Intimacy- The Power to Create
Humans are one of only a very few creatures on this planet that has intimate relations outside of a breeding season.
One of God’s greatest shared powers is the power to create. God told Adam and Eve, “Multiply and replenish the earth that you may have joy in your posterity.” Many of our greatest joys in this life as well as our greatest sorrows will come from the proper use of this sacred power. At times, I am amazed that God trusted us with such an incredible ability knowing that so many would abuse it. Nevertheless, we are all stewards of this wonderful gift.
Throughout the history of Christendom and mankind, there have been a variety of views regarding human intimacy. Some propose that this expression only be used to create life. Others see physical relations as carnal, while others belittle intimacy and treat it as only physical and make it pedestrian. While some see it as a glorious portal through which the divine is accessed.
So what is the proper view of intimacy? Certainly, new life is one of the obvious uses of this power. But, does this power have purpose beyond the creation of life? If this really is the power of God to create, what else is possible? Can this power also be used to create a stronger bond between two people, to create loving memories, to create a home?
The hyper-sexualized world promotes volume and variety as the end all be all of intimacy and it mocks the deep root love that comes from commitment, love and exclusivity. The world promotes synthetic copies of the real thing hoping we will numb our senses to what the original actually is and make the imposter our preferred lover.
In Isaiah chapter 7, verse 15 Isaiah describes the coming Messiah in a unique way, “Butter and honey shall He eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good.” Think about how many fake versions of butter there are in the world and how many imitation sweeteners there are? Sometimes it’s hard to remember what the original version actually tastes like. God has an original version of intimacy he wants us to practice and hopes we will not be fooled by synthetic imposters.
My mother once told me that life is made up of two things, anticipation and memory. Sometimes I am amazed at how accurate she is. In marriage these two elements play a critical role in the success of intimacy and the union of a relationship. If a married couple looks forward to their intimate moments together they will become the creators of memories that will last an eternity. If a couple anticipates unhappiness with one another, they will often create memories that confirm that unhappiness.
My mother also told me, intimacy is from the neck up for a woman. What she meant by this is that women make sense of physical connection through their emotional connection with their companion. Often we find that men are physically motivated and make great efforts to convince a woman that more physical intimacy is needed in the relationship. Likewise, a woman will often promote the idea that intimacy is about caring, cuddling and just being close. Neither is wrong but trying to persuade each other that their point of view is right, is.
Intimacy, the deep root kind, is two people understanding that emotional and physical connection must be combined. It is the balance of the two, and the overlapping symbolism of the two that gives intimacy its eternal power. Intimacy has less to do with technique and volume and more to do with unification as one physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Creating a strong bond and good memories in a marriage is critical. The unique expression and power of physical love, shared genuinely with compromise and understanding between a husband and wife, has an incredible effect on the closeness of a marriage. When intimacy between two people in marriage is exclusive, we are saying to our partner, “Out of the seven billion people on this planet, this expression is uniquely ours”; now that has power! In many ways, physical love is a barometer of the spiritual and emotional closeness we feel for our companion. Intimacy has the power to heal, to renew, to unite, to liberate and to nurture. It has the ability to express feelings beyond words. I view the sharing of this great power as a testament of God’s love and faith in us as His children and His desire for us to understand joy in this life. Truly, intimacy is the power of God, given to mankind, to create beauty.