As an abstinent educator in for IMPACT Community Development Corporation, we covered a topic on intimacy. We used to asked the high school students what intimacy meant and 99% of them use to equate the definition with sex. What’s interesting to know is if I asked adults the same question,would I get the same answer/ It would probably be a little deeper, for instance I would probably hear intimacy is when there is sex between two people that have connected on a deeper level. love each other and are completely committed, but probably not more than that.
True intimacy involves being completely open and having the desire to understand the true nature of our partner on a wholistic level. But even in marriage we hide things, thoughts or actions from our spouses. Why, fear and rejection. Most of us, me included are in good marriages, but they could be great, more intimate.
According to Matthew Kelly’s 7 Levels of Intimacy (The Art of Being of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved, being intimate means sharing the secrets of our hearts, mind and souls with another fragile, imperfect human being. We have to allow another person to discover our inspiration, what drives us, bothers us, what we gravitate to, and what we run from and what inner demons reside in our hearts and what big dreams wake us up at night.
Now this level of intimacy doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long, adventerous journey to reach this type of intimacy in marriage, or any relationship for that matter.
Intimacy begins as you begin to share your story with your partner;where you come from, what shaped your thoughts, what events shaped your choices. As the two of you come togther, you will begin to create your own story to share with others. The four different aspects of intimacy are physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
Physical Intimacy is easy to achieve and can be easily shattered by divorce.
Emotional intimacy is harder to achieve because it takes an amount of vulnerability and humbleness to achieve. Before that can happen we have to feel comfortable and safe enough to let our guard down.
Intellectual Intimacy is achieved when you have different conversations around your political and cultural views. You must refrain from judgement since your partner unless you just happen to live in the same house has different ideas than you do, and look beyond the different ideas that are expressed and find its source.
Spritual Intimacy is rare and difficult to achieve. The goal to achieving this level is you have to develop a mutual purpose to help each other become the best version of themselves. The components you will need are a virtuous heart, an open mind and the ability to not have the relationship reach a point where you idolize the person more than the relationship itself.
As Eddie Kendriks put it in his song Intimate Friends, the goal if intimacy discover and rediscover each other every day.
Our love shines brigther, than the morning sun
Two hearts together becoming as one
You’re a part of me – that never dies
Love undivided, ’cause we see eye to eye
Over the course of this week, we will examine the 7 Levels of Intimacy that Matthew Kelly expresses in his book and how to achieve them with a Strive 2 Succeed in Marriage twist.
Have a great Monday.