The Dancing Puritan

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Cotton Candy or Grapes? Thoughts on Intimacy

The highlight of my day is very early in the morning.  It is then that I rise up, read Scripture, pray, read from other books and do some writing. The mornings pass by way too quickly.

Today I woke up praying, "Lord I want to serve you."  "Lord, I want to be intimate with you."

A focal theme of this blog, as you are well aware, is joyful intimacy in marriage. I am convinced that Christian marriages are suffering from a lack of joy, creativity, descriptive communication and godly exhilaration. I am also convinced that a lack of joy in marriage is a bad testimony to the gospel.  I don't apologize for writing so often about marriage.  As we often say here at the headquarters of Nourished in the Word Ministries; Marriage is a big deal.  It is about God. It is about the Gospel.  It is about the glory of God displayed via a Christ-centered marriage.

The Bible opens with the marriage of Adam and Eve and closes with The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  Earthly marriage is temporary but incredibly significant and so we must seize the opportunities of marriage as a presentation of the gospel even as we look forward to the culmination of our marriage at The Marriage Supper of the Lamb.  Marriage is huge!

That being said we must not separate intimacy in marriage from intimacy with God. Intimacy in marriage is not to be some isolated thing that floats around in romance land ungrounded. Godly intimacy in marriage is grounded on the authority of the Bible and is fed via a greater intimacy, intimacy with God.

I cannot love my wife as I could if I do not love and know God as I should. God must be the supreme passion of my heart, my desires, my thinking and my living.  And God is not a tool to get me a happy marriage. God is the goal. God is the objective. God is the end all.

Yet God has commanded me to be intimate in marriage, to rejoice with the wife of my youth, to provide her shade and sweetness, to enjoy her all of the days of my vain life, to love her as Christ loves the church.

So marital intimacy is a matter of obedience to God who is my King, my Lord and my Savior.

Intimacy is about knowing. When God knows a person it means more than he is intellectually aware of their existence. It means that he is intimate with them. God knows them relationally. God's knowledge of them leads to oversight and specific care for them--the way a father cares for his children. When I seek intimacy with God I am seeking to know God, to know him relationally, to walk with him, to listen to his voice through the Bible and to desire God like a newborn baby desires milk.

Intimacy with God is not a magic formula to get me a better marriage. Yet intimacy with God is the key to a marriage that honors and loves God (the first objective) and correspondingly loves my closest neighbor (my spouse and second objective).

If intimacy in marriage does not grow out of intimacy with God then it will nose-dive into something very superficial and empty.  It may taste sweet but more like cotton candy than apples, pomegranates and grapes. Cotton Candy intimacy is the sort of thing that is portrayed in much popular music and movies. Apple, pomegranate and grape intimacy is a substantive sweetness that is sweetened by the gospel.