Building Intimacy

One of the chief purposes of relationships is to teach us about God’s love. Heavenly Father is a God of love. His Word tells us that He IS love, and because we are His children, we should take on His divine nature and make it our own. We should live love. Colossians 3:12-14(NLT) says, “12 Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. 14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” This passage paints a beautiful portrait of the kind of marriage God wants us to have.

Heavenly Father desires intimacy in His relationship with us. He requires total surrender and commitment because total surrender and commitment from us is what He deserves. So that you and I have greater understanding of intimacy, in terms of what it takes to both obtain and maintain it, God has placed a desire for it within our hearts. This is one of the reasons that our desire for companionship is very strong. Not only is it very strong, but it is also very discerning. We want intimacy with a person that we deem to have qualities and attributes we admire and like most. When we meet someone like this, and the fondness is mutual, it’s possible we might discover that this person presented their best selves during the beginning of getting to know them; however, we didn’t see their undesirable or negative qualities until later in the relationship.

All of us have negative qualities and attributes. God doesn’t disown us as His children because of them. Instead, He tells us to renew our minds and change our hearts. He tells us to clothe ourselves with His love, so that we learn to become compassionate and understanding regarding the shortcomings of others. This creates harmony and unity in our relationship with God. It has the same effect in our relationships with others. It doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time. As we are patient with what we perceive as the shortcomings of those we love, closeness and intimacy grows.

James 1:4(NKJV) tells us, “But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” Patience is part of God’s nature, and He desires to see it mirrored in us. It completes the work that He wants accomplished in our lives. It is a perfect work, and it makes us prepared for His purpose. It also helps us to develop true and real intimacy with Heavenly Father. He will not allow this intimacy to be rushed, but it must be built as we understand more about His magnificence, holiness, sovereignty, and love. We can’t rush intimacy with Him, and this should help us understand that we can’t rush intimacy in our other relationships either.

Isaiah 40:31(NKJV) says, “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” If a single person learns no other spiritual lesson, they should certainly learn from their own personal experiences how important patience is to God. When it comes to the desire and quest to be married, God doesn’t allow us to speed Him up or slow Him down. He doesn’t withhold the blessing of marriage from anyone that desires it, but the virtue of patience must be firmly anchored in the Christian’s heart before the faith to usher in marriage to the right person is solidified.

Learning to wait on the Lord renews our strength so that we can climb higher. This is a truth that applies to our relationship with God, and it also applies to our relationships with people. It takes time to get to know a person well enough to discern if they are a presentation from God. They may seem to be initially, but time may prove otherwise. However, if this person is in fact a presentation from Heavenly Father, they still may have qualities you dislike–I mean really dislike. Spiritual maturity requires us to work through those negative qualities by putting on the love of Christ, but we can’t do this if we’ve allowed our need for intimacy to drive the relationship. Trying to have intimacy without allowing it to develop through patience and purity will ultimately lead to unmet expectations. This will give the enemy an opportunity to attack the harmony we’re endeavoring to build.

Intimacy is a closeness that is forged through devotion, commitment, understanding, communion and communication. God desires intimacy in His relationship with us, but He doesn’t force us to respond to His love. He patiently waits on us to grow in our understanding of His nature and will. In this way, intimacy becomes a reward of patience. We must remember this when it comes to the significant relationship in our lives as well. It is an extremely important spiritual lesson, and if we learn it well, we’ll be prepared for a fulfilling marriage that is bonded together in perfect harmony with God’s love.

Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

“Building Intimacy” written for Copyright©2020. All rights reserved. All done to the glory of God through Jesus Christ, our Lord!

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