Tinkerbell, Cinderella, a world without traffic and intimacy without hardship. All are simply fantasies.
Over the past few weeks, I have learned how intimacy is not cultivated in the bedroom. It is not strengthened by wearing less clothing. It does not require any physical contact.
Perhaps the hardest concept to grasp about intimacy is that sex is the cherry on top. Sex comes after intimacy is built, not before.
The physical construction of intimacy leads to considerable confusion in times of hardship. There is a false gospel residing in our heart that knowing every inch of one's body is a genuine reflection of how well we know that person. We put ourselves in vulnerable positions, let another human explore our figure, and eliminate any real construction of intimacy.
Sex does not fix brokenness. Nude pictures don't eliminate tough choices. Physical intimacy does not mean you are loved. And an empty inbox does not mean you are alone.
True intimacy rests in someone loving you so deeply they don't give you what you want. They don't open themselves up for your pleasure because you had a hard day at work. They don't take off clothes to motivate you to succeed.
True intimacy rests in the trenches of battle. When no answers are present and no allies are near. But there is one person who sits there with you, supporting you, ready for battle. They don't take off their clothes or start whispering false truths into your ear to distract you. They ask you how you are doing, what you are thinking, and what are the next steps. They lean over the table, not for you to stare at them from behind, but so together you can look at the blueprint for where to go next. The war in life is not easy, but neither is true intimacy.
Intimacy is rarely found when you look at every member of the opposite sex wondering if they are the one. Because by the time you find that person, you won't be able to stop looking for someone else.
Intimacy is real because God is real. Because, although we do not see Him, we know He cares for us. We don't need His physical presence to know He exists. And we have faith that, even when we so rarely understand, He is looking over our blueprints, helping us figure out where to go.
If we keep serial dating, we get stuck looking for the next best thing. "Well, she does this differently and he has that." But when we look for real intimacy we realize that we all have differences that can fit exceptionally well in a body of believers. And we will find that there is one unique person that helps tie us all together. The more we seek completion, the less we find it. Especially when we are hoping and praying we can force someone to fit into our perception of perfection. But the more we seek intimacy, the real intimacy we were designed to pursue, the more we will understand we are a family, carefully created for one unique intimacy that is separate from the rest.
Instead of supplementing intimacy with lust, which only provides a false sense of security, may we pursue a genuine intimacy that will bond us together beyond our last breath. Our relationships are meant to be more than the flesh has to offer, and our love is meant to last longer than a few minutes. May we build on a foundation that will withstand the storms, on a rock that will not crack. May we pursue one another out of the love of Christ, remembering that He first honored His church in the same way. May we forever pursue and love one another by seeking eternal intimacy.