THEME: INTIMACY IN MARRIAGE.
MESSAGE BY: TAIWO, Elijah
The word intimacy comes from a Latin word that means "innermost." In the marriage relationship, this translates into a vulnerable sharing of our inner thoughts, feelings, spirit, and true self. Both men and women need to feel secure in this sharing and confidant of their spouse’s support. This support is achieved through listening, empathy, prayer, or reassurance. Generally, this sharing and support must be in place before a woman will share herself physically in sexual closeness.
Intimacy is the closeness of your relationship with your spouse -- emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, sexually, and in many other ways. Intimacy is not an end goal but rather a journey that lasts throughout your marriage. Marriage and family researchers Schaefer and Olson (1981) describe attaining intimacy as "a process that occurs over time and is never completed or fully accomplished" (p. 50). As you both grow and develop, each of you changes. If you neglect intimacy in your marriage, you will grow apart. The time to work on intimacy is now. The idea of intimacy implies a connection between two persons, in this case between two spouses. The writer of the Book of Ecclesiastes speaks of two individuals deriving warmth from lying down together (Ecclesiastes 4:9). The concept of marital intimacy is derived from the Biblical principle of oneness. Although the word ‘intimacy’ is not used in the Bible, the concept is found there (1) First, the phrase ‘the two shall become one’ is used to define the marriage relationship. Intimacy is living in full view of the other so that the two function as one. God designed and appointed the husband to be head and for the wife to submit to the husband. If they are to function as one rather than two, then they need a way to relate to one another that does not cause conflict but encourages harmony. (2) The meaning of ‘oneness’ can be further understood by the words used to describe physical intimacy or the sexual union. Our culture now is trying to teach us that the sexual experiences of animals and humans are the same. They are totally mistaken. Much more is at stake. The couple deep down knows that there is more to intimacy than sex but don’t know how to reach it. Why else would a couple get married? The Hebrew word used to describe the sexual relationship gives us a clue to what is missing. That word is ‘to know.’ The Hebrew word yadah has many usages including: to know, learn to know; perceive; find out and discern; discriminate, distinguish; know by experience; recognize, admit, acknowledge, confess; consider and sexual union. Now the man had relations (literally ‘knew’) with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain, and she said, “I have gotten a man child with the help of the LORD. (Genesis 4:1) When it says, for example, that Adam knew Eve, the scriptures are saying that they came together in sexual union. There is much more happening than the fulfillment of the individual’s sexual drive. There is the intimate sharing of soul and person. Animals don’t have souls or self-awareness. People do. The married couple, then, is not just revealing their bodies to each other but their hearts as well. If a couple wants true intimacy, they need to deepen their relationship with the other. They need to ‘know’ each other in their different spheres of life (3) Thirdly, we can also see how ‘intimacy’ is portrayed throughout the Bible. Many theologians have argued over the true meaning of The Song of Solomon. If you haven’t read this book, you should. The book describes how a couple is romantically involved in each other’s life. You will also find some very interesting romantic poetry. WHATM A POETICAL BOOK
“How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are! Your eyes are like doves behind your veil; your hair is like a flock of goats that have descended...