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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

For the first 13 days of October I participated in the CMBA ½ blogging marathon. I spent those 13 days challenging couples to reach for new levels of intimacy in their marriages.

If you missed the 13-Day Intimacy Challenge, I have created a convenient Summary Page with links to all the posts in the series. Be sure to check it out.

Today I shift my focus to an altogether different intimate connection. I’m talking about intimacy with Jesus.

I’m unapologetic about my emphasis on Christian marriage. It’s not that I think non-Christians can’t have good marriages. Of course they can. It's just that most of what I believe about marriage comes from my belief that God is the designer of marriage, that he set it up to operate a certain way, and that he sent Jesus as the Bridegroom to the church, His bride, in order to show us a living example of God’s design.

I call this the bridal paradigm, and for me it holds amazing revelation for marriage the way God intends it to be.

Jesus, Our Bridegroom, Our Example

The Apostle Paul paints a clear picture of this in Ephesians 5:31-32
"For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Verse 31 quotes from Exodus at the advent of the first marriage between Adam and Eve. Then Paul ties marriage directly our relationship with Jesus. It couldn't be any clearer.

Much of what I believe and understand about marriage is formed from my relationship with Jesus. The closer I get to Him, the better I understand the “great mystery” Paul describes. Love, trust, faithfulness, freedom, passion, desire, and pleasure are all components of both of the two most important relationships in my life.

Intimacy: Naked and Unashamed

Intimacy is about being fully known and completely loved. It’s the same with my wife as it is with God. Let’s look back to the first marriage and see what intimacy looks like.
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
Genesis 2:24-25

Naked and unashamed – that defines intimacy with God. That is also intimacy with my wife. I bare my soul before the Lord and receive his complete love and acceptance through Jesus. I feel his delight in me and know his unconditional love intimately. It works the same with my wife and I (OK we aren’t quite as good at the unconditional part just yet, but we are working toward it!).

Jesus, Our Source

Not only is Jesus the example of love and intimacy, He is also the source of the love that we need to make our marriages more intimate. God is Love. If we want more love, we need more of Him. It’s really that simple.

What's also amazing to me is the way the reverse is true as well: I gain insight into my walk with God through my marriage.

Awesome mystery, aye?!

Some days I feel like I’ve only gone an inch toward the miles of understanding that is available to us. It’s kind of like seeking to “know the unknowable love of Christ.” There is always more.

What about you? How does your relationship with Jesus impact your marriage and vice-versa? Leave a comment with your thoughts.


Nathan said...


I really enjoyed this post, especially when you said: "Naked and unashamed – that defines intimacy with God. That is also intimacy with my wife. I bare my soul before the Lord and receive his complete love and acceptance through Jesus."

I recently did a reflection of this on my theology blog. Perhaps you might be interested in it:

MW said...

Intimacy is about being fully known and completely loved."

This is the best definition of intimacy (physical or spiritual) that I have ever heard.

In my circles I am advocating for purity and high standards in relationships, specifically calling out how we settle for false intimacy...but my definitions have been lacking - this hits the nail on the head!!!

Scott said...

Nathan - I read your post and left a comment.

James - Thanks for your comment and Tweet. My description of intimacy as being "fully known and completely loved," is really just a re-interpretation of the biblical phrase "naked without shame" from Exodus 2:25, so i can hardly take credit.

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