“…and the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed…” (Genesis 2:25)
The man and woman leave their respective families, they commit themselves to each other (permanence), become one in terms of purpose and direction and mutual support (unity), and they enjoy an exclusive, privileged knowledge of each other (intimacy). Each element prepares the marriage for the next. Ultimately, intimacy is what every couple longs for. It’s the grand prize –the reward- for all the effort we invest in our marriage.
The man and woman were naked and were not ashamed. Neither though of covering anything because they had not self-consciousness, not shame, no fear of ridicule, no hang-ups, no embarrassment, no emotional hurts (…) Each was entirely focuses on the delight and pleasure of the other.
Unfortunately, many people confuse intimacy with sex. Sex is NOT intimacy. It’s designed by God to be the product of intimacy. Sex too easily mimics genuine intimacy, and if you put it first, you’ll soon discover that it’s all you have between you.
Intimacy involves sharing on multiple levels. Intimacy is shared discussion, shared silence, shared history, shared trials and heartbreaks, shared sorrow and grief, shared joy, and shared commitment.
This level of intimacy requires immense trust and enormous vulnerability.
When couples are able to enjoy complete intimacy, each partner can fulfill his or her primary responsibility in the marriage –and the responsibilities are different for the man and the woman.
According to Charles Swindoll:
The wife’s primary responsibility is to know herself so well and to respect herself so much that she gives herself to her husband without hesitation.
The husband’s primary responsibility is to love his Lord so deeply and to accept himself so completely that he gives himself to his wife without conditions.
We can never regain the innocence and the intimacy. Yet, all is not lost. We can enjoy intimacy, but only as we respond to wrongdoing constructively.
We should avoid responding with the next 2 intimacy killers: deception and blame shifting.
Let’s face it, when given the opportunity to avoid blame; we’d rather lie than admit the truth. Nevertheless, if we are to recover the institution of marriage and intimacy, we must deal with reality constructively. Confess the truth of any situation and accept responsibility. No matter what happens, however bad we may look, or how awful the consequences, refuse to lie or shift the blame.
Stop blaming your kids…or your job…or your circumstances. Look at yourself. Accept complete responsibility of where you’ve blown it. Own it, confess it, repent of it, and determine to do the hard work correcting it.
It’s never too late to start doing what’s right.
Charles R. Swindoll. “Marriage from surviving to thriving” Pag. 45-56, modified.