Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sexual Intimacy (True and False Contrasted)

Let Us Rise Early and Go to The Vineyards........

Image by -RejiK via Flickr

In understanding sexual intimacy one has to recognize that there is a difference between the act of sex and sexual intimacy.  In fact you can have sex without sexual intimacy and you can have sexual intimacy without sex.  I think many will be puzzled with the last half of that statement.  Yes it is possible to have sexual intimacy without the act of sex.  I believe it would be helpful to define what is sexual intimacy. 

Adam was intimate with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. She said, "I have had a male child with the Lord's help."
Genesis 4:1 (HCSB)

At first glance the use of the word intimate would appear to be a euphemism for sex.  However I think there is a deeper spiritual significance here.  The Hebrew Word is "Knowledge of."  Notice the action.  Adam did not "have sex with" Eve.  He "knew" her.  There is no objectification in this picture.  Eve is a person that is known and intimately known at that.  She is not an object of sexual gratification or a means to producing offspring.  Interesting the act of intimacy can be for good or for evil. 

The Lord God said, "Since man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, take from the tree of life, eat, and live forever."
Genesis 3:22 (HCSB)

When you are intimate with someone you are in a very close relationship with that person.  You are aware of him/her.  Your eyes are open to him/her.  You are connected.  You become a part of that person. 

And the man said: This one, at last, is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh; this one will be called "woman," for she was taken from man. This is why a man leaves his father and mother and bonds with his wife, and they become one flesh.
Genesis 2:23-24 (HCSB)

And she/he becomes a part of you.   When this is applied to the marriage relationship sexual intimacy is the act of becoming knowledgeable about the other's sexuality, connecting with her/him in a sexual way, continuing in intimacy until you are "one with" him/her.  Not to be crass, but sex is just about "getting it." 

The more I think about it the more I become convinced that false sexual intimacy is rooted in aggression and true sexual intimacy is rooted in love and tenderness.  Notice the coarseness of false intimacy.  It about using another for personal gratification.  In one sense enslaving the other for your personal satisfaction. True intimacy on the other hand is about knowing your partner so well that sex is not about getting pleasure (though it is pleasurable no doubt), but rather giving it.  There is a gentleness and tenderness that exists in true intimacy. 

Imagine if you will your sexuality is an expression of what road you are on.  On the one road is false intimacy and the other is intimacy as God has designed.  The false intimacy road is attractive in that it promises easy pleasure, easy gratification, everyone is doing it, it is glamorous, and it feels so good.  True intimacy is a road of commitment, fidelity, hard work, satisfaction, opportunity to love another, compassion, and mutual gratification. 

One thing though for all it puts forward to be false intimacy is a lie!!!!!  It may do some of the things that it promises, but in the end it robs the soul. 

Though the lips of the forbidden woman drip honey and her words are smoother than oil, in the end she's as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword.
Proverbs 5:3-4 (HCSB)

True intimacy on the other hand is a promise.  It delivers on what it says and gives life to the soul.

You have captured my heart, my sister, my bride. You have captured my heart with one glance of your eyes, with one jewel of your necklace. How delightful your love is, my sister, my bride. Your love is much better than wine, and the fragrance of your perfume than any balsam. Your lips drip sweetness like the honeycomb, my bride. Honey and milk are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like the fragrance of Lebanon.
Song of Songs 4:9-11 (HCSB)

Which path are you on in your marriage.  Is it more important for you to give or get pleasure from sex?  That one question can be very revealing as to what road you are on.  Don't get me wrong.  There is nothing wrong with enjoying sex.  However sex at the expense of knowing and giving pleasure to your spouse has nothing to do with intimacy.  My prayer is that you find the road of true sexual intimacy and your marriage will flourish as a result. 

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