Hi everyone. Rob here.
I wonder what the word intimacy does to your heart? It’s a beautiful word but it’s also a truly frightening word. While it speaks of love and closeness and beauty, it also speaks of vulnerability and fragility and even pain. God longs for us to have intimate friendship with him, but in our fallen state intimacy does not come naturally or easily to most of us. It has to be learned and it has to be learned with people if we are ever to learn it with God.
Intimacy always involves risk because it involves being known at the deepest level. That means you need to make yourself known at the deepest level. The problem is that we can easily get trained out of this at a young age. If home isn’t a safe and secure place where stories of all kinds can be shared and where parents don’t model vulnerability and openness, it can be a long road back. If you add to that trauma from abuse or divorce or anger, then the road gets even longer.
This is an area that seems particularly hard for men. We seem to be more encouraged to achieve than express a life of the heart. As boys we try and look as tough and hard as the men around us. They don’t cry so we don’t. They don’t show weakness so we don’t. They don’t show affection so we don’t. This can become toxic to the extreme if we are surrounded by angry, violent men or addicts, but passive men can be just as dangerous. Men who choose the path of least resistance also fail to model intimacy as they have nothing to make known.
So, how is your life of intimacy going? Do you have people you can be vulnerable with and they to you? Are you someone who shows affection to people you love? Do you feel that others know your heart? Do you believe that God knows, cares for and loves your heart? Are you able to express your heart to God and the people you love?
I have grown a lot in this area and still have much growing to do. For me it involved an intentional journey into the life of my heart. I had to learn my story all over again from the perspective of my heart. What strengthened my heart? Where did I lose heart? What are the desires that God has placed in my heart? Where and when did my heart get wounded? What agreements have I made about my life, my worth and my purpose? Do I believe that my heart is good?
The reason I believe the journey of the heart is vital is love. How can we receive love; God’s love, our children’s love, a lover’s love, if our hearts are dead, inert, lifeless? How can we give love if we have no life of the heart? God is love and he has made his home in our hearts. If there’s no life of the heart the door to God is locked.
We can become students of the heart and people with the capacity to live an intimate life. The walls can be broken down and the gates unlocked. The wounded places can be healed and the agreements can be broken. We can know God and be known by him. We can love others and be loved by them.
May the journey be filled with God’s riches and travelling mercies be yours.