Intimacy

Intro

INTRODUCTION
Intimacy in a relationship is more than sex, it involves faithfulness, deep understanding and commitment to another person.  When we grasp that God created us for intimacy with Him and others, it can help us be better friends in the long run. Check it out.

Story

I heard a guy recently describing his dating/love/marriage encounters with his wife of 17 years. They were using the Bible as their guideline for developing their relationship, and they began dating with the sole purpose of building their friendship. They talked and spent time together. They did not get physical at any level; no holding hands, no hugging, no kissing – for 10 months!! They did not know how the other person kissed, or how they hugged, or how they performed in bed, but they did know how they thought about numerous topics, their levels of compassion or certain issues, the micro-expressions of happiness and questioning and sorrow. They laughed, they listened, they enjoyed becoming best friends (see “What makes a good friend” to understand their relationship even better). They were honest and trusting and dependable and learned what sacrifice in love was about. They prayed for each other and investigated things of God and worshiped together. In short, they became intimate friends, and yet, they hadn’t had sex or even kissed. They got married as best friends and the physical intimacy grew and blossomed in the rich garden of intimate friendship! Amazing? Unrealistic? Well, it’s true, and they will tell you that intimacy in friendship is a real gift worth pursuing, and it doesn’t need to get physical. Sadly, they wonder why so many young people will sacrifice becoming great, intimate friends on the altar of sex.

Bible intro

This is an amazing story of faithfulness, deep understanding and commitment – in a word, intimacy! Don’t worry about the odd names (give them nicknames if you want), the main characters are Naomi and her daughter-in-law, Ruth. You might also notice that they have to move from their home, which offers a connection to you as a military brat and the moving you’re required to do. But out of the move comes the most intimate friendship. (As a side note, Ruth is mentioned as an ancestor of Jesus in Matthew 1:5) 

Personal Questions
1. List several characteristics of intimacy in friendship that you see in the scriptural examples. How do you think that shared experiences bond you together in friendship?
2. Have you had experiences of intimate friendship with members of the opposite gender without it getting physical? Is it realistic in today’s culture of easy hooks ups?
3. How long does it take you to develop friendships? Do you have a mental cut-off date for people you will make friendships with based on their (or your) PCS date? How does that affect intimacy developing?
4. Do you think you can develop intimacy in online relationships? What have you shared on Facebook (or other sites) that reveal intimate things about you?
5. Do you feel like you have any friendships like Ruth and Naomi’s?
Prayer

Lord, I would love to be as committed and trustworthy a friend as Ruth was to Naomi and to have the kind of friendship they had. I need that kind of deep friendship to really flourish as a person. May my current friendships grow closer and more intimate. Thank you for loving me deeply. Amen.

411

The word intimacy comes from the Latin meaning ‘inmost.’ God created us in his image, which means he designed us for intimacy with him and to develop intimate friendships with a few others in the human family; those few to whom we reveal the inmost parts of ourselves.

Words
  1. “Be courteous to all, but intimate with few; and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.”George Washington
  2. “The exhilaration of being with someone who shares your passions, dreams and love is one of life's greatest treasures.” – lifescript: healthy living for women website
Quizical

This quiz is really a set of online flash cards with answers to click on. The issues surrounding intimacy and what it means are handled quite well. (The last 3 or 4 cards pertain to the book so you can skip those.) Check it out and see what you might learn; maybe even look at it with your close friend. See the flashcards »

Stories

A pretty cool Bible story of a shared experience that brought about an even deeper closeness is called the story of the Transfiguration. Now, Jesus loved all 12 of the guys he chose to hang out with (called the disciples), but he seemed to have some special – more intimate - moments with three of them; Peter, James and John. This is how the gospel writer, Mark, records the event. Mark 9:1-10 - The Transfiguration (also found in Matthew 17.1-13; Luke 9.28-36) 2Six days later Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John, and led them up a high mountain, where they were alone. As they looked on, a change came over Jesus, 3and his clothes became shining white—whiter than anyone in the world could wash them. 4Then the three disciples saw Elijah and Moses talking with Jesus. 5Peter spoke up and said to Jesus, “Teacher, how good it is that we are here! We will make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” 6He and the others were so frightened that he did not know what to say. 7Then a cloud appeared and covered them with its shadow, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my own dear Son—listen to him!” 8They took a quick look around but did not see anyone else; only Jesus was with them. 9As they came down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Don't tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has risen from death.” 10They obeyed his order, but among themselves they started discussing the matter, “What does this “rising from death” mean? ” What do you think this shared experience did for their relationship? How do you think you would have felt if you were one of the three with Jesus that day?

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Intimacy Full Message

Scripture

Philippians 4:1 – The apostle Paul writes to his dear friends; a true sign of intimacy and love.

Proverbs 27:14 – only close friends could pull this off

Matthew 11:19 – Jesus associated closely with outcasts in intimate settings such as a sharing a meal or visiting their homes.

Proverbs 25:19 – reliability is a form of relational intimacy

Proverbs 25:9-10 – don’t share intimate things with everyone

1 John 4:7-12 – intimate friends love each other with God’s love

Video

War is one of those experiences in life that builds lasting bonds of loyalty and friendship. One such example is captured in the St. Crispin’s Day speech in William Shakespeare’s play Henry V. A version of this speech is in the movie Renaissance Man with most of the words below. Why do you think that shared experiences like this build intimacy among people?

Rather proclaim it... That he which hath no stomach to this fight, Let him depart; his passport shall be made, And crowns for convoy put into his purse; We would not die in that man's company That fears his fellowship to die with us. This day is call'd the feast of Crispin. He that outlives this day, and comes safe home, Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam'd, And rouse him at the name of Crispin. He that shall live this day, and see old age, Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbors, And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispin.' Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars, And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.' Old men forget; yet all shall be forgot, But he'll remember, with advantages, What feats he did that day... This story shall the good man teach his son; And Crispin Crispin shall ne'er go by, From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered- We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he to-day that sheds his blood with me Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile, This day shall gentle his condition; And gentlemen in England now-a-bed Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here, And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

Life Questions
1. Make a list of things you think are intimate details that your best friend knows about you. If you don’t have a best friend yet, then what things would you want a best friend to know?
2. If you’re in a physically intimate relationship, consider how the physical may be getting in the way of relational intimacy; things like honesty and commitment and attitudes and praying/worshiping together. Talk to your friend about some changes you might want to make.
3. Plan a shared experience with a friend that the two of you believe will deepen your friendship (like a service project, or a camping trip, or a Bible study).
4. Write a letter to God or make an entry in your journal describing what an intimate friendship should look like. Ask God to provide that deep, committed friendship.