intimacy comes from?