I'm about to say a bad word... (takes a deep breath).Ok, here it goes.
As the calendar brings the month of February and Valentines Day back around to us once again, I'm stuck thinking about the word intimacy. Why do so many of us struggle with this word? Why is it hard for us to draw close to others, our spouse and to God?
Ha, okay. I know you probably do not think intimacy is a bad word. But, I grew up in "purity culture." Anyone else? We did all the "True Love Waits" things. We were the generation who read "Lady in Waiting" and "I Kissed Dating Goodbye." Anything besides "leaving room for Jesus" was pretty much BAD.
The truth is, I think all of us Christian kids/teens in the 90's-early 00's learned to date God but not "marry" Him. We don't claim our closeness with Him as His bride, the Church.
I can only speak for myself here but, the hard boundaries I learned to set for the opposite sex to keep me "safe," also trained me to set boundaries with God. Jesus can take me out on dates, whisper sweet nothings in my ear, touch my heart in certain places, and only see "safe" parts of me.
Here's a story. When I first saw intimacy in one of my marriage prep books, it caught me by surprise. My gut knotted up. After all, intimacy was a BAD word.
Ummmm, I'm sorry WHAT.
I need to be intimate with my husband?
You want me to just flip some switch I've turned off my entire life the moment I get married?
What if he doesn't like my whole self?
How do I open up to something I learned to deny, control, and limit?
You can find out more about setting healthy boundaries in dating relationships in my devotional book "As You Wander."
Biblically, however, in a marriage relationship (Genesis 2:24) and with God (John 17:3), intimacy is GOOD. We were created to be fully seen, known and loved. We were born with the longing to give ourselves away and for that to desire to be fulfilled. I love that David says in Psalm 139:1 "O Lord, You have examined my heart and know everything about me."
Free scripture social media story download HERE.
With God, there is no guilt. No shame for baring yourself openly. No more hiding your heart. He's already seen it all. True love with God doesn't have to wait. It is here. Now. And, it's safe.
If you're like me, it takes some bravery to openly bare yourself before the Lord. We have retrain our brain, soul and body to draw close. We can give ourselves permission to like being desired by the God who has seen it all and choses to stay. So that, when our "Valentine" walks into the picture for forever, intimacy reveals itself not as an intimidating act but a comforting promise.
This blog was written by Kaley Rivera Thompson. She is the owner of this blog, an author, worship leader and speaker. She's always down for a cup of coffee or a good hike. You can find out more about her on this website www.kriverathompson.com or on her instagram, @kriverathompson.
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.