Intimacy is risky. No, I don’t mean like having sex outdoors, I mean actual intimacy, even if it’s not physical. Because true intimacy requires vulnerability, and vulnerability is … well, being vulnerable. And unfortunately, the more intimate we are, the more vulnerable we are, and the more risk there is.
Because intimacy requires being open, putting yourself out there, being transparent. And that means that your spouse has the perfect opportunity to bless you … or curse you. And it doesn’t matter what type of intimacy we’re talking about, because really it’s all the same. It’s baring yourself so that you can be truly known.
Every time you take that step out, when you open yourself up to intimacy, you are stepping off a cliff, hoping your spouse will catch you … and sometimes they don’t.
And that’s hard to deal with. I know a lot of spouses who have given up on intimacy, because they’ve been dropped too many times. It’s like that trust building game where you stand and fall backwards into your teammates arms. You have to truth that they’ll catch you. But, for a lot of spouses, they’re being left to fall 90% or more of the time. How long would you play that falling game if you knew that 90% of the time, you were going to fall flat on your butt? Then we wonder why spouses don’t trust each other.
I hear this most notably regarding physical intimacy, when the high-drive spouse put themselves out there and initiates sex, because they want to feel connected, and when it’s denied or even put off, it feels like your spouse is saying “I’m not in the mood to be connected with you right now”. Boom. Dropped on the floor.
It also happens with emotional intimacy, when you want to discuss something important and your spouse doesn’t listen, or their playing on their phone, or their just saying “uhhuh”. It’s like their responding with “I’m not in the mood to be connected with you right now.” Boom. Dropped on the floor.
More rarely, we see it with spiritual intimacy, when one spouse wants to pray, or go to church, and the other doesn’t. It’s like their saying “I have no interest in that kind of a connection with you.” Boom. Dropped on the floor.
It’s sad, because in our weddings, we promised something to affect of being there for our spouse, through the good times and the bad times. When you feel like it, and when you don’t. But when the rubber meets the road…turns out we didn’t mean it. And we all do it. I know most of you read the above scenarios and said “yeah, my spouse does that!” but how many said “yeah…I do that…”? I bet we all do. I know I do. So when I’m sitting, sulking about being dropped yet again…I need to realize that I’m not so good at catching my spouse either. In fact, it’s amazing that they keep staying to play the trust game, day after day after day after we constantly drop them on the floor. Again, and again.
What’s even more amazing is that God continues to play this game with us. Because as much as we’re trying to be vulnerable and intimate, He’s out there 100%. Fully transparent, ready to be loved…or hated. And on an hourly, if not by the minute, we drop Him again and again. Not only you and I…but the whole world. 7 billion people, dropping God…every minute…of every day. I don’t understand how He keeps coming back for more.
But He’s my inspiration. To keep coming back. To play the game again. To step out and be transparent. To put myself out there. Ready to be caught. Because when you are…wow. It’s amazing. To have that connection, be it spiritual, emotional or physical. It’s just … awesome. I wonder if that’s how God feels when we connect with Him. If it’s that same sense of elation. Of feeling like “yeah, this is what it’s all about”. Because intimacy, while risky, it just awesome, and I mean that in the classical sense of the word, not the 80’s sense. It’s life-changing and marriage-changing and … everything-changing.
So, instead of focusing on whether or not you’re being caught. Focus on who you’re catching. Show them how to play the game. Because I think a lot of spouses don’t realize how it works. Some need to be taught, which is an excellent opportunity for more intimacy…so long as you’re willing to risk it.