Key Thought: Oneness grows only through the consistent practice of marital love by both spouses.
(Corollary: Isolation develops through the inconsistent practice of marital love by one or both spouses.)
Word Study: ‘Intimacy’ (Lat. ‘Intimus’—inmost; the state of being most private. Depicts emotional closeness; being understood by one who cares deeply)
NOTE: Only 10-20% of married couples experience intimacy in their relationship
Why is there a lack of intimacy between married couples?
It is our inherent nature to hide; this tendency is exacerbated in some due to conditioning by parents/guardians, emotional hurt caused by others and personal guilt.
Principle: Fear moves us away from people and problems and causes us to hide, cover-up, and self-protect.
Why does fear move us away from people and problems? We are attempting to avoid the exposure of our true selves, which may lead to rejection (i.e. “You may not like who I really am”)
How do we hide from one another? By erecting defensive “layers” around our inner person.
Layers can also…
a.make us appear ‘okay’ and acceptable
b.enable us to deal from a position of strength
What kind of layers do people put up?
- Social withdrawal
- Critical spirit
- Chronically angry
How do we develop intimacy with our mate if we both have layers? By penetrating his/her layers and reducing or eliminating their fear.
How do we penetrate his/her layers and reduce or eliminate their fear?
(Hint) When are we least afraid to be ourselves with others? (i.e., comfortable, relaxed, secure).
Principle: When we feel completely accepted and loved by the other person intimacy can grow. We are able to enter a “layer-free” relationship with our mate.
The solution is not total openness (i.e. to throw off our inhibitions and expose ourselves) but total commitment (i.e. demonstrating acceptance and love).
I John 4:18 “…perfect (mature) love casts (i.e. throw or hurl) out fear.”
Principle: Love moves us toward people and problems and causes us to take the risk of being open and vulnerable.
Love penetrates our mate’s defensive layers and overcomes their fears
Where does this kind of love come from? “The love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 5:5)
What do we do with this love? By an act of our will we demonstrate this godly love to our mate. It is a conscious decision backed by action. It is a decision to “touch” our mate physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
Conclusion: Intimacy is the result of creating a layer-free relationship with your mate.
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